Stored product mites commonly occur in agricultural work environments and sometimes in homes in significant numbers. They are a source of allergens that sensitize and induce allergic reactions. This may include atopic dermatitis. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if the common species of storage mites are the sources of molecules that influence the function of human dermal microvascular endothelial cells that regulate the trafficking of inflammatory and immune cells into the dermis during allergic reactions and other skin diseases. Human dermal microvascular endothelial cells were challenged with varying doses of extracts of the storage mites Acarus siro L., Chortoglyphus arcuatus (Troupeau), Lepidoglyphus destructor (Schrank), or Tyrophagus putrescentiae (Schrank) and the secretion of cytokines and expression of adhesion molecules were measured. The role of endotoxin and protein in inducing these responses was evaluated. These stored product mite extracts induced secretion of interleukin-6, interleukin-8, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, and granulocyte/monocyte colony stimulating factor. Some of these effects were induced by protein present in the extracts, some were induced by endotoxin, and some were induced by other substances. C. arcuatus and T. putrescentiae extracts also down-regulated tumor necrosis factor α-induced vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 expression. Stored product mite extracts contain an assortment of molecules, including endotoxins and proteins, which modulate the expression of cell adhesion molecules and the secretion of cytokines by microvascular endothelial cells. These modulating properties varied among mite species indicating that each mite species has a unique set of molecules that is responsible for its activity.
cell adhesion molecule; cytokine; endothelial cell; endotoxin; stored product mite
Specific IgE against Acarus siro, Glycphagus domesticus, Tyrophagus putrescentiae, and Lepidoglyphus destructor have been investigated by ELISA in sera of 92 children. Of them, 41 were found to be specific IgE positive (≥ 0.35 IU/ml) against at least one of house dust mite species, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae, by an immunoblot. In 65.9% of the dust mite-sensitized children, specific IgE against at least one of these mite species was found. Sensitization levels, including co-sensitization cases were found to be 35.7% against A. siro, 24.4% against T. putrescentiae, 31.7% against L. destructor, and 26.8% against G. domesticus. In non-sensitized children, dust mite sensitization level was found to be 25.5%. Breakdown of sensitization by individual species in this group was; against A. siro and T. putrescentiae at 7.8%, against L. destructor at 13.7%, and against G. domesticus at 9.8%. When all children were reckoned, 43.5% was found to be sensitized against at least one storage mite species, with sensitizations against A. siro at 18.5%, T. putrescentiae at 26.1%, L. destructor at 21.7%, and G. domesticus at 17.4%. In dust samples collected from the dwellings of children, distribution of species was found to be A. siro (17%), G. domesticus (23%), T. putrescentiae (29%), L. destructor (25%), and unidentified (6%). In Fisher's chi-square test on SPSS program, there was a relationship between dust mite sensitization and storage mite sensitization (P < 0.05), but no meaningful relationship was found on the basis of individual mite species.
Dust mite; storage mite; sensitization; children; Kutahya; Turkey
House dust mites produce potent allergens that exacerbate asthma in sensitized patients, whom are recommended to practice allergen avoidance within their home environment. We tested the effect of activated charcoal impregnated fibers on house dust mite survival. One hundred live adult house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) were added to eight culture dishes preequilibrated at room temperature (n = 4) and 70% humidity (n = 4) containing house dust mite food and active charcoal fibers. At 10 minute intervals, live and dead house dust mites were counted. All house dust mites instantly attached to the activated charcoal fibers and started to shrink almost immediately. There were no live house dust mites present as early as 40 minutes in some dishes while after 190 minutes all house dust mites were dead. In conclusion, activated charcoal fibers, if incorporated into bedding items, have the potential to control house dust mites in the indoor environment.
