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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of two different types of vacuum cleaners on airborne Fel d 1 levels.

BACKGROUND: Vacuum cleaners may increase the level of airborne allergens by leakage through the cleaners or by disturbance of floor dust by the exhaust air produced. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the short-term effect of vacuum cleaning with two different types of cleaners on airborne cat allergen analyzed by a biologic and by an immunochemical test. METHODS: Ten homes with cats were cleaned in random order with a 1-week interval by a traditional canister type vacuum cleaner (T) and a semi-stationary vacuum cleaner (S) that conducts the air to the exterior through a valve in the wall. Airborne particles were collected by air sampling for 2 hours and cat allergen, Fel d 1, was quantified biologically by basophil histamine release test (HR test) and immunochemically by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS: Using the S resulted in smaller amounts of airborne cat allergen than the T (mean 2.1 ng/m3 air (range .8 to 12.5) versus 5.2 ng/m3 (1.3 to 13.3), P < .002 measured by ELISA). Results from ELISA and HR test correlated well (r = .91, P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: The use of S with exhaust to the outside of the dwelling gave rise to less airborne low particle size allergen during the cleaning procedure than a T method. The basophil histamine release test could be a valid alternative method to establish allergen content in environmental samples especially in allergen systems with no available monoclonal antibodies.[1]


  1. Effect of two different types of vacuum cleaners on airborne Fel d 1 levels. Rønborg, S.M., Poulsen, L.K., Skov, P.S., Mosbech, H. Ann. Allergy Asthma Immunol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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