Bla g 1 Allergen Levels in Zagreb Area Household Dust
Cockroach allergy is a health problem in many parts of the world. In urban environments, indoor exposure to cockroach allergens involves a risk of asthma. The aim of this study was to measure the mass fraction of Bla g 1, a major allergen of the German cockroach (Blatella germanica) in 30 house samples, collected at random from Zagreb area households, Croatia. Dust samples were collected on cellulose filters by vacuuming living rooms floors. After extraction, Bla g 1 was detected using the commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Only four of the thirty households had detectable Bla g 1 levels, and only in one was its concentration higher than 2.0 U g-1, the threshold associated with sensitisation. The Bla g 1 ELISA proved highly sensitive, with the detection limit of 0.12 U g-1. The within- and between-assay imprecision was 8.9 % and 14.4 %, respectively, and accuracy 85 % to 120 %. Low Bla g 1 levels in the household dust support previously reported low prevalence of skin sensitisation to B. germanica among Zagreb residents. Further monitoring should reveal if there are differences in cockroach allergen exposure and sensitisation between households from other geographic areas in Croatia.