Mite and pet allergen levels in homes of children born to allergic and nonallergic parents: the PIAMA study

Rob T van Strien, Laurens P Koopman, Marjan Kerkhof, Jack Spithoven, Johan C de Jongste, Jorrit Gerritsen, Herman J Neijens, Rob C Aalberse, Henriette A Smit, Bert Brunekreef
Environmental Health Perspectives 2002, 110 (11): A693-8
The Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy (PIAMA) study is a birth cohort study that investigates the influence of allergen exposure on the development of allergy and asthma in the first several years of life. The objectives of this study were to investigate the relationship between a family history of allergy and/or asthma and exposure of newborn children to mite and pet allergen and to study the influence of different home and occupant characteristics on mite allergen exposure. Dust was sampled from the child's mattress and the parental mattress at 3 months after birth of the index child and analyzed for mite and pet allergens. Subjects were divided in groups according to history of asthma and allergy in their parents, and allergen exposure was studied in the different groups. Cat allergen exposure was significantly lower on parental mattresses in families with allergic mothers, but dog allergen exposure was not different. Mite allergen exposure was lower on parental mattresses in families with allergic mothers. Use of mite allergen-impermeable mattress covers reduced mite allergen exposure. Some other characteristics such as age of home and mattress were also found to influence mite allergen exposure. Parental mattresses in homes of allergic mothers had lower cat and mite (but not dog) allergen loadings than mattresses in homes of nonallergic parents. Paternal (as opposed to maternal) allergy seemed to have little influence.

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