All you need to know about the house dust mite

Hardcore Research

Deeper into the rabbit hole we go. The following links are what we consider to be hardcore 'gloves off' research notes. All content is referenced correctly. Please visit the disclaimer page for more information.

Parasites and Allergy

Within the text of the book referennced below there is an excellent review of the activities of the major house dust mite allergen Der p1. This review is headed: 'Proteases Are Major Allergens derived from Various Organisms', page 48 to 52. The chapter clearly describes the destructive pathways of which Der p1 is capable

IgG4 responses to HDM allergens and bacteria

This study investigates how some mite allergic adults and children, exposed to H influenzae endotoxins, can in tandem produce antigen/allergen specific IgG4. An antibody associated with protection or in short term sensitisation and anaphylactic reactions.

Introduction to the dust mite

House dust mites have lived on earth for over 23 million years. They have survived turbulent earthly events by developing amazing biological functions, one of which is their method of recycling food.

The biology of the house dust mite

'Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus' is a tiny nest dwelling mite that scavenges on discarded skin scales in damp, dark environments. It lives in colonies and is a potent and major cause of human allergy and allergic disease worldwide.

Allergy, skin prick testing

Analysis of the value to allergists of skin testing from papers published between 1970 and 2005 concludes that; when preformed and evaluated correctly, skin testing is the most effective diagnostic tool available for the confirmation of allergic disease.

House Dust Mite (HDM) allergy and eye disease

The risk of developing serious eye conditions during the winter months or in the pollen season is increased by continuous exposure to allergens associated with allergic disease and conjunctivitis. How the eye protects itself is described in this short article. Avoidance of allergens, such as from pollens or house dust mites HDM enzymes is recommended to reduce the risk of irritation.

Cross-reactivity in mite allergy

In allergy, cross reactivity is fairly common. An allergy to birch tree pollen may signal an allergy to apples; an allergy to bananas can indicate an allergy to latex. These are examples of different sources of proteins, but chemically they are similar. The chemical similarity can cause the body's defence system to read them as one. Cross-reactivity is common in dust mite and storage mite allergens.

IgG4 responses to mite and bacteria

The study noted here investigated how some mite allergic adults and children, exposed to H influenzae endotoxin (outer membrane protein) can in tandem produce antigen/allergen specific IgG4, an antibody associated with anaphylactic reactions.

Chronic asthma, a worrying update

Once asthma is established, chronic inflammation in the lungs is a critical feature of the disease. Inflammation can be made worse by inhaling allergens or irritants (such as smoke, ozone, diesel particles) or from a respiratory viral infection.

Lungs, self cleaning described

The human lung with a surface area of 40-120 m2 is constantly exposed to between 10,000 and 20,000 litres of ambient air daily. Within this air intake are a wide range of particles, some biological, such as pollens or mite droppings and some non-biological such as carbon or metals from diesel exhaust.

What other 'events' make mites more harmful

Lungs become agitated and ultra-sensitive for a time following damage from respiratory viral infections, excessive cigarette smoke or ozone inhalation.

Difficult Asthma often wrongly diagnosed

Doctors found that out of 60 children diagnosed with 'difficult asthma' only 5 were actually confirmed with the condition. A research team came to this conclusion in a study that completely changed the children's environment.

Anaphylaxis and the house dust mite (HDM)

Although house dust mite (HDM) allergens are not generally associated with an IgE systemic anaphylaxis reaction, HDM allergic asthma is consider a major risk factor for the condition. Indeed, in most fatalities due to anaphylaxis, asthma is present. A major cause of asthma around the world is exposure to house dust mites.

The enzymatic activity of a mite allergen (Der p1)

This article is by Dr Matthew J Colloff author of the recently published, Dust Mites'. In the paragraph below Dr Colloff describes how the enzymatic activity of major mite allergens can impact on an atopic (prone to an IgE response) immune system.

Research links asthma, hookworms and dust mites in lung disease

A newly found cell points the way towards explaining why dust mites and hookworms can be considered the same thing by the human immune system. Exposure to either animal can result in an assault on lungs and asthma. For hookworms the journey into the lungs is an important part of their life cycle. For scavenging dust mites, digestive enzymes found in their droppings cause lung cell death and a breach in defences. For some allergy patients these pests may be considered equal and unwanted parasites, and react appropriately.

COPD in non-smokers - a population larger than realized

According to a recent review of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 25% to 45% of patients diagnosed with the disease have never smoked. Yet, almost all of the clinical trials designed to investigate drug remedies for COPD recruit patients who smoke. This throws doubt over the condition itself and pharmacological remedies that may be considered.

Th17 cells: a new T lymphocyte and its roll in asthma.

The numbers of specific T cell lymphocytes have had an important addition - the Th17 regulator. The expanding T cell lymphocyte family include; Th1, aimed at intracellular pathogens such as viral infections, Th2 offers some protection against worms and is associated with allergy, Th 3 a regulator and now Th17 a regulator that can also act to help clear up fungi and bacterial infection through the activation of neutrophils. Neutrophil activity in asthma can exist along side 'allergic IgE' asthma.

Scientific review of the multi-faceted dendritic cell influence in asthma

A description of the critical roles that dendritic cells (DC) play as sentinels in directing immune responses to environmental exposure in both mouse and human lungs. How the cells respond to house dust mite products is a topic of interest within the paper. It is noted that IgE levels [dust mite] can impair DC antiviral responses, possibly causing virus-induced wheezing in atopic patients.

Mucus production in dust mite-related asthma explained

New research describes how signalling pathways in airway epithelial cells drive mucus production in asthma after stimuli from environmental triggers such as allergens (i.e. house dust mites), viruses or cigarette smoke. The same pathway was found to be responsible for activating excessive mucus in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Natural course of house dust mite allergy

'House dust is a complex mixture containing many different foreign proteins, as well as a variety of arthropods, nematodes, bacteria, fungi and human skin scales. When Voorhorst and Spieksma established that dust mites were the most important source of allergens in house dust in the Netherlands, they also developed the technique for growing quantities of mites. This made it possible to purify a major allergen (Der p 1) to measure the airborne exposure and to study the immune response.'

This is the introduction to an article by Dr Thomas A E Platts-Mills. The main body of the text follows.