House dust mite sensitized asthmatics are advised to practice allergen avoidance. Charcoal pillows are used in Korea with unsubstantiated claims regarding their efficacy in alleviating asthma symptoms. We tested the effects of activated charcoal on breeding of house dust mites in culture. Twenty live adult house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) were inoculated, 10 replicates, on culture media containing 0%, 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% activated charcoal and incubated at 25℃ and a relative humidity of 75%. After four weeks, the mean numbers of live house dust mites were 286, 176, 46, 16, 7, and 0 for the 0%, 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% charcoal-containing culture media, respectively. Thus, activated charcoal suppresses breeding of house dust mites and offers a new promising method for house dust mite control.
Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus; House Dust Mite; Activated Charcoal; Survival; Allergy
House dust mites are the most important cause of respiratory allergy in Korea. Standardization of allergen extracts is essential for improving diagnostics and immunotherapeutics. This study was undertaken to evaluate the allergenicity of standardized house dust mite allergen extracts from Korean house dust mite isolates.
Allergen extracts were prepared from cultured Korean house dust mites (Dermatophagoides farinae and D. pteronyssinus). Allergenic activities of Korean house dust mite extracts were compared to standardized extracts from a company in the United States whose allergen concentrations were expressed as Allergy Units (AUs). Specifically, we compared group 1 and 2 major allergens using two-site enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits and an in vivo intradermal test.
Major allergen concentrations were 17.0 µg/mg (5.0 µg/mg of Der f 1 and 12.0 µg/mg of Der f 2) for a D. farinae extract and 24.0 µg/mg (11.6 µg/mg of Der p 1 and 12.4 µg/mg of Der p 2) for a D. pteronyssinus extract. Using chloramphenicol (CAP) inhibition assays, AUs were 12.5 AU/µg for a D. farinae extract and 12.8 AU/µg for a D. pteronyssinus extract. Allergenic activities were 3- to 4-fold stronger when assessed by intradermal skin tests for in vivo standardization.
Allergen extracts were prepared from Korean house dust mites and the allergenicities of the extracts were estimated using AU measurements. House dust mite extracts prepared in this study could be utilized as a reference material, which will be useful for the development of diagnostic and immunotherapeutic reagents in Korea.
Allergen; house dust mite; standardization
Sensitization to house dust mite allergens is strongly correlated with asthma. Der p 7 elicits strong IgE antibody and T-cell responses in mite allergic patients. However, the structure and biological function of this important allergen are unknown. Allergen function may contribute to allergenicity as shown for the protease activity of Group 1 mite allergens and the interaction with the innate immune system by Group 2 mite allergens.
To determine the crystal structure of Der p 7 and to investigate its biological function.
X-ray crystallography was utilized to determine the Der p 7 structure. NMR analysis and biochemical assays were used to examine the binding of Der p 7 to predicted ligands.
Der p 7 has an elongated structure with two 4-stranded anti-parallel β-sheets which wrap around a long C-terminal helix. The fold of Der p 7 is similar to lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP), which interacts with Toll-like receptors (TLRs) after binding lipopolysaccharide and other bacterially-derived lipid ligands. NMR and biochemical assays indicate that Der p 7 does not bind lipopolysaccharide but binds with weak affinity to the bacterial lipopeptide polymyxin B in the predicted binding site of Der p 7.
Der p 7 binds a bacterially-derived lipid product, a common feature of some allergens. The finding that the Group 7 as well as the Group 2 mite allergens are structurally similar to different proteins in the TLR pathway further strengthens the connections between dust mites, innate immunity, and allergy.
