Pyroglyphid Mites as a Source of Work-Related Allergens
Pyroglyphid mites are primarily associated with allergen exposure at home; hence the name house dust mites. However, we have found numerous studies reporting pyroglyhid mite levels in public and occupational settings. This review presents the findings of house dust mite allergens (family Pyroglyphidae, species Dermatophagoides) as potential work-related risk factors and proposes occupations at risk of house dust mite-related diseases. Pyroglyphid mites or their allergens are found in various workplaces, but clinically relevant exposures have been observed in hotels, cinemas, schools, day-care centres, libraries, public transportation (buses, trains, taxies, and airplanes), fishing-boats, submarines, poultry farms, and churches. Here we propose a classification of occupational risk as low (occasional exposure to mite allergen levels up to 2 μg g-1), moderate (exposure between 2 μg g-1 and 10 μg g-1), and high (exposure >10 μg g-1). The classification of risk should include factors relevant for indoor mite population (climate, building characteristics, and cleaning schedule). To avoid development or aggravation of allergies associated with exposure to house dust mites at work, occupational physicians should assess exposure risk at work, propose proper protection, provide vocational guidance to persons at risk and conduct pre-employment and periodic examinations to diagnose new allergy cases. Protection at work should aim to control dust mite levels at work. Measures may include proper interior design and regular cleaning and building maintenance.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
World Health Organization (WHO). Dust mite allergens and asthma: a worldwide problem. International Workshop Report. Bull World Health Organ 1988;66:769-80.
Nelson HS. The importance of allergens in the development of asthma and the persistence of symptoms. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000;105(6 Pt 2):S628-32.
Johansson SG, Bieber T, Dahl R, Friedmann PS, Lanier BQ, Lockey RF, Motala C, Ortega Martell JA, Platts-Mills TA, Ring J, Thien F, Van Cauwenberge P, Williams HC. Revised nomenclature for allergy for global use: Report of the Nomenclature Review Committee of the World Allergy Organization, October 2003. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2004;113:832-6.
Dreborg S. Mite allergens. Collection, determination, expression of results, and risk levels for sensitization and symptom induction. Allergy 1998;53(Suppl 48):88-91.
Ćustović A, Chapman M. Risk levels for mite allergens. Are they meaningful? Allergy 1998;53(Suppl 48):71-6.
Hart BJ, Fain A. A new technique for isolation of mites exploiting the difference in density between ethanol and saturated NaCl: qualitative and quantitative studies. Acarologia 1987;28:251-4.
Colloff MJ. Age structure and dynamics of house dust mite populations. Exp Appl Acarol 1992;16:49-74.
Chapman MD. Guanine-an adequate index of mite exposure? Allergy 1993;48:301-2.
Luczynska CM, Arruda LK, Platts-Mills TAE, Miller JD, Lopez M, Chapman MD. A two-site monoclonal antibody ELISA for the quantification of the major Dermatophagoides spp. allergens Der p 1 and Der f 1. J Immunol Methods 1989;118:227-35.
Prester L, Brčić Karačonji I, Macan J. Determination of mite allergens in house dust using the enzyme immunoassay. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2007;58:413-9.
Tsay A, Williams L, Mitchell EB, Chapman MD. A rapid test for detection of mite allergens in homes. Clin Exp Allergy 2002;32:1596-601.
Tsay A, Williams L, Chandler J, Chapman MD. Rapid test for mite allergen detection in the home. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999;103:S235.
Lau A, Schulz G, Sommerfeld C, Wahn U. Comparison of quantitative ELISA and semiquantitative Dustscreen for determination of Der p 1, Der f 1, and Fel d 1 in domestic dust samples. Allergy 2001;56:993-5.
Burney P, Malmberg E, Chinn S, Jarvis D, Luczynska C, Lai E. The distribution of total and specific serum IgE in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1997;99:314-22.
Chew FT, Lim SH, Goh DY, Lee BW. Sensitization to local dust-mite fauna in Singapore. Allergy 1999;54:1150-9.
Zock JP, Heinrich J, Jarvis D, Verlato G, Norbäck D, Plana E, Sunyer J, Chinn S, Olivieri M, Soon A, Villani S, Ponzio M, Dahlman-Hoglund A, Svanes C, Luczynska C. Distribution and determinants of house dust mite allergens in Europe: the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006;118:682-90.
Macan J, Kanceljak B, Plavec D, Milković-Kraus S. Differences in mite fauna between the continental and Mediterranean climates of Croatia: microscopy and Dustscreen test findings. Allergy 2003;58:780-3.
van Hage-Hamsten M, Johansson SG. Storage mites. Exp Appl Acarol 1992;16:117-28.
Tee RD. Allergy to storage mites. Clin Exp Allergy 1994;24:636-40.
Perfetti L, Ferrari M, Galdi E, Pozzi V, Cottica D, Grignani E, Minoia C, Moscato G. House dust mites (Der p 1, Der f 1), cat (Fel d 1) and cockroach (Bla g 2) allergens in indoor work-places (offices and archives). Sci Total Environ 2004;328:15-21.
Macher JM, Tsai FC, Burton LE, Liu KS. Concentrations of cat and dust-mite allergens in dust samples from 92 large US office buildings from the BASE Study. Indoor Air 2005;15(Suppl 9):82-8.
Graudenz GS, Kalil J, Saldiva PH, Gambale W, Latorre Mdo R, Morato-Castro FF. Upper respiratory symptoms associated with aging of the ventilation system in artificially ventilated offices in São Paulo, Brazil. Chest 2002;122:729-35.
Wickens K, Martin I, Pearce N, Fitzharris P, Kent R, Holbrook N, Siebers R, Smith S, Trethowen H, Lewis S, Town I, Crane J. House dust mite allergen levels in public places in New Zealand. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1997;99:587-93.
