The prevalence of immediate positive skin tests to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and grass pollen in schoolchildren


Dr R. C. Godfrey, Faculty of Medicine, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton SO9 4XY.


The prevalence of immediate positive reactions to prick testing with house dust mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) and grass pollen allergens was determined in a random sample of 303 children aged between 8 and 14 years from two Southampton schools. One hundred and two (33.7%) showed positive reactions, fifty to both D. pteronyssinus and grass pollen, thirty to D. pteronyssinus only and twenty-two to pollen only. Allergic symptoms were present in fifty-one of the 102 children with positive skin tests; amongst thirty children with D. pteronyssinus skin sensitivity by itself, only six had symptoms suggestive of allergic disorder. Significantly more children with positive than with negative tests were reported by their parents to have suffered from recurrent bronchitis during early childhood.