Asthma; allergens; dust mites; Der p 7; lipopolysaccharide binding protein; TLR4; lipopeptide; innate immunity
Group 8 mite allergens exhibit sequence homology to glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), such as that from Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p 8). GSTs have been identified as important allergens in studies of allergens from house dust mites, cockroaches, and fungi. Our objective was to purify the native group 8 allergen from Tyrophagus putrescentiae (nTyr p 8) and generate recombinant Tyr p 8 (rTyr p 8) for immunological characterization. The allergenicity was determined by antibody recognition, IgE inhibition, and triggering of the basophil-sensitized release of histamine, using T. putrescentiae hypersensitivity sera. The results showed that the mRNA transcript of nTyr p 8 is 657 bp long, contains 218 amino acids with a molecular mass of 26 kDa, and exhibits 83% sequence homology to Der p 8. Serum samples from the allergic patients with an IgE-positive response to T. putrescentiae were analyzed to determine their IgE response to rTyr p 8. The results showed that the sera of 48 subjects (45.3%) had specific IgE against rTyr p 8. However, sera of only 19 subjects (17.9%) had specific IgE against rTyr p 8 after D. pteronyssinus absorption. Histamine release was observed from T. putrescentiae-allergic subjects in the presence of rTyr p 8. Both the nTyr p 8 and T. putrescentiae crude extract had been demonstrated to possess GST enzymatic activity. Although the specific binding of serum IgE to rTyr p 8 was only 17.9%, which indicates that rTyr p 8 was not a major allergen, the positive response to rTyr p 8 was due to the cross-reactivity with Der p 8. The group 8 mite allergen might be of use in the design of a suitable allergen for diagnosis and for the development of novel immunotherapies.
Sensitizations to house dust mites (HDM) trigger strong exacerbated allergen-induced inflammation of the skin and airways mucosa from atopic subjects resulting in atopic dermatitis as well as allergic rhinitis and asthma. Initially, the Th2-biased HDM allergic response was considered to be mediated only by allergen B- and T-cell epitopes to promote allergen-specific IgE production as well as IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 to recruit inflammatory cells. But this general molecular model of HDM allergenicity must be revisited as a growing literature suggests that stimulations of innate immune activation pathways by HDM allergens offer new answers to the following question: what makes an HDM allergen an allergen? Indeed, HDM is a carrier not only for allergenic proteins but also microbial adjuvant compounds, both of which are able to stimulate innate signaling pathways leading to allergy. This paper will describe the multiple ways used by HDM allergens together with microbial compounds to control the initiation of the allergic response through engagement of innate immunity.
Studies have demonstrated that IgE-binding cross-reactive epitopes between shrimp, cockroach and house dust mite tropomyosins can account for the presence of detectable IgE to shrimp in people who have cockroach and dust mite allergies.
We investigated the correlation between IgE-mediated sensitization to shrimp, cockroach, and dust mite in relation to allergen exposure in inner-city children.
Five hundred and four serum samples from the National Cooperative Inner City Asthma Study (NCICAS) were evaluated for specific IgE to shrimp and the results were compared to specific IgE to cockroach (Blattella germanica) and dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae). Associations between IgE sensitization to these allergens and environmental exposures were determined.
There was a strong positive correlation between shrimp, cockroach, and dust mite IgE levels. High exposure to cockroach (Bla g) in the home, particularly in the bedroom and television room, was significantly correlated with higher shrimp and cockroach IgE levels. In contrast, high exposure to dust mite in the home was highly correlated with IgE to D.farinae, but not with shrimp IgE levels. There is a synergistic relationship between cockroach IgE and exposure in predicting shrimp IgE levels.
For children with evidence of IgE-mediated sensitization to cockroach and shrimp, having high exposure to cockroach in the home can contribute to higher shrimp IgE levels, which may not correlate with clinical reactivity. Further patient evaluations with clinical histories of shrimp exposure and reactions as well as oral food challenges would have to be performed to confirm these findings.
cockroach; dust mite; shrimp; tropomyosin; cross-reactivity
The nematode Anisakis simplex is a marine parasite that causes allergy as well as anisakiasis in human. Here, we describe the identification of 4 novel allergens in anisakis.
Binding of human IgE to anisakis and house dust mite proteins was investigated by immunoblot with serum from individuals sensitized to anisakis or shrimp. IgE binding patterns in the immunoblots were used for the identification of major Anisakis allergens, which were analysed by mass spectrometry-based proteomics in ESI-Orbitrap, after separation on SDS-gel.
Four new allergen candidates were identified. The first identified allergen was enolase, which is related to the cockroach allergen enolase. The other allergens were Heat Shock Protein-70 (HSP 70), tubulin, and glutathion-S-transferase, which are also present as allergens in house dust mite.
