Background Little is known about exposure to mouse allergen (Mus m 1) and allergic rhinitis (AR).
Objective To evaluate the association between mouse allergen exposure and AR in children.
Methods We examined the relation between mouse allergen level in house dust and AR in 511 children aged 6 to 14 years in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Study participants were chosen from randomly selected households using a multistage probability sample design. The study protocol included questionnaires, allergy skin testing, and collection of blood and dust samples. AR was defined as current rhinitis symptoms and skin test reactivity to at least one allergen.
Results In the multivariate analyses, mouse allergen level was associated with a 25% decreased odds of AR in participating children (95% confidence interval, 0.62-0.92). Although endotoxin and mouse allergen levels were significantly correlated (r = 0.184, P <.001), the observed inverse association between Mus m 1 and AR was not explained by levels of endotoxin or other markers of microbial or fungal exposure (peptidoglycan and glucan).
Conclusion Mouse allergen exposure is associated with decreased odds of AR in Puerto Rican school-aged children.