It has been 50 years since the dust mite was first appreciated to be a major source of allergen in house dust, and by extension a key trigger of allergic respiratory disease. Since that time a number of protein allergens have been identified and characterized, mainly from mite feces, and standardized mite extracts and IgE assays have been developed. Insights into the lifecycle of dust mites and aspects of mite allergen biology have shed light on the mechanisms that lead to respiratory disease and to the development of interventions that can minimize dust mite allergen exposure. It is now clear that dust mite allergy is a key contributor to asthma in many parts of the world, and that long-term avoidance can be effective for preventing sensitization and minimizing the development and severity of respiratory disease. Here, we discuss the evidence linking dust mites with respiratory disease, outline studies that support the efficacy of home environmental interventions, and highlight practical methods that have been shown to be effective as part of a multifaceted approach to dust mite avoidance.
Keywords: Allergen avoidance; Allergic asthma; House dust mite.
Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.