Prevalence of house dust mites and dermatophagoides group 1 antigens collected from bedding, skin and hair coat of dogs in south-west England.Vet Dermatol 2005; 16(1):32-8VD
The house dust mites Dermatophagoides farinae (Df) and D. pteronyssinus (Dpt) are commonly implicated as allergens causing canine atopic dermatitis in the UK. However, there are few studies that characterize the exposure of UK pet dogs to these mites. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of the mite species on the skin, hair coat and bedding of a population of pet dogs. Dust samples (n = 68) were collected from both dogs and their beds using a standardized vacuuming technique and stored at -20 degrees C. Mites were identified using accepted morphological criteria. House dust mite allergen concentrations were assayed using standardized ELISA for Dpt and Df group 1 allergens (Der p 1 and Der f 1). Mites were identified in 15/68 samples (22%) and Dpt was the most common. Df mites were not present. Der p 1 allergens were detected in 60% of samples, and Der f 1 in 6% of samples. There were no significant differences between the number of Der p 1 positive samples from dogs and the number of those from their bedding, or between the average Der p 1 concentrations from dogs and the number of those from their bedding. Contrary to studies elsewhere in Europe and the USA, these findings support studies of human asthma patients in the UK, where exposure to Df is rare, but to Dpt is common. As the prevalence of positive intradermal and serological reactions to Df in atopic dogs is high, further investigations are warranted to clarify true Df hypersensitivity or potential immunological cross-reactivity between mite allergens.