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September 7, 1970

Mites as Allergens in House Dust

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1970;213(10):1687. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170360085024

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To the Editor.—  The Editorial (212: 1514, 1970) on the "Mitey Allergen in House Dust," commits the commonest of fallacies in human reasoning: generalization from the particular. That mites constitute an active, even an important factor involved in house dust sensitivity is an established fact: but not that it is the active principle of house dusts.If mites were the active principle, then all patients sensitive to house dust would react to every house dust extract that is a proven cause of clinical allergy in a particular patient. This is certainly not the case.House dusts are obviously conglomerates, with compositions that vary as much as do the people who live in the houses. Different patients may be sensitive to different specific components, and not necessarily to some common components, such as mites, or animal hair (wool) that are present in many or most dusts.Thus, in my experience, of