Here we describe the identification of 4 novel IgE binding allergens in anisakis. The allergens might explain IgE cross-reactivity between anisakis and house dust mite or cockroach.
Allergens produced by domestic mites (DM) are among the most common allergic sensitizers and risk factors for asthma. To compare exposure levels between workplaces and living areas a new assay able to measure airborne DM antigen concentrations was developed.
At workplaces and in living areas, 213 floor dust samples and 92 personal inhalable dust samples were collected. For sensitive quantification of DM antigens, a new enzyme immunoassay (EIA) based on polyclonal antibodies to Dermatophagoides farinae extract was developed. Reactivity of five house dust mite and four storage mite species was tested. All dust samples were tested with the new EIA and with the Der f 1 and Der p 1-EIAs (Indoor Biotechnologies, UK) which detect major allergens from D. farinae and D. pteronyssinus by monoclonal antibodies. Samples below the detection limit in the DM-EIA were retested in an assay variant with a fluorogenic substrate (DM-FEIA).
The newly developed DM-EIA detects antigens from all nine tested domestic mite species. It has a lower detection limit of 200 pg/ml of D.farinae protein, compared to 50 pg/ml for the DM-FEIA. DM antigens were detected by DM-EIA/FEIA in all floor dust and 80 (87%) of airborne samples. Der f 1 was found in 133 (62%) floor dust and in only 6 airborne samples, Der p 1 was found in 70 (33%) of floor samples and in one airborne sample. Der f 1 and DM concentrations were highly correlated. DM-antigens were significantly higher in inhalable airborne samples from textile recycling, bed feather filling, feed production, grain storage and cattle stables in comparison to living areas.
A new sensitive EIA directed at DM antigens was developed. DM antigen quantities were well correlated to Der f 1 values and were measurable in the majority (87%) of airborne dust samples. Some workplaces had significantly higher DM antigen concentrations than living areas.
Aims: To determine the frequency of sensitisation to mites among rhinitic laboratory animal workers and to clarify whether sensitisation could be occupational.
Methods: Skin prick tests (SPT) were performed in 40 subjects who were working with laboratory animals in Kuopio University research units and who had been referred to Kuopio University Hospital for work related rhinitis. The SPT panel consisted of three storage mites, two house dust mites, 11 other common environmental airborne allergens, latex, and 2–4 individually relevant laboratory animals. To determine signs of mites in animal facilities, guanine was determined in 22 dust samples taken from feedstuffs or bedding material used for laboratory animals and from rooms where these materials were stored and handled.
Results: Positive SPT results were found in 35 out of 40 workers: in 14 for storage mites, four for house dust mites, 25 for other common aeroallergens, as well as positive reactions to laboratory animals in 19 individuals. The guanine test was positive, indicating the presence of mite derived material in 21 out of 22 dust samples.
Conclusions: This study suggests that subjects who are occupationally exposed to laboratory animals are also exposed to mite derived allergens. Sensitisation to mites is common and may be work related.
The house dust mite is the most important environmental allergen implicated in the aetiology of childhood asthma in the UK. Dust mite barrier bedding is relatively inexpensive, convenient to use, and of proven effectiveness in reducing mattress house dust mite load, but no studies have evaluated its clinical effectiveness in the control of childhood asthma when dispensed in primary care. We therefore aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of house dust mite barrier bedding in children with asthma treated in primary care.
Pragmatic, randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial conducted in eight family practices in England. Forty-seven children aged 5 to 14 years with confirmed house dust mite sensitive asthma were randomised to receive six months treatment with either house dust mite barrier or placebo bedding. Peak expiratory flow was the main outcome measure of interest; secondary outcome measures included asthma symptom scores and asthma medication usage.
No difference was noted in mean monthly peak expiratory flow, asthma symptom score, medication usage or asthma consultations, between children who received active bedding and those who received placebo bedding.
