Of 100 asthmatic patients prick tested for allergy to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, 88% were positive compared with only 14% of controls. A significantly greater proportion of dust samples from the houses of the asthmatics contained Dermatophagoides mites. The house-dust mite D. pteronyssinus, constituted 90% of the mites identified, other pyroglyphid mites, Cheyletus and Glycophagus making up most of the remainder. This study confirms that allergy to D. pteronyssinus is an important factor in the aetiology of asthma in Ndola. It is suggested that prevention of asthmatic attacks could be directed towards mite control and hyposensitization.
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