Effect environmental intervention on mouse allergen levels in homes of inner-city Boston children with asthma

Wanda Phipatanakul, Beth Cronin, Robert A. Wood, Peyton A. Eggleston, Mei Chiung Shih, Leslie Song, Raffi Tachdjian, Hans C. Oettgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Recent studies have suggested that mouse allergen exposure and sensitization are common in urban children with asthma. The effectiveness of environmental intervention in reducing mouse allergen exposure has not been established. Objective: To evaluate whether environmental intervention of mouse extermination and cleaning results in a reduction in mouse allergen levels. Methods: Eighteen homes of children with positive mouse allergen skin test results and at least mild persistent asthma in urban Boston, MA, with evidence of mouse infestation or exposure were randomized in a 2:1 ratio (12 intervention and 6 control homes). The intervention homes received an integrated pest management intervention, which consisted of filling holes with copper mesh, vacuuming and cleaning, and using low-toxicity pesticides and traps. Dust samples were collected and analyzed for major mouse allergen (Mus m 1) and cockroach allergen (Bla g 1) at baseline and 1, 3, and 5 months after the intervention was started and compared with control homes. Results: Mouse allergen levels were significantly decreased compared with control homes by the end of the intervention period at month 5 in the kitchen and bedroom (kitchen intervention, 78.8% reduction; control, 319% increase; P = .02; bedroom intervention, 77.3% reduction; control, 358% increase; P < .01; and living room intervention, 67.6% reduction; control, 32% reduction; P = .07). Conclusions: Mouse allergen levels were significantly reduced during a 5-month period using an integrated pest management intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-425
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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