Treating house dust mite sensitive asthmatic children in primary care with house dust mite barrier bedding for six months failed to improve peak expiratory flow. Results strongly suggest that the intervention made no impact upon other clinical features of asthma.
Perennial allergic rhinitis is a common chronic disorder that results most frequently from sensitivity to house dust mites. National and international guidelines for the management of allergic rhinitis recommend that house dust mite avoidance measures be considered in all patients with house dust mite-provoked rhinitis. To assess the benefit and harm of measures designed to reduce house dust mite exposure in the management of house dust mite-sensitive allergic rhinitis, published and unpublished randomised controlled trials were systematically searched. A methodological assessment of trial quality was conducted using the Cochrane approach. Four trials satisfied the inclusion criteria, all of which were small and judged to be of poor quality. The results indicate that, when compared with controls, significant reductions of allergen load can be achieved by physical and chemical means, but there is little evidence at present that these reductions translate into sustained improvements in clinical outcomes. No serious adverse effects were reported from the interventions.
Vaccination with naked DNA encoding antigen induces cellular and humoral immunity characterized by the activation of specific Th1 cells.
To evaluate the effects of vaccination with mixed naked DNA plasmids encoding Der p 1, Der p 2, Der p 3, Der f 1, Der f 2, and Der f 3, the major house dust mite allergens on the allergic inflammation to the whole house dust mites (HDM) crude extract.
Three hundred micrograms of these gene mixtures were injected into muscle of BALB/c mice. Control mice were injected with the pcDNA 3.1 blank vector. After 3 weeks, the mice were actively sensitized and inhaled with the whole house dust mite extract intranasally.
The vaccinated mice showed a significantly decreased synthesis of total and HDM-specific IgE compared with controls. Analysis of the cytokine profile of lymphocytes after challenge with HDM crude extract revealed that mRNA expression of interferon-γ was higher in the vaccinated mice than in the controls. Reduced infiltration of inflammatory cells and the prominent infiltration of CD8+ T cells were observed in histology of lung tissue from the vaccinated mice.
Vaccination with DNA encoding the major house dust mite allergens provides a promising approach for treating allergic responses to whole house dust mite allergens.
In a study of 279 United Kingdom bakery workers a high prevalence of immunological response to storage mites was found. To determine whether this was the consequence of exposure to storage mites in bakery work, a population of salt packing workers was examined as a comparison group not at occupational risk of exposure to storage mites. Forty two per cent of both groups were atopic (had a positive skin prick response greater than negative controls to D pteronyssinus, grass pollen, or cat fur by 2 mm or more) and 33% had an immediate skin prick test response to at least one of four storage mites (L destructor, G domesticus, T putrescentiae, A Siro). A higher percentage of the salt packing workers than the bakery workers had a positive radioallergosorbent test (RAST) (greater than or equal to 0.35 PRU) to D pteronyssinus and to the four storage mites. Logistic regression analysis identified atopy as the most significant variable for a positive skin test and RAST response to storage mites in both groups of workers. RAST inhibition was used to analyse extracted area and personal air samples. Analysis of static area samples for aeroallergen showed immunological identity with flour but L destructor was found in only one of seven exposed filters. The concentration of airborne flour was related to exposure rank of perceived dustiness and gravimetric measurement of total dust. Nineteen out of 32 filters from workers in jobs with higher dust exposure (rank >/=6) had a level of > 10 microgram/m(3) flour whereas this concentrations was exceeded in only one of 23 filters from workers in low dust exposure (< rank 6). It is concluded that storage mites are not of special significance in allergic responses in bakery workers. The development of immunological (and airway) responsiveness to inhaled flour dust is increased in those exposed to higher concentrations of airborne allergen, which appears to be predominantly flour and not storage mites.
