Electrostatic charge characteristics of Der p1 allergen-carrying particles and the house dust mitedermatophagoides pteronyssinus

  • P. T. Gaynor
  • J. F. Hughes


Control of the house dust mite allergen has received considerable attention owing to its importance in some allergic diseases. One aspect of dust mites and their allergen-carrying faecal particles that has not been reported on, which may have allergen control applications, is the electrostatic charge they carry in the natural environment. To promote tribo-electric charging, household dust containing dust mite allergen and live house dust mites are separately agitated while in contact with either polypropylene, nylon or earthed metal. The charged dust and mites are subsequently subjected to electrostatic separation and collection. Results for concentrations of the house dust mite allergen, Der p1, indicate that, when subjected to nylon, Der p1 carrier particles appear to be predominantly positively charged. Similarly, when subjected to polypropylene, Der p1 carrier particles also appear to be positively charged. Reduction of excess free charge by agitation against earthed metal does not appear to affect the observed charging characteristics, indicating that the positive charge may be bound or inherent in the Der p1 carrier particles. In contrast, house dust mites exposed to nylon appear to be generally charging negative, whereas mites exposed to polypropylene appear to be charging positive. The observed electrostatic characteristics of the mites and Der p1 carrying particles will be useful in the future development of electrostatic allergen control methods.


House dust mite Electrostatic charge Der p1 Allergen Electrostatic control Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus 


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Copyright information

© IFMBE 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bioelectrostatics Research CentreUniversity of SouthamptonHighfieldUK

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