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Summary

Inheritance and allergen exposure are key factors in the development and the course of atopic allergy, expressed as conjunctivitis, rhinitis, asthma or dermatitis. This study concerns the clinical significance of mite and mite-allergen avoidance measures based on intensive cleaning with acaricide (solidified benzylbenzoate) added (10 dwellings), and without biocidal activity (10 other homes) as a control in a double-blind trial with matched pairs. Twenty subjects with persisting rhinitic complaints were selected. They lived in 20 different dwellings and were ail sensitized to pyroglyphid mites; 12 of them were also sensitized to stored product miles (Acari). Daily symptoms and medication score, guanine and dust exposure, total and mite-specific IgE in serum, eosinophilia in the blood and in the nasal smear, intracutaneous tests with house dust mite and storage mite extracts were compared in both pairs and groups. Acarological data, physiochemical aspects and exposure assessment are discussed in detail elsewhere. Symptom scores dropped significantly, as did the total IgE and exposure to dust and mite products in the acaricidal cleaner treatment group. After 1 year, the daily symptoms median was 47% (P= 0.025), total IgE was 38% (P=0.0049), and exposure to dust and mite products (guanine exposure) was 53% (P= 0.0449) better or lower than in the controls. Intensive cleaning, without acaricidal treatment performed twice a year, resulted in clinical improvement in four out of 10 subjects, of whom none became free of complaints. In the Acarosan treatment group (cleaning+ benzylbenzoate) eight out of 10 subjcets improved, in three cases subjective symptoms disappeared. The conclusion is that mite avoidance in homes can be carried out successfully with a special acaricidal cleaning formulation Acarosan.