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AAAAI: More Dust Mites on Moldy Than Mold-Free Walls

Moldy surfaces should be part of dust mite avoidance programs

MONDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- More house dust mites live on moldy wall surfaces than on non-moldy walls, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in San Diego.

Yael Gernez, of the Hopitaux de Marseille in France, and colleagues used the paper-gummed technique to sample wall house-dust mites and wall mold in 50 homes with at least 50 square centimeters of moldy wall surfaces. After collecting dust in a Petri dish containing 70 percent alcohol, the samples were centrifuged, placed on slides and evaluated with a semi-quantitative scale.

The researchers found that 94 percent of samples taken from non-moldy walls contained no house-dust mites, while 6 percent ranked a 1-plus rating according to the scale, but none ranked 2-plus, 3-plus or 4-plus. Only 46 percent of samples from moldy walls were free of house-dust mites, and 22 percent ranked a 1-plus rating, 16 percent ranked 2-plus, 12 percent ranked 3-plus, and 4 percent ranked a 4-plus rating.

"On most moldy wall surfaces, there are both molds and house-dust mites," the authors write. "Thus, house-dust mite avoidance programs should include moldy surfaces."

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