Mouse Sensitization and Exposure Are Associated with Asthma Severity in Urban Children

Torie Grant, Charles Aloe, Matthew Perzanowski, Wanda Phipatanakul, Mary E. Bollinger, Rachel Miller, Elizabeth C. Matsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background Mouse sensitization and exposure are associated with uncontrolled asthma, but whether they are associated with asthma severity, an intrinsic disease characteristic and long-term outcome predictor, is unclear. Objective To examine relationships between mouse sensitization and/or exposure and asthma severity in urban children. Methods A total of 645 children (5-17 years) with uncontrolled asthma underwent mouse sensitization evaluation. Sensitized children had mouse allergen measured in bedroom dust. Relationships between mouse sensitization, allergen levels, and asthma severity measures (treatment step and Composite Asthma Severity Index [CASI]) were examined using regression models adjusted for age, sex, atopy, study site, race, ethnicity, and insurance. Results The study population was predominantly minority (69.6% black, 20.8% Hispanic), low income (61.8%), and mouse sensitized (54.4%). Mean ± SD treatment step was 3.2 ± 1.6, equivalent to medium-dose inhaled corticosteroid. Mean ± SD CASI was 6.5 ± 3.4, reflecting moderate persistent asthma. Mouse sensitization was associated with higher treatment step (3.5 vs 2.9, mouse-sensitized vs nonsensitized, P <.001), independent of potential confounders (β [95% CI], 0.36 [0.07-0.64]; P =.01). Mouse sensitization was associated independently with CASI (β [95% CI], 0.82 [0.16-1.47]; P =.02). Among mouse-sensitized participants, higher bedroom floor and bed Mus m 1 were independently associated with treatment step (β [95% CI], 0.26 [0.09-0.43]; P =.002 and β [95% CI], 0.22 [0.01-0.43]; P =.04), respectively. Higher bedroom floor Mus m 1 was independently associated with CASI (β [95% CI], 0.43 [0.05-0.81]; P =.03). Conclusions Mouse sensitization and exposure are associated with asthma severity, among low-income, minority children. Further studies are needed to determine whether reducing allergen exposure among mouse-sensitized patients with asthma can reduce severity, ultimately altering childhood asthma natural history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1008-1014.e1
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Childhood asthma
  • Indoor allergens
  • Inner-city asthma
  • Mouse allergen
  • Mouse sensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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