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P R Health Sci J. 1997 Jun;16(2):109-16.

Identification of the domestic mite fauna of Puerto Rico.

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Laboratory of Immunochemistry, Ponce School of Medicine, Puerto Rico 0732-7004.


This study was conducted to identify the domestic mite fauna of Puerto Rico. A total of 57 dust samples were collected from mattresses in homes of 11 cities on the Island. The analysis of the samples revealed that 73.70% of the mattress samples had at least one mite species. The identified species include: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (45.6%), Blomia tropicalis (31.6%), Cheyletus sp. (19.3%), Dermatophagoides farinae (17.5%), Euroglyphus maynei (5.3%), Dermatophagoides sibonei (1.8%), Dermatophagoides sp. (1.8%), Suidasia melanensis (1.8%) and mite species that were not identified (5.3%). Differences in the geographical distribution of mites showed that only Blomia tropicalis is more frequently in the northern (43%) than in the southern region (19%) of Puerto Rico (OR 3.36, p, 0.046). This finding can be explained by the fact that in the northern region the relative humidity is significantly higher that in the southern region (p < 0.001). No significant differences were observed for other species or in the total mite counts between the northern and southern regions. The small sample size of this study may explain the lack significance for some of the differences found. Nevertheless, our results indicate that the domestic mite fauna is composed of several clinically important species, their numbers are high enough to be considered in the sensitizing levels, and the diversity of these species is comparable to other observations in the Caribbean areas, and in the southern states in the continental US. Based upon our results, we recommend that when performing the skin test in Puerto Rico, extracts from the identified local domestic mite species be included in the allergen panel. This may prove useful in the aid for the diagnosis and management of atopic conditions.

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