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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 Aug;121(2):211-217.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2018.05.024. Epub 2018 Jun 1.

Bedroom exposure to airborne allergens in the Chicago area using a patient-operated sampling device.

Author information

Inspirotec Inc, Chicago, Illinois. Electronic address:
Kenilworth Medical Allergy & Immunology, Kenilworth, Illinois.
Associated Allergy and Asthma Specialists Ltd, Chicago, Illinois.
Private Practice, Chicago, Illinois.
Allergy & Asthma Specialists, Munster, Indiana.
Inspirotec Inc, Chicago, Illinois.



In current practice, allergens in vacuum-collected dust are used as surrogates for inhalable allergens. We developed an air-sampling device that can be used by patients for direct measurement of airborne allergen concentrations in their own homes.


To demonstrate the use of this device to establish allergen concentration reference ranges in a target population and to evaluate associations between patient-reported information and measured allergen concentrations.


Patients from 5 allergist's practices in the Chicagoland region were provided with instructions, questionnaires, informed consent forms, and samplers to run for 5 days in their bedrooms. Samples were collected from cartridges and assayed by multiplex immunoassays for 12 common household allergens and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for ragweed.


Unique allergen profiles were obtained for 102 patient homes. Samples with allergen concentrations above the limit of detection were as follows: total dust mite, 28%; cat, 61%; dog, 64%; mouse, 12%; rat, 0%; cockroach, 4%; Alternaria, 6%; Aspergillus, 21%; birch pollen 1%; grass, 8%; and ragweed, 5%. Of those, 75 completed questionnaires, providing meta-data for further analysis. Pet allergens correlated significantly with number of pets owned. Humidity correlated with dust mite allergens, open windows with Alternaria and mouse allergens, and high-efficiency particulate air filter use with reduced levels of several allergens. Many other variables showed no significant correlations.


The combination of ease of use, high air-sampling rate, and sensitive immunoassays permitted the measurement of airborne allergen concentrations in homes and establishment of reference ranges. Patient-reported information permitted identification of factors that could relate to allergen concentrations and suggested remedial measures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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