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Epidemiol Infect. 1987 Feb;98(1):127-30.

Mite fauna of dust from passenger trains in Glasgow.


The mite fauna of dust from cloth-covered seats of four passenger trains and bedding from a British Rail linen store in Glasgow was investigated; 22 samples containing 4488 mg of dust from a total surface area of 5.5 m2 were taken. Sixteen samples were positive for mites and 33 specimens belonging to 10 species were found. The most common species were Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Trouessart), Glycyphagus domesticus (De Geer), G. destructor (Schrank) and Euroglyphus maynei (Cooreman). The species composition bore considerable resemblance to that of house dust (although the density of mites was far lower) and the mites have probably been transported from homes via clothing and pets. Only five intact specimens, which may have been alive at the time of sampling, were found. The dust from trains consisted mostly of particles of soot. Very few skin scales, the food source of house dust mites, were detected. The small numbers of intact mites found and the absence of an identifiable food source make it unlikely that permanent populations of mites survive in upholstered seats on trains.

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