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Keywords:

  • cockroach;
  • exposure;
  • house dust mite;
  • indoor allergens;
  • risk factors

To cite this article: Zhang C, Gjesing B, Lai X, Li J, Spangfort MD, Zhong N. Indoor allergen levels in Guangzhou city, southern China. Allergy 2011; 66: 186–191.

Abstract

Background:  High levels of sensitization to house dust mites have been observed in Chinese allergic patients. This study has measured levels and distributions of mite and cockroach allergens in household dust in Guangzhou. Influences of home characteristics and seasonal changes on allergen levels were also investigated.

Methods:  Dust samples were collected from bedding and living room from households in Guangzhou. Major allergens from Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, D. farinae, D. microceras, Blomia tropicalis and cockroach allergens were measured by ELISA. Home characteristics were obtained from a questionnaire.

Results:  Four hundred and four dust samples were collected from 107 homes during October 2006 to November 2007. House dust mite allergen levels were detectable in 99% of the bedding samples. Der f 1 levels were significantly higher than Der p 1 levels. High levels of mite allergens (>10 μg/g) were observed in 88% of all the bedding samples. Cockroach allergens were detected in 93% of households and were higher in living room samples than in bedding samples. Blo t 5 and Der m 1 could not be detected in the dust samples. Having fabric furniture was a predictor of high allergen levels. Der f 1 levels were higher in summer time than in winter time. Cockroach allergens were higher in winter time than in summer time.

Conclusion:  In Guangzhou, Der f 1 is the predominant mite allergen in dust with very high levels in bedding. Cockroach allergens are also common.