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 Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>