Prevalence of dust mites in the homes of people with asthma living in eight different geographic areas of the United States

Larry G. Arlian, David Bernstein, I. L. Bernstein, Stuart Friedman, Andrew Grant, Philip Lieberman, Manuel Lopez, James Metzger, Thomas Platts-Mills, Michael Schatz, Sheldon Spector, Stephen I. Wasserman, Robert S. Zeiger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


The density and species prevalence of dust mites were determined at various times over a 5-year-period in 252 homes of dust mite sensitive people with asthma who lived in eight geographic areas of the United States (Cincinnati, Ohio; New Orleans, La.; Memphis, Tenn.; Galveston, Texas; Greenville, N.C.; Delray Beach, Fla.; San Diego and Los Angeles, Calif.). The most common dust mites found in the homes were Dermatophagoides farinae (DF), D. pteronyssinus (DP), Euroglyphus maynei (EM), and Blomia tropicalis. All homes in all locations contained Dermatophagoides spp. mites, but few homes were populated exclusively by either DF or DP alone. Most homes (81.7%) were coinhabitated by both DF and DP. In coinhabited homes one species was predominant and usually made up at least 75% of the total mite population. Prevalence of the dominant or only species present varied between homes within a geographic area. EM occurred in significant numbers in 35.7% of homes in New Orleans, Memphis, Galveston, Delray Beach, and San Diego. Blomia tropicalis occurred in these same cities but in low densities. For all dust samples, only 13 homes of the 252 sampled had 100 or fewer mites/gm dust, which is considered to be the threshold for sensitivity. Most homes had average mite densities of 500 or more mites/gm dust. The results of the present study suggest a significant and widespread occurrence of both DF and DP. Therefore extracts of both mite species should be considered for diagnostic tests and immunotherapy. Significant levels of EM were present in some areas. Thus sensitivity to EM should be considered in these areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-300
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3 PART 1
StatePublished - Sep 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Blomia tropicalis
  • Dermatophagoides farinae
  • Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus
  • Euroglyphus maynei
  • allergenicity
  • allergic disease
  • asthma
  • house dust mites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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