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Keywords:

  • adhesive tape;
  • bedding surface;
  • Der f 1;
  • Der p 1;
  • human skin surface;
  • index of exposure

Summary

Background The level of the Dermatophagoides mite group 1 (Der 1) allergens in reservoir dust has been used as an index of exposure in most studies. However, the mite allergen level in reservoir dust cannot directly reflect the personal exposure level.

Objective We sought to develop a new method for quantifying the Der 1 allergens on bedding and human skin surfaces as an index of exposure to mite allergens.

Methods Samples were obtained with a small adhesive tape from the forearm skin of 30 healthy volunteers and from their regularly used mattresses. The level of Der 1 allergens collected onto the adhesive tape was measured by a newly developed sensitive fluorometric ELISA for Der p 1 and Der f 1.

Results The Der 1 allergens could be detected in all the samples from bedding surfaces and in 28 of the 30 samples from skin surfaces. The Der 1 levels by adhesive tape sampling from the mattresses correlated with those by reservoir dust sampling. The sampling of the skin and bedding surface with adhesive tape correlated, but skin sampling did not correlate with reservoir sampling.

Conclusion The Der 1 allergens on bedding surfaces and on human skin surfaces could be quantified with a very simple sampling technique. The system developed in this study will provide a new tool for the assessment of mite allergen exposure in daily life.