Molecular identification of house dust mites and storage mites

  • Shew Fung WongEmail author
  • Ai Ling Chong
  • Joon Wah Mak
  • Jessie Tan
  • Suk Jiun Ling
  • Tze Ming Ho


Mites are known causes of allergic diseases. Currently, identification of mites based on morphology is difficult if only one mite is isolated from a (dust) sample, or when only one gender is found, or when the specimen is not intact especially with the loss of the legs. The purpose of this study was to use polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) of the ITS2 gene, to complement the morphological data for the identification of mites to the species level. For this, six species were cultured: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, D. farinae, Blomia tropicalis, Tyrophagus putrescentiae, Aleuroglyphus ovatus and Glycycometus malaysiensis. Genomic DNA of the mites was extracted, quantified, amplified and digested individually with restriction enzymes. Hinf I and Ple I differentiated the restriction patterns of D. pteronyssinus and D. farinae. Bfa I and Alu I enzymes differentiated B. tropicalis and G. malaysiensis. Ple I enzyme was useful for the differentiation between T. putrescentiae and A. ovatus. Bfa I was useful for the differentiation of G. malaysiensis from the rest of the species. In conclusion, different species of mites can be differentiated using PCR–RFLP of ITS2 region. With the established PCR–RFLP method in this study, identification of these mites to the species level is possible even if complete and intact adult specimens of both sexes are not available. As no study to date has reported PCR–RFLP method for the identification of domestic mites, the established method should be validated for the identification of other species of mites that were not included in this study.


House dust mites PCR–RFLP Restriction enzymes Species identification Storage mites 



We are grateful to the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for providing the dust mites. This research was supported by grants from Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia (02-02-09-SF0007) and International Medical University [Grant number: BMS I02-2009(05)].


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shew Fung Wong
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ai Ling Chong
    • 1
  • Joon Wah Mak
    • 1
  • Jessie Tan
    • 1
  • Suk Jiun Ling
    • 1
  • Tze Ming Ho
    • 2
  1. 1.International Medical UniversityKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Acarology UnitInstitute for Medical ResearchKuala LumpurMalaysia

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