Mites from house dust in Glasgow



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    1. Department of Zoology, University of Glasgow
      *Department of Zoology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ,: Scotland
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*Department of Zoology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ,: Scotland


Abstract. Glasgow's mild, high-rainfall climate, combined with a deteriorating quality of housing and low standards of living in many parts of the city, makes it a particularly suitable place for thriving populations of house dust mites. The acarofauna in 124 samples of house dust from beds and carpets in seventy-four homes in Glasgow, Scotland, comprised thirty-one species of which the most abundant were pteronyssinus (Trouessart) (64.3%), Glycyphagus domesticus (De Geer) (16.7%), Euroglyphus maynei (Cooreman) (11.6%), Tarsonemus sp. (1.6%), Cheyletus eruditus (Schrank) (1.5%), C.trouessarti Oudemans (0.9%), Tarsonemus fusarii Cooreman (0.8%) and Glycyphagus destructor (Schrank) (0.7%). Mites were present in all the homes surveyed and the mean population density was found to be 97/100 mg of dust (range 2–1210). Over 47% of homes visited showed signs of disrepair associated with damp, especially unmodernized flats in old tenement buildings and 1960s council housing stock, many of which contain deprived occupants. There was a high incidence of hygrophilic species such as Glycyphagus spp., Tarsonemus spp. and Euroglyphus maynei in such homes. Samples from homes of atopic asthmatics were found to contain significantly fewer mites than those from normal volunteers (x2=54.7). This was partly due to the use of house dust mite avoidance measures (e.g. regular vacuum cleaning of mattresses as well as carpets) by some of the asthmatics.