Mites and other indoor allergens - from exposure to sensitization and treatment.
House dust mites, cats and dogs are amongst the most frequent sources of indoor allergens in Europe. The fact that the allergens of house dust mites cause allergic disease through inhalation of house dust was discovered in 1964. The diagnosis of mite allergy is regularly complicated by its often nonspecific symptoms, which frequently develop insidiously and by no means always include attacks of paroxysmal sneezing and itching. Antibody-based immunological detection methods can be used to measure exposure to mite allergens. The structure and function of more than 20 allergens from Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and D. farina are known. Other relevant indoor allergens come from mammals kept in households. Here again, allergens have been described and diagnostic as well as exposure-measurement tools are available. It is important to remember indoor pests and other "unwelcome lodgers" as a possible cause in the case of unexplained symptoms experienced indoors. This short overview summarizes the current key points on the subject of "mites and other indoor allergens". The present article provides an overview of several articles published in a special issue of the German journal Allergologie [February 2015; 38(2)] on the subject of "Mites and other indoor allergens".