Background: The house dust mite, Euroglyphus maynei (EM), is common in homes in England, Europe, the southern United States, and other parts of the world. It is often present in densities greater than 100 mites per gram of dust. EM usually occurs with Dermatophagoides farinae (DF) and D. pteronyssinus (DP) and it is frequently more abundant than Dermatophagoides species. Therefore the allergenicity of EM and the cross-reactivity between EM and Dermatophagoides species are important considerations for diagnosis of mite-induced allergy and the use of appropriate immunotherapy.
Methods: Crossed immunoelectrophoresis revealed that EM was the source of at least 33 antigens. Crossed radioimmunoelectrophoresis with 32 different sera from patients with RAST results that were positive to EM and skin test results that were positive to both DF and DP identified 15 allergens. Individual sera recognized two to eight EM antigens as allergens.
Results: Ninety-one percent of the patients showed serum IgE directed at three or more allergens. Eighty-four percent of the patients had moderate or strong levels of IgE directed at antigen no. 33. All 15 allergens showed moderate or strong IgE binding by one or more sera. EM shared four and six cross-reacting allergens with DF and DP, respectively. Therefore 11 and 9 allergens of EM were species-specific and not shared by DF and DP, respectively.
Conclusions: The results of this study clearly indicate that sensitivity to EM should be considered in geographic areas where this mite is abundant in homes.