House dust mite allergen exposure is a postulated risk factor for allergic sensitization, asthma development, and asthma morbidity; however, practical and effective methods to mitigate these allergens from low-income, urban home environments remain elusive. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of physical interventions to mitigate house dust mite allergens in this setting. Homes with high levels of house dust mite allergen (Der f 1 + Der p 1 > or = 10 microg/g dust by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) in the bed, bedroom carpet, and/or upholstered furniture were enrolled in the study. Carpets and upholstered furniture were subjected to a single treatment of either dry steam cleaning plus vacuuming (carpet only) or intensive vacuuming alone. Bed interventions consisted of complete encasement of the mattress, box spring, and pillows plus either weekly professional or in-home laundering of nonencased bedding. Dust samples were collected at baseline and again at 3 days (carpet and upholstery only) and 2, 4, and 8 weeks posttreatment. We compared pretreatment mean allergen concentrations and loads to posttreatment values and performed between-group analyses after adjusting for differences in the pretreatment means. Both dry steam cleaning plus vacuuming and vacuuming alone resulted in a significant reduction in carpet house dust mite allergen concentration and load (p < 0.05). Levels approached pretreatment values by 4 weeks posttreatment in the intensive vacuuming group, whereas steam cleaning plus vacuuming effected a decrease that persisted for up to 8 weeks. Significant decreases in bed house dust mite allergen concentration and load were obtained in response to encasement and either professional or in-home laundering (p < 0.001). Between-group analysis revealed significantly less postintervention house dust mite allergen load in professionally laundered compared to home-laundered beds (p < 0.05). Intensive vacuuming and dry steam cleaning both caused a significant reduction in allergen concentration and load in upholstered furniture samples (p < 0.005). Based on these data, we conclude that physical interventions offer practical, effective means of reducing house dust mite allergen levels in low-income, urban home environments.
Hypersensitivity to house dust mite (HDM; Dermatophagoides sp.) allergens is one of the most common allergic responses, affecting up to 85% of asthmatics. Sensitization to indoor allergens is the strongest independent risk factor associated with asthma. Additionally, >50% of children and adolescents with asthma are sensitized to HDM. Although allergen-specific CD4+ Th2 cells orchestrate the HDM allergic response through induction of IgE directed toward mite allergens, activation of innate immunity also plays a critical role in HDM-induced allergic inflammation. This review highlights the HDM components that lead to activation of the innate immune response. Activation may due to HDM proteases. Proteases may be recognized by protease-activation receptors (PARs), Toll-like receptors (TLRs), or C-type lectin receptors (CTRs), or act as a molecular mimic for PAMP activation signaling pathways. Understanding the role of mite allergen-induced innate immunity will facilitate the development of therapeutic strategies that exploit innate immunity receptors and associated signaling pathways for the treatment of allergic asthma.
House dust mites; innate immunity; toll-like receptors; C-type lectin receptors; dendritic cells
Asthma is a chronic life-threatening disease of worldwide importance. Although allergic asthma and related atopic conditions correlate strongly with immune sensitization to house dust mites, it is unclear why antigens from mites provoke such powerful allergic immune responses. We have characterized the protease activity of Der p I, the group I protease allergen of the house dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, and here report that it cleaves the low-affinity immunoglobulin (Ig) E Fc receptor (CD23) from the surface of human B lymphocytes. Der p I selectively cleaves CD23 and has no effect on the expression of any other B cell surface molecules tested. We speculate that this loss of cell surface CD23 from IgE-secreting B cells may promote and enhance IgE immune responses by ablating an important feedback inhibitory mechanism that normally limits IgE synthesis. Furthermore, since soluble CD23 is reported to promote IgE production, fragments of CD23 released by Der p I may directly enhance the synthesis of IgE. alpha 1-Antiprotease, a pulmonary antiprotease, is also shown to inhibit the cleavage of CD23 by Der p I. This may be significant in the etiopathogenesis of asthma, because other indoor pollutants associated with asthma are known to potently inhibit this antiprotease. These data suggest that the proteolytic activity of Der p I, the group I allergen of the house dust mite D. pteronyssinus, is mechanistically linked to the potent allergenicity of house dust mites. Furthermore, inhibition of Der p I by alpha 1-antiprotease suggests a mechanism by which confounding factors, such as tobacco smoke, may act as a risk factor for allergic asthma.
