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Original Article


Mite allergen levels and acarologic analysis in house dust samples in Uberaba, Brazil


S.A. Terra1, D.A.O. Silva1, M.C. Sopelete1, J. Mendes2, S.J. Sung3 and E.A. Taketomi1

1Division of Immunology, 2Division of Parasitology, Biomedical Science Institute, Federal University of Uberlândia, Uberlândia, MG, Brazil and
3Division of Rheumatology, Health Sciences Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

J Invest Allergol Clin Immunol 2004; Vol. 14(3): 232-237



Mite allergen exposure has been widely related to sensitization and development of allergic diseases. This study intended to evaluate the degree of allergen exposure in Uberaba, Brazil, through the measurements of Der f 1 and Der p 1 allergen levels associated with the acarologic analysis in house dust samples.

A total of 240 dust samples were collected from 60 houses through vacuuming sofas and bedding, during the months of March and July 2000. Indoor temperature and relative humidity were also measured. Mites were counted and identified under light microscopy and allergen levels were measured by two-site monoclonal antibody ELISAs.

The major mite family was Pyroglyphidae (39.4%), having D. pteronyssinus as the most frequent species (15.6%), followed by D. farinae (12.3%) and E. maynei (7.9%). The family Glycyphagidae was less commonly found (4.8%), with Blomia tropicalis (4.4%) as its majoritary member. The highest levels of Der f 1 and Der p 1 allergens were found in bedding samples in March (31.7 and 0.9 µg/g of dust, respectively), with Der f 1 levels significantly higher than Der p 1 (p < 0.0001). There was a significant positive correlation between the mite number and allergen levels.

These results indicate that Dermatophagoides sp are the most frequent mites in our region followed by E. maynei. Therefore, the knowledge of the local mite fauna would improve the means of investigating the association between allergen
exposure and sensitization, allowing the addition of new mite extracts in diagnostic tests.

Key words
: Acarologic analysis - Allergen exposure - Der f 1 allergen - Der p 1 allergen - House dust mite