Study / Trial Background
This study will determine whether use of an in-home test kit results in decreased dust mite allergen levels in homes of children who are sensitive or allergic to dust mites. Dust mite allergens come from dust mites - microscopic spider-like animals that feed on house dust. Dust mites are common anywhere there is dust, such as in carpeting and beds. Some people are allergic to dust mite allergens and may develop asthma from living near them.
People who live in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina who have a child between 5 and 15 years old with a dust mite allergy or sensitivity may be eligible for this study. Participants must plan to remain in the same house for at least 12 months from the start of the study. At least half the floor of the child's room must be carpeted.
Participants are given materials on how to reduce dust mite allergens in their home. Study staff visit participants' homes three times over a 12-month period to ask questions about the home, home cleaning habits, and participants' experiences with home test kits (see below) for measuring dust mite allergen. At each visit, staff collect dust samples from the child's bedroom, the parents' bedroom, and the living room. The dust samples are analyzed in the laboratory for dust mite allergens and the results are given to the participants at the end of the study.
Participants are also given four home test kits for measuring dust mite allergen in the home. At the first home visit, staff instruct the participants on how to use the kits and answer any questions they may have. The kits are mailed at certain times during the study for the participants to use to measure allergen and send the results to the study investigators in a pre-paid addressed envelope. A control group is given educational materials but no test kits.