Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 74, Issue 4, pp 415–426 | Cite as

Sensitivity to house dust mite allergens and prevalence of allergy-causing house dust mite species in Pothwar, Pakistan

  • Rubaba Hamid Shafique
  • Shamim Akhter
  • Shahid Abbas
  • Muhammad Ismail


This study is the first report on the epidemiological status of house dust mite (HDM) allergy in Pothwar, Pakistan. Allergy data of 2087 symptomatic patients were obtained, of whom 1706 (81.7%) patients were skin-prick-test positive for HDM allergens. This percentage was significantly higher than for pollen and food allergens. In the results of this study Dermatophagoides farinae (61%) and D. pteronyssinus (29%) were the predominant species in the study area. Besides these pyroglyphids, predatory Cheyletus sp. (10%) and an oribatid mite sp. (1%) were also observed. Random and patients’ houses showed 87.4 and 87.1% positive mite infestation, respectively. Mean (± SEM) D. farinae counts per g of dust in random samples was 235.4 ± 7.93 compared to 274.7 ± 10.78 from patients’ homes. Mean D. pteronyssinus counts from random houses compared to patients’ houses were 115.0 ± 4.57 and 124.6 ± 5.76, respectively. Mite counts depicted seasonal variation, with peaks during monsoon season. ELISA results of dust samples demonstrated that of the dust samples with > 10 µg/g of dust, the threshold value described as a risk factor for developing asthma, 57.6% had Der f1 and 20% Der p1 allergen load. Mean Der f1 burden was significantly higher than Der p1, with maximum levels during monsoon and autumn seasons. This research established a better awareness about the epidemiological status of HDM allergy and prevalence of allergy causing HDM species in Pakistan.


HDM allergy Epidemiology Prevalence of allergy causing HDM species Der f1 and Der p1 allergen 



The study was carried out under the financial support of Pakistan Science Foundation through its Project No. PSF/RES/C-IBGE/Med (318), funded to Institute of Biomedical Sciences and Genetic Engineering, Islamabad.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rubaba Hamid Shafique
    • 1
  • Shamim Akhter
    • 1
  • Shahid Abbas
    • 2
  • Muhammad Ismail
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyPir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University RawalpindiRawalpindiPakistan
  2. 2.Allergy Asthma and Immunology Centre, Al Rehman ChambersIslamabadPakistan
  3. 3.Institute of Biomedical and Genetic EngineeringIslamabadPakistan

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