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Application of a rapid, sensitive flotation method for the determination of mites in disparate types of dust and debris samples

Thind, B.B. and Dunn, J.A.

2003 - Volume: 43 Issue: 1-2 pages: 111-118


domestic and house dust mites method allergy home and occupational environment


Mite allergy sufferers could benefit from an accurate cheap and reliable method for quantifying mites in all types of environment so that appropriate remedial action can be taken. The performance of a previously described flotation method used for the detection of mites present in food and feed samples was assessed. This method could analyse a wide variety of dust and debris of varying sample weight. Its validation was performed using 10 replicates of both 0.5 g and 2.0 g of dust samples obtained from offices and homes and seeded with a known number of labelled mites to assess accuracy. The minimum mean recovery was 76%, achieved with no statistically significant difference in performance due to sample size. To test the methods vigour, more than three hundred samples collected from different domestic (bedroom and living room) and occupational (office, factory and warehouse) environments were analysed. Of these samples, about 88 and 78% obtained from the domestic and office environment contained mites. In total, 48 mite taxa were detected of which 31 were identified to species level with Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus being the most abundant species. In addition 26 and 15% of domestic and office samples respectively, contained mites well in excess of the lower threshold limit of ca. 100 mites that is considered to cause sensitization. It is concluded that the method is versatile in application and can be a valuable tool for future investigations on the occurrence of house dust mites.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
2003 Thind, B.B. and Dunn, J.A.
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