Date: 25 Jan 2014

Children’s residential exposure to selected allergens and microbial indicators: endotoxins and (1→3)-β-D-glucans

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The study was aimed at assessment of exposure to endotoxins, (1→3)-β-D-glucans and mite, cockroach, cat, dog allergens present in settled dust in premises of children as agents which may be significantly correlated with the occurrence of allergic symptoms and diseases in children.

Materials and Methods

The study covered 50 homes of one-or two-year-old children in Poland. Samples of settled dust were taken from the floor and the child’s bed. The levels of (1→3)-β-D-glucans (floor), endotoxins (floor) and allergens of mite, cat, dog and cockroach (floor and bed) were analyzed.


Average geometric concentrations (geometric standard deviation) of endotoxins, (1→3)-β-D-glucans, Der p1, Fel d1, Can f1 and Bla g1 in children homes were on the floor 42 166.0 EU/g (3.2), 20 478.4 ng/g (2.38), 93.9 ng/g (6.58), 119.8 ng/g (13.0), 288.9 ng/g (3.4), 0.72 U/g (4.4) and in their beds (only allergens) 597.8 ng/g (14.2), 54.1 ng/g (4.4), 158.6 ng/g (3.1) 0.6 U/g (2.9), respectively. When the floor was covered with the carpet, higher concentrations of endotoxins, (1→3)-β-D-glucans and allergens (each type) were found in the settled dust (p < 0.05). The trend was opposite in case of allergens (except dog) analyzed from bed dust and significantly higher concentrations were found in the rooms with smooth floor (p < 0.05).


Among the analyzed factors only the type of floor significantly modified both the level of biological indicators and allergens. The results of this study could be the base for verifying a hypothesis that carpeting may have a protective role against high levels of cockroach, dog and cat allergens.

Source of financial support: This study was performed under the project “Prenatal and postnatal exposure to tobacco smoke, PAHs and heavy metals and the risk of respiratory diseases, allergy and poor mental and physical development” supported by the grant PNRF-218-AI-1/07 from Norway through the Norwegian Financial Mechanism within the Polish-Norwegian Research Fund.