Storage mites (acarid mites) are related to the house dust mite but are usually found in agricultural environments. They have been shown to cause allergic symptoms in Scottish farmworkers exposed to stored hay, but whether farmworkers who grow and store grain are also at risk is unknown. One hundred and one farmworkers on 22 Essex farms with grain storage facilities (88% of the available workforce) participated in a survey of respiratory symptoms, with skin tests and determination of serum levels of IgE specific for mite species, including storage mites. Of the 101 workers, 21 reported attacks of cough, wheeze, or breathlessness after exposure to stored grain and 15 reported nasal symptoms after grain exposure. Storage mite specific IgE was found in 59% of farmworkers with work related respiratory symptoms, in 60% with work related nasal symptoms, and in only 9% of symptomless farmworkers. Work related respiratory and nasal symptoms were also significantly associated with atopy, and with positive skin test responses and serum IgE specific for Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus. Storage mites were found in grain samples from 16 farms in which grain was sampled, whereas D pteronyssinus was not found in any. The close association between serum storage mite specific IgE and occupational respiratory symptoms suggests that storage mites may be responsible for respiratory symptoms in these Essex farmworkers exposed to grain.
The bed is commonly regarded as the main site of house dust mite exposure; however this has not been directly established by continuous measurements. The objective of this study was to determine the pattern of personal exposure to mite aeroallergen over 24 hours.
12 adults each collected 9 sequential samples (8 during the day, mean 115 mins, and one overnight, mean 514 mins) over 24 hours using a portable air-pump (2L/min) connected to an IOM filter located on the shoulder during the day and on the bed head overnight. Samples were analysed for mite allergen Der p 1 by ELISA. Location and activity were recorded. A mixed model analysis was performed to determine exposure as a function of 14 categories of activity.
Personal aeroallergen exposure differed widely over time, both within and between subjects. The highest average exposure (1117 pg/m3, 95% CI: 289-4314) occurred on public transport and the lowest overnight in bed (45 pg/m3, 95% CI: 17-17), which contributed only 9.8% (95% CI: 4.4%-15.1%) of total daily exposure. Aeroallergens were not related to bed reservoirs.
The study challenges the current paradigm that the bed is the main site of HDM exposure and instead suggests most exposure occurs in association with domestic activity and proximity to other people. Effective mite interventions, designed to improve asthma outcomes, need to first identify and then address the multiple sources of aeroallergen exposure.
The aetiological importance of the house-dust mite, Dermatophagoides sp., was examined in 133 asthmatic children referred to hospital. Evidence of sensitization to this allergen from positive skin tests and the presence of circulating specific IgE was found in the majority of these children and sensitization often began in the preschool years. In vitro studies of specific IgE levels were found to bear a close relation to nasal provocation tests and probably have an important place in the identification of offending allergens in the paediatric patient.
Ecological studies of the house-dust mite revealed its common occurrence in domestic environments, especially in the bed and bedroom. The mites were not found in hospital beds and only low levels of infestation were found in perambulators and cots and in residential schools for `delicate' children. The findings stress the major importance of this allergen in the causation of childhood asthma.
Bedding dust is a mixture of many components, of which the house dust mite (HDM) allergen, Der p 1, is the most allergenic. There has been little work to investigate the effect of other bedding dust components on HDM sensitisation. The objective of the study was to determine the effect of endotoxin in bedding dust on the allergic response in HDM-sensitised individuals. Twenty-nine house dust mite-sensitised adults were skin prick and allergen patch tested against a sterile solution of their own bedding dust and against a solution containing the same concentration of Der p 1 as the bedding solution for comparison. There was no significant difference in wheal size between the diluted house dust mite solution and the bedding dust in spite of their high levels of endotoxin. Symptomatic subjects had larger, but not statistically significant, responses to commercial house dust mite solution than asymptomatic subjects. Allergen patch test responses were negative in 22/29 of subjects using either bedding dust solutions or comparable diluted house dust mite solutions. An individual's own bedding dust does not appear to contain factors that enhance skin prick test or atopy patch test responses to house dust mites.
