Euroglyphus maynei

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Code: d74
Latin name: Euroglyphus maynei
Source material: Whole body culture
Family: Pyroglyphidae
Common names: House Dust mite, Dust mite

Allergen Exposure

Geographical distribution

See common geographical background in our Scientific Document (link to the right).

Euroglyphus maynei is prevalent in humid geographical areas throughout the world (1). These mites thrive in humid human dwellings where there is no liquid water to drink. Their bodies contain 70 to 75% water by weight, which must be maintained in order for the mites to reproduce. Their primary source of water is water vapour, which is extracted from the air. At relative humidities above 65 to 70%, adequate amounts of water can be extracted from unsaturated air to compensate for that lost by all avenues (2). Study of the biology of E. maynei has been relatively uncommon because the mite is difficult to culture. E. maynei has been increasingly recognised as an important source of allergen exposure for patients with House dust mite allergy (3).


See common environmental background tomites in our Scientific Document (link to the right).


E. maynei is the source of at least 47 individual allergens. Twenty-two of the allergens were recognised by more than 50% of sera from 16 E. maynei-allergic individuals, and all but 1 of the subjects had IgE that bound to more than 10 allergens. One of the proteins was identified as the allergen Eur m 2 (3).

Although a number of allergens have been isolated from this mite, only a few have been characterised:

  • Eur m 1, a thiol cysteine protease (4-6).
  • Eur m 2 (1,4,6).
  • Eur m 3, a Group 3 mite allergen (7).
  • Eur m 4, a 57 to 60 kDa protein, an alphaamylase (6,8-9).
  • Eur m 14, vitellogenin, an apolipophorin from haemolymph (6,10).
  • rEur m 14, a recombinant allergen (10).
  • Group 2 allergens (e.g., Der p 2, Eur m 2) have been reported to induce humoral and cellular responses in 80 to 90% of miteallergic individuals (11).

Potential cross-reactivity

A moderate degree of cross-reactivity exists between the House dust mite E. maynei and the House dust mite Dermatophagoides species (12). Other studies have reported a higher degree of cross-reactivity between these 2 types of House dust mites, with a high level of primary structure similarity being demonstrated among Eur m 1, Der p 1 and Der f 1. Eur m 1 and Der p I showed 85% amino acid identity, and the 3 allergen amino acid sequences taken together showed a 78% identity (5,13-14).

Similarly, amino acid sequences of Eur m 1 and Eur m 2 were reported to have an 84 to 86% sequence identity with the corresponding allergens from Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae mites. This was reported to be the same as the degree of sequence identity found between D. pteronyssinus and D. farinae, despite Euroglyphus being a member of the Pyroglyphinae subfamily rather than the Dermatophagoidinae subfamily (4,15). Pso o 1 from Sheep scab mite (Psoroptes ovis) has also been shown to be homologous to mite Group 1 allergens (16), and Pso o 2 to mite Group 2 allergens (17).

Other authors have also reported significant cross-reactivity among Dermatophagoides and Euroