House dust mite, cat, and cockroach allergen concentrations in daycare centers in Tampa, Florida.Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2001; 87(3):196-200AA
Allergen exposure in early childhood is a risk factor for sensitization and the development of asthma. Studies performed in Europe, New Zealand, and Singapore indicated the presence of indoor allergens in childcare centers and schools. However, the importance of indoor allergens in daycare centers in humid and warm regions of the world is not known.
To measure total mite counts, Der p 1, Der f 1, Fel d 1, and Per a 1 allergens in dust samples and mite allergen airborne concentrations in daycare centers in Tampa, Florida, United States.
Twenty daycare centers were surveyed for mite, cat, and cockroach allergens in Tampa, FL. One dust and two air samples (one during the day and one during the night) were collected in each center. Dust samples were extracted and analyzed for mite (Der p 1 and Der f 1), cat (Fel d 1), and cockroach (Per a 1) allergens. Mite airborne allergen concentrations were analyzed by RAST inhibition and expressed in standardized mite allergen units per m3 of air (AU/m3).
Mites were identified in 15 samples, and concentrations ranged from 10 to 1,200 mites/g (298 +/- 355.2). The most prevalent mite species was Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p 1). Der p 1 and/or Der f 1 were detected in 10 daycare centers. Der p 1 was detected in eight centers and ranged from I to 21.8 microg/g of dust (5.4 +/- 6.9); Der f 1 was detected in 3 centers and ranged from 0.2 to 2.1 microg/g of dust (1.3 +/- 0.9). Per a 1 and Fel d 1 were detected in all centers in small quantities; Per a 1 ranged from 8 to 1,806 ng/g (263.1 +/- 449.7) and Fel d 1 from 0.2 to 120 U/g of dust (16.6 +/- 31.7), respectively. Airborne mite allergen was detected in 18 centers and ranged from 0.01 to 2.7 AU/m3 during the day (0.2 +/- 0.6) and from 0.01 to 0.12 AU/m3 during the night (0.06 +/- 0.03), P = 0.001.
Mite, cat, and cockroach allergens are present in daycare centers in Tampa, FL. Mite allergen concentrations exceeded levels that have been associated with sensitization and symptoms in allergic subjects in 40% of these centers.