Inhalation of dust contaminated by mites (acari) can cause asthma and rhinitis in hypersensitive subjects. The most common and abundant European species in house-dust, particularly in bedding dust, is Dermato-phagoides pteronyssinus, the house-dust mite. The allergens are present in live and dead mites and their debris,1 2 but as we noted recently3 it is uncertain whether specific hyposensitisation with the available preparations helps. The management of house-dust allergy should therefore include an attempt to reduce the risk of inhalation of mite-contaminated dust.
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