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Cat, dog and house dust mite allergen levels on children's soft toys

By FuSheng Wu, MeiWen Wu, MingHui Ting, J. Crane, R. Siebers

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Objective: Children's soft toys are known to harbour house dust mite (HDM) allergens, but little is known whether they harbour cat or dog allergens. The objective of the study was to measure cat (Fel d 1), dog (Can f 1) and HDM allergens on children's soft toys. Methods: Dust was collected from 40 children's soft toys and their mattresses. Data were collected on pet ownership. Dust samples were analysed for Fel d 1, Can f 1, Der p 1 and Der f 1 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and results are expressed as median levels with inter-quartile ranges. Results: Thirty-five (87.5%) soft toys had detectable Fel d 1 levels (median: 0.73 g/g; inter-quartile range: 0.26-2.56 g/g) while 34 (85%) had detectable Can f 1 levels (1.20 g/g; 0.53-2.68). Correspondingly, 32 (80%) mattresses had detectable Fel d 1 levels (0.18 g/g, 0.07-1.01) while 34 (85%) had detectable Can f 1 levels (0.50 g/g; 0.33-1.06). All mattresses and soft toys had detectable HDM allergen (Der p 1+Der f 1) levels with soft toys containing about three times higher levels than mattresses. In homes with cats ( n=10) Fel d 1 levels were higher on soft toys than homes without cats (2.49 versus 0.48g/g; p=0.0009). In homes with dogs ( n=25) Can f 1 levels were generally higher on soft toys (1.38 versus 0.63 g/g; p=0.10). Conclusions: This study has shown that soft toys can harbour cat and dog allergen as well as HDM allergens, some with very high levels. Cat and dog ownership resulted in higher Fel d 1 and Can f 1 levels on soft toys and mattresses. The levels of Fel d 1, Can f 1 and HDM allergens on soft toys could be of importance to sensitized asthmatic children.

Publication Title Journal of Asthma
Volume 51
Issue 1
Pages 75-78
ISBN/ISSN 0277-0903
Language English
Author Address Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, Changhua City, Taiwan.rob.siebers@otago.ac.nz
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Allergy
  2. Animals
  3. Arthropods
  4. Canidae
  5. Canine
  6. Carnivores
  7. Cats
  8. Children
  9. Diseases
  10. Dogs
  11. Humans
  12. Invertebrates
  13. Mammals
  14. Men
  15. Mites
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. Primates
  18. Respiratory hypersensitivity
  19. spiders
  20. toys
  21. vertebrates
  1. peer-reviewed