Sensitivity to house dust mite allergens and prevalence of allergy-causing house dust mite species in Pothwar, Pakistan

Exp Appl Acarol. 2018 Apr;74(4):415-426. doi: 10.1007/s10493-018-0243-1. Epub 2018 Mar 10.


This study is the first report on the epidemiological status of house dust mite (HDM) allergy in Pothwar, Pakistan. Allergy data of 2087 symptomatic patients were obtained, of whom 1706 (81.7%) patients were skin-prick-test positive for HDM allergens. This percentage was significantly higher than for pollen and food allergens. In the results of this study Dermatophagoides farinae (61%) and D. pteronyssinus (29%) were the predominant species in the study area. Besides these pyroglyphids, predatory Cheyletus sp. (10%) and an oribatid mite sp. (1%) were also observed. Random and patients' houses showed 87.4 and 87.1% positive mite infestation, respectively. Mean (± SEM) D. farinae counts per g of dust in random samples was 235.4 ± 7.93 compared to 274.7 ± 10.78 from patients' homes. Mean D. pteronyssinus counts from random houses compared to patients' houses were 115.0 ± 4.57 and 124.6 ± 5.76, respectively. Mite counts depicted seasonal variation, with peaks during monsoon season. ELISA results of dust samples demonstrated that of the dust samples with > 10 µg/g of dust, the threshold value described as a risk factor for developing asthma, 57.6% had Der f1 and 20% Der p1 allergen load. Mean Der f1 burden was significantly higher than Der p1, with maximum levels during monsoon and autumn seasons. This research established a better awareness about the epidemiological status of HDM allergy and prevalence of allergy causing HDM species in Pakistan.

Keywords: Der f1 and Der p1 allergen; Epidemiology; HDM allergy; Prevalence of allergy causing HDM species.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Dermatophagoides / immunology*
  • Dermatophagoides farinae / immunology*
  • Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus / immunology*
  • Dust / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Prevalence


  • Antigens, Dermatophagoides
  • Dust