The biology of dust mites and the remediation of mite allergens in allergic disease

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Mar;107(3 Suppl):S406-13. doi: 10.1067/mai.2001.113670.


In most temperate humid areas of the world, house dust mites are a major source of multiple allergens in house dust. Mite allergens sensitize and induce perennial rhinitis, asthma, or atopic dermatitis in a large portion of patients with allergic disease. There is convincing evidence that avoidance of mite allergen can effectively reduce allergic symptoms. Patients can be moved to a mite allergen-free environment, or mite and mite allergen abatement can be performed to reduce exposure in existing residences. Some knowledge of the biology of house dust mites is essential to understand the basis of the recommendations for reducing mites and mite allergens in homes and to appreciate the difficulty of eliminating house dust mites and mite allergens from homes. This article reviews key aspects of the biology of dust mites, the properties of mite allergens, recommendations for reducing mite and mite allergen concentrations in homes, and practical recommendations for treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Hypersensitivity / prevention & control
  • Mites / classification
  • Mites / immunology*
  • Mites / physiology*


  • Allergens