Dong S, Yao M. Exposure assessment in Beijing, China: biological agents, ultrafine particles, and lead. Environ Monit Assess 2010;170:331-43.
Janko M, Gould DC, Vance L, Stengel CC, Flack J. Dust mite allergens in the office environment. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1995;56:1133-40.
Eberlein B, Gulyas AF, Schultz K, Lecheler J, Flögel S, Wolfmeyer C, Thiessen K, Jakob T, Schuster T, Hollweck R, Ring J, Behrendt H. Domestic allergens and endotoxin in three hospitals offering in-patient rehabilitation for allergic diseases in the alpine mountain climate of Bavaria - The AURA study. Int J Hyg Environ Health 2009;212:21-6.
Solarz K. The allergenic acarofauna of house dust from dwellings, hospitals, libraries and institutes in Upper Silesia (Poland). Ann Agric Environ Med 1998;5:73-85.
Ćustović A, Fletcher A, Pickering CA, Francis HC, Green R, Smith A, Chapman M, Woodcock A. Domestic allergens in public places III: house dust mite, cat, dog and cockroach allergens in British hospitals. Clin Exp Allergy 1998;28:53-9.
Babe KS, Arlian LG, Confer PD, Kim R. House dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) prevalence in the rooms and hallways of a tertiary care hospital. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1995;95:801-5.
Simplicio EC, Silva DA, Braga IA, Sopelete MC, Sung SJ, Taketomi EA. Mite and pet allergen exposure in hotels in Uberlândia, Nidwestern Brazil. Indoor Air 2007;17:278-83.
Abramson SL, Turner-Henson A, Anderson L, Hemstreet MP, Bartholomew LK, Joseph CL, Tang S, Tyrrell S, Clark NM, Ownby D. Allergens in school settings: results of environmental assessments in 3 city school systems. J Sch Health 2006;76:246-9.
Ćustović A, Taggart SC, Woodcock A. House dust mite and cat allergen in different indoor environments. Clin Exp Allergy 1994;24:1164-8.
Partti-Pellinen K, Marttila O, Mäkinen-Kiljunen S, Haahtela T. Occurrence of dog, cat, and mite allergens in public transport vehicles. Allergy 2000;55:65-8.
Collof MJ. Mite fauna of dust from passenger trains in Glasgow. Epidemiol Infect 1987;98:127-30.
Uehara K, Toyoda Y, Konishi E. Contamination of passenger trains with Dermatophagoides (Acari: Pyroglyphidae) mite antigen in Japan. Exp Appl Acarol 2000;24:727-34.
Pereira FL, Silva DA, Sopelete MC, Sung SS, Takenomi EA. Mite and cat allergen exposure in Brazilian public transport vehicles. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2004;93:179-84.
Macan J, Kanceljak-Macan B, Mustač M, Milković-Kraus S. Analysis of dust samples from urban and rural occupational environments in Croatia. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2005;56:327-32.
Engelhart ST, Wilmes-Link M, Gilges S, Exner M, Kramer MH. Exposure of submarine personnel to house dust mite allergens. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999;104:242-3.
Pennanen SM, Harju AT. Mites in facilities for laboratory animals. Scand J Work Environ Health 2003;29:314-6.
Solarz K, Szilman P, Szilman E. Occupational exposure to allergenic mites in a Polish zoo. Ann Agric Environ Med 2004;11:27-33.
Radon K, Schottky A, Garz S, Koops F, Szadkowski D, Radon K, Nowak D, Luczynska C. Distribution of dust-mite allergens (Lep d 2, Der p 1, Der f 1, Der 2) in pig-farming environments and sensitization of the respective farmers. Allergy 2000;55:219-25.
Rimac D, Macan J, Varnai VM, Vučemilo M, Matković K, Prester Lj, Orct T, Trošić I, Pavičić I. Exposure to poultry dust and health effects in poultry workers: impact of mould and mite allergens. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2010;83:9-19.
Solarz K, Senczuk L, Maniurka H, Cichecka E, Peszke M. Comparisons of the allergenic mite prevalence in dwellings and certain outdoor environments of the Upper Silesia (southwest Poland). Int J Hyg Environ Health 2007;210:715-24.
Harju A, Husman T, Merikoski R, Pennanen S. Exposure of workers to mites in Finnish groceries. Ann Agric Environ Med 2006;13:341-4.
Salo PM, Sever ML, Zeldin DC. Indoor allergens in school and day care environments. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2009;124:185-94.
Tranter DC. Indoor allergens in settled school dust: a review of findings and significant factors. Clin Exp Allergy 2005;35:126-36.
Macan J. Senzibilizacija dišnog sustava i biološke karakteristike prašinskih grinja u općem i radnom okolišu [Sensitization of the respiratory system and biological characteristics of dust mites in general and occupational environment, in Croatian]. [PhD thesis]. Zagreb: School of Medicine, University of Zagreb; 2002.
De Lucca SD, O'Meara TJ, Tovey ER. Exposure to mite and cat allergens on a range of clothing items at home and the transfer of cat allergen in the workplace. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000;106:874-9.
Tovey ER, Mahmic A, McDonald LG. Clothing - an important source of mite allergen exposure. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1995;96:999-1001.
Neal JS, Arlian LG, Morgan MS. Relationship among house-dust mites, Der 1, Fel d 1 and Can f 1 on clothing and automobile seats with respect to densities in houses. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2002;88:410-5.
Macan J, Kanceljak-Macan B, Milković-Kraus S. Pre-employment evaluation of atopy and contact sensitization in the prevention of allergy-related diseases. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 2002;53:119-24.