Background: Effective methods of reducing dog allergen are required to help alleviate symptoms in asthmatic patients sensitized to dog who refuse to part with their pet. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of the high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter air cleaner to reduce airborne Can f 1 in homes with a dog.
Methods: The effect of a HEPA air cleaner was investigated in nine homes with a dog. Samples were collected from two rooms of each house concurrently, one of which contained the dog, on two separate days (active day – HEPA air cleaner on – and control day). Eight consecutive 1-h samples were collected from each room with a high-volume air sampler (airflow rate 60 l/min). Can f 1 was determined by monoclonal-polyclonal antibody-based ELISA.
Results: Baseline airborne Can f 1 levels were 3.8-fold greater when sampling was performed with a dog in the room (GM 27.1 ng Can f 1/m3, range 2.63–329) than when the dog was elsewhere in the house (GM 7.1 ng Can f 1/m3, range 0.69–27.2). When the dog was elsewhere in the house, airborne Can f 1 levels fell on both active and control days, but the magnitude of the reduction was significantly greater on the active days (P<0.05), and was approximately 90% from baseline. With the dog in the room, a significant fall in airborne Can f 1 was observed only on active days (75% from baseline), but not on control days (active vs control P<0.001).
Conclusions: HEPA air cleaners reduce airborne Can f 1 in homes with dogs. Furthermore, preventing the access of the dog to the bedroom and possibly the living room may reduce the total allergen load inhaled.