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Physical and nutritional requirements of house-dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and its fungal association

de Saint Georges-Gridelet, D.

1987 - Volume: 28 Issue: 4 pages: 345-353


Behavioral factors House dust mite Dermatophagoides Fungal association


The physical structure and nutritional component of the substrate were found to be decisive factors for the growth and survival of the house-dust mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus. To elucidate the physical limits of the food environment, population growth of D. pteronyssinus was investigated on rearing media as weil as on natural substrate. A more rapid reproduction of D. pteronyssinus on fibrous house-dust, as compared to rearing media consisting of non-fibrous fine particles, indicated that the mite prefers an aerated over a dense substrate. This was shown to be related to the antagonistic effects of the endemie mold, Aspergillus penicilloides, with which the mite establishes a symbiotic relationship. The fibrous component of the mattress microhabitat is a natural biotope for D. pteronyssinus. Deeper mattress fibres may provide a protective niche for mites during winter. They may also provide protection from other adverse environmental conditions.

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1987 de Saint Georges-Gridelet, D.
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