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Keywords:

  • allergens;
  • biologic standardization;
  • Blomia tropicalis;
  • Dermatophagoides siboney;
  • domestic mites;
  • skin prick test

Background: This study aimed to investigate the influence of patient selection criteria, i.e., mite-allergic individuals exposed and not exposed to Dermatophagoides siboney and Blomia tropicalis, on the biologic activity of mite extracts. Determination of the potency of mite extracts in vivo requires selection of patients with a clinical history of mite allergy. In Scandinavia, there are some anamnestic criteria for mite allergy, whereas in the tropics, where patients are continuously exposed to high levels of mites, selection of patients with mite allergy by clinical history is difficult.

Methods: A total of 210 Cuban asthmatics with continuous symptoms, and 43 Swedes with a clinical history of mite allergy were investigated. Skin prick tests were performed with D. siboney, D. pteronyssinus, D. farinae, B. tropicalis, Acarus siro, Lepidoglyphus destructor, and Tyrophagus putrescentiae extracts. For analysis of the biologic activity of mite extracts, Cuban patients were divided into four groups:

1)all patients skin-test-positive to mites

2)patients positive to mites, but not to other inhalant allergens

3)patients reacting most to the mite species analyzed

4)patients reactive only to mites and reacting most to the mite species analyzed.

The biologic potency was calculated according to the Nordic Guidelines.

Results: Due to cross-reactivity between mites, Swedish mite-sensitive patients, with a clear clinical history of mite allergy, but not exposed to D. siboney and B. tropicalis, were more skin reactive to these mites than were Cubans. The estimated potency increased gradually to >200% in group 4. In group 1 Cubans, the reactivity to all mites but B. tropicalis was lower than that in mite-sensitive Swedes.

Conclusions: According to the influence of patient selection criteria on the estimation of the potency of mite extracts, the determination of the biologic activity of allergenic extracts in subjects without a clear-cut clinical history should be replaced by new methods when available.