High mite-allergen exposure increases the risk of sensitization in atopic children and young adults

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1989 Nov;84(5 Pt 1):718-25. doi: 10.1016/0091-6749(89)90300-x.


Concentrations of major allergens of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dpt) and D. farinae (Df), Der p I and Der f I, were determined in 183 dust samples of mattresses of 133 atopic and 50 nonatopic children by a sandwich-type ELISA. Atopic children and young adults living in houses with high levels of Der p I and Der f I (greater than or equal to 2000 ng/gm of dust) were found to have significantly higher serum IgE levels to Dpt and Df (p less than 0.0001) compared to patients with low mite-allergen exposure. Washed leukocytes of 55 atopic children and 14 control subjects were investigated for in vitro histamine release to serial dilutions of Der p I; 86% of highly exposed (greater than or equal to 10,000 ng/gm) children demonstrated positive histamine release in response to Der p I compared to 17% in the group with very low exposure (less than 400 ng/gm). There was a positive correlation between basophil sensitivity (rs = 0.6; p less than 0.0001) and reactivity (rs = 0.54; p less than 0.0001) to Der p I and mite-allergen exposure. The relative risk for sensitization in the highly exposed group versus the group with very low exposure was sevenfold to 32-fold increased. We conclude that high concentrations of mite allergen (greater than or equal to 2000 ng/gm) increase the risk of specific sensitization in atopic children and young adults and thus may facilitate allergic airway disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Allergens / administration & dosage*
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Basophils / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Histamine Release
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / biosynthesis
  • Infant
  • Mites / immunology*
  • Radioallergosorbent Test


  • Allergens
  • Immunoglobulin E