Background: Clothing is largely presumed as being the mechanism by which house dust mites are distributed among locations in homes, yet little research to date has investigated the capacity with which various clothing fabric types serve as vectors for their accumulation and dispersal. Although previous research has indicated that car seats provide a habitat for mite populations, dynamics involved in the transfer of mites to clothing via car seat material is still unknown.
Objective: To investigate the dynamics involved in the transfer of house dust mites from car seat material to modern clothing fabrics. Methods: A total of 480 samples of car seat material were seeded with mites and subjected to contact with plain woven cotton, denim, and fleece. Contact forces equivalent to the mass of a typical adult and child were administered for different durations of contact.
Results: Mean transfer efficiencies of mites from car seat material to receiving clothing fabrics ranged from 7.2% to 19.1%. Fabric type, mite condition (live or dead), and the force applied all revealed a significant effect (P < .001 for each variable) on the transfer efficiency of house dust mites from seeded material to receiving fabrics, whereas duration of contact revealed no effect (P = .20). In particular, mean numbers of mites transferred to fleece (compared with denim and plain woven cotton) were greater for each treatment.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that clothing type can have important implications for the colonization of other biotopes by house dust mites, with potential for affecting an individuals' personal exposure to dust mite allergens. (C) 2015 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.