Papers And Originals

Clinical Significance of Skin Reactions to Mite Extracts in Children with Asthma

Br Med J 1969; 2 doi: (Published 21 June 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;2:723

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. J. Morrison Smith,
  2. M. E. Disney,
  3. J. D. Williams,
  4. Z. A. Goels


    The mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus has been identified in dust from the houses of children in Birmingham suffering from asthma. Skin tests were carried out on 150 asthmatic children with extracts of D. pteronyssinus, of the related species D. farinae, of other mites found in house dust, and of crude house dust. Though positive reactions to D. pteronyssinus were obtained more frequently and were of greater size than those to the other extracts, it was considered that D. farinae is a suitable substitute for D. pteronyssinus for skin testing.

    In further tests on 302 asthmatic children with mite extracts and with extracts of allergens obtained commercially reactions to the former extracts were much more common than reactions to the latter.

    Major skin reactions (weals with diameter of 5 mm. or more) were present in 77% of children with a history of perennial asthma and house-dust sensitivity. Hence allergy to house-dust mites, particularly D. pteronyssinus, is of considerable importance in childhood asthma, and further study of the ecology and control of the mites in dust is desirable.