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Supplementary Material for: Indoor Determinants of Endotoxin and Dust Mite Exposures in Hong Kong Homes with Asthmatic Children

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posted on 12.02.2010, 00:00 by Leung T.F., Wong Y.S., Chan I.H.S., Yung E., Wong C.K., Lam C.W.K., Wong G.W.K.
Background: Domestic endotoxin enhances airway inflammation and increases asthma severity in Caucasian children, but little data are published on indoor endotoxin exposure in Asian countries. This study investigated house dust endotoxin and Der p 1 levels in Hong Kong families with asthmatic children, and their effects on asthma severity. Methods: 115 asthmatics from a pediatric clinic underwent fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and spirometric measurements. Home visits were then made within 2 weeks, during which parents completed the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire. Settled dust was collected from patients’ mattresses, bedroom floors and living room floors. Endotoxin and Der p 1 were measured by limulus amebocyte lysate and immunoassay, respectively. Results: Endotoxin was detectable in all locations from all families, whereas Der p 1 was detectable in 58–70% of indoor sites. Floors of both bedroom and living rooms had higher endotoxin but lower Der p 1 levels than mattresses (p < 0.001 for both). Mattress endotoxin level correlated inversely with Der p 1 level (r = –0.308, p = 0.001). Household smoker, feather bedding and vacuum cleaning were independent determinants of indoor endotoxin. Timing of last bedding change was associated with Der p 1 levels at all sites. Mattress endotoxin level was associated with frequency of wheezing episodes (p = 0.044), but neither endotoxin nor Der p 1 was associated with FeNO and spirometric parameters. Conclusions: Domestic endotoxin levels are associated with frequency of wheezing episodes in asthmatic children but not their FeNO or spirometric measurements.