Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

High levels of airborne mouse allergen in inner-city homes could trigger asthma attacks

10.02.2005


Researchers call for routine mouse allergy testing for inner-city children with asthma

The amount of mouse allergen found in the air in many inner-city homes could be high enough to trigger asthma symptoms in the children who live there, say researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Their study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found more than a quarter of inner-city homes sampled had airborne allergen levels already known to aggravate asthma symptoms in animal research lab workers with mouse allergy.

"Children living in inner-city homes are continuously exposed to the allergy-causing substance found in mouse urine that is circulating in the air," says Elizabeth Matsui, M.D., a pediatric allergist at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and lead author of the study. "This exposure increases their risk for developing allergic sensitivity to mice, just as it does for laboratory workers who constantly work with rodents."



Other common household allergens known to affect asthma include proteins shed by cockroaches, dust mites, furry pets and mold, along with tobacco smoke and certain chemicals. While previous studies have examined exposure to settled dust mouse allergen in inner-city homes, this is believed to be the first to describe airborne mouse allergen levels.

Once sensitized, such children exposed to airborne mouse allergen at the high levels found in the study may be more likely to experience asthma symptoms, including wheezing or difficulty breathing, which could lead to a full-blown asthma attack or other asthma-related illnesses, Matsui said. "Because asthma attacks have the potential to be life-threatening, these findings are of some concern," she adds.

The researchers report airborne mouse allergen was most likely to be found in homes with cracks and holes in walls or doors, exposed food in the kitchen, or evidence of mouse infestation, such as droppings. Although mouse allergen is most prevalent in inner-city homes, Matsui says previous studies have also detected it in approximately 75 percent of middle-class suburban homes.

"One of the best ways parents can manage their child’s asthma is to control the home environment and remove any asthma triggers, including mouse allergen," she adds. "They can do this by sealing cracks and holes in doors and walls, thoroughly disposing of all food remains, and having pest exterminators treat their home."

In the study, Matsui and colleagues collected air and dust samples from the bedrooms of 100 inner-city children with asthma and found 84 percent of bedrooms had detectable levels of mouse allergen. In 25 percent of these bedrooms, airborne levels of mouse allergen were 0.10 nanograms per cubic meter or higher, comparable to what is seen in mouse research facilities. All study participants were also tested for mouse and other allergies, and nine children were found to be sensitized to mouse and 69.7 percent of children had at least one positive skin test to other common indoor and outdoor allergens.

"Unfortunately, many clinicians do not take mouse allergen into consideration when evaluating inner-city children with asthma," Matsui says. "Testing these children for mouse allergy needs to become as routine as testing for allergies to cockroach or dust mites, and clinicians need to be ready to recommend aggressive extermination of mice or other ways parents can control the home environment."

Asthma affects approximately 15 million people in the United States, about a third of whom are children. It is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization for children 15 years and younger and is the leading cause of chronic illness among children. Researchers estimate that asthma is twice as common in the inner city in comparison to other areas.

The study was sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute. Co-authors include Elinor Simons, Arlene Butz and Peyton Eggleston from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center; and Timothy J. Buckley and Patrick Breysse from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Jessica Collins | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu
http://www.hopkinschildrens.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>