According to hygiene hypothesis, a lower exposure to infection is associated with increased prevalence of allergic diseases. This study aimed to investigate the association between atopy and Toxoplasma gondii (Tg) infection by analyzing the antibody and cytokine responses to house dust mite allergens and T. gondii antigens in Brazilian subjects. A total of 275 individuals were assessed and divided into atopics (n=129) and non-atopics (n=146) based on markers of allergy (positive skin prick test and ELISA-IgE to mite allergens) or Tg-seropositive (n=116) and Tg-seronegative (n=159) groups according to infection markers (positive ELISA-IgG to T. gondii). Tg-seropositive individuals presented lower allergenic sensitization (37%) to mite allergens than Tg-seronegative subjects (54%). A significant association was found between atopy and negative serology to T. gondii (OR: 2.0; 95% CI: 1.23–3.26; P<0.05). Proliferative responses and cytokine production after antigenic stimulation showed predominant synthesis of Th1-cytokines as IFN-γ in Tg-seropositive patients, whether atopics or non-atopics. Conversely, Th2-cytokines as IL-5 prevailed in atopics compared to non-atopics, regardless the seropositivity to T. gondii. Levels of IL-10, IL-13, IL-17, and TGF-β were not able to discriminate the groups. Hence, a negative association between atopy and infection by T. gondii was demonstrated for the first time in Brazilian subjects, focusing on the antibody and cytokine responses and indicating that the immunomodulation induced by the parasite may play a protective role in the development of allergic diseases.
Toxoplasma gondii; Allergic diseases; House dust mites; Hygiene hypothesis; IgE antibodies; Cytokines
OBJECTIVE--Extensive IgE serology in occupational or environmental health studies is often hampered by a lack of technical facilities and finance. The use in population studies of relatively simple and inexpensive enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) was therefore evaluated for the assessment of total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE), and of specific IgE reactions with various common (house dust mites, grass and birch pollen, and cat) or occupational (fungal alpha-amylase and rat urinary protein) allergens. METHODS--Total IgE was measured with a sandwich EIA, calibrated with commercially available IgE standards. Reproducibility was studied by testing pooled normal human serum samples in each of a large series of test plates. A panel of 156 children's serum samples with known IgE values was used to compare the assay with other total IgE assays. A previously developed EIA for anti-yeast IgE was adapted for the measurement of IgE reacting with various common and occupational allergens. Binding of IgE to microwells coated with commercially available allergen extracts, or allergen preparations from our own laboratory, was measured with a monoclonal anti-human IgE antibody and subsequent incubations with biotinylated rabbit anti-mouse Ig and avidin-peroxidase. Panels of serum samples from school children (n = 116), bakery workers (n = 126), and laboratory animal workers (n = 52) were used to study sensitivity and specificity, with reference to skin prick tests as the standard, and to compare the EIAs with commercially available test kits. RESULTS--The detection limit of the EIA for total IgE was 0.5-1 kU/l for undiluted serum samples, and the coefficient of variation between assays was less than 15% at serum concentrations between 1 and 150 kU/l. Results obtained with the panel of 156 children's serum samples were strongly correlated (r2 = 0.86) with IgE concentrations measured previously by radioimmunoassay. The results of the EIA for various occupational allergens correlated very well, both qualitatively and quantitatively, with the results of commercial test kits. Sensitivity and specificity of the EIA results as a predictor of skin prick test reactivity towards common allergens (house dust mite, grass pollen, birch pollen, and cat) were remarkably high (> 80%-90%) in the series of 116 children's serum samples. In a population of bakery workers the specificity of the EIAs was also very high (> 90%). The sensitivity was notably lower (30%-70%) in this adult population, which is, however, in agreement with results reported for conventional IgE tests. CONCLUSION--As the costs were estimated to be at least five to 10-fold lower than those of commercial test kits, the EIAs for total and specific IgE may be very useful tools in epidemiological studies of atopic respiratory or other disorders.