Dust mites are present in almost every home – in our beds, clothing and carpets. Conservatively, at least 100 million people are affected by house dust mite allergy worldwide, manifesting itself as asthma, rhinitis or atopic dermatitis. Despite the growing recognition of this major public health problem, there is still no simple, effective, generally applicable strategy for dust mite control. Dust Mites incorporates for the first time in a single volume the topics of systematics and identification, physiology, ecology, allergen biochemistry and molecular biology, epidemiology, mite control and allergen avoidance. It explains key biological and ecological concepts for non-specialist readers, discusses ecological research methods and includes identification keys to dust mite species and life-cycle stage. It also explores how characteristics of population growth, water balance and physiology of dust mites have contributed to their importance as allergenic organisms. Many chapters contain new data, or new analyses of existing data, including global distribution maps of the most important species. Importantly, the book emphasises that studies of the biology and ecology of house dust mites should be regarded within the context of allergic disease rather than as ends in themselves, and that approaches to mite control in clinical management are subject to the same series of ecological rules as any other major problem in pest management. This comprehensive reference is essential reading for anyone involved or interested in house dust mite research and management.
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