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House dust and forage mite allergens and their role in human and canine atopic dermatitis


Peter B. Hill, Division of Companion Animal Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK. E-mail:


This article reviews the literature regarding the role of house dust and forage mite allergens in canine atopic dermatitis. The presence of immunoglobulin E (IgE) to these mites, especially to Dermatophagoides farinae, is common in both normal and atopic dogs. Exposure of dogs to the different mites is described both in the direct environment and in the coat of animals for house dust mites and in the food for forage mites. Allergens causing allergic disease in dogs seem to be different from those in humans. Dogs seem to react to high molecular weight allergens, compared to the low molecular weight group 1 and group 2 proteases that are commonly implicated in humans with atopic diseases. Despite numerous published studies dealing with this subject, a number of questions still need to be addressed to better understand the exact role of these mites in the pathogenesis of canine atopic dermatitis and to improve the quality of the allergens used in practice.