Author(s): Kuo IC, Yi FC, Cheong N, Shek LP, Chew FT
Blomia tropicalis (Bt) and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dp) are the predominant domestic mites species in Singapore and Taiwan. This study aims to characterize and compare the mite sensitization profiles in both countries. Skin prick tests were performed on 203 Singaporeans with Dp and Bt crude extracts. In vitro IgE and IgG4 reactivity to extracts and specific allergens (Der p 1, Der p 2 Der p 5 and Blo t 5) were determined by immunoassays. Approximately 91% of the tested Singaporeans were skin test positive for both Bt and Dp. Both populations share similar frequencies of in vitro IgE reactivity to all the allergens tested, but they differ in the pattern and magnitude of allergen sensitization. Although Der p 1, Der p 2 and Blo t5 are major sensitizing allergens in both countries, Blo t 5 is a more potent one in Singapore, probably reflecting the high level of exposure to Bt. The unique major Bt and Dp allergens should be included for precise diagnosis and effective immuno-therapeutic treatment of mite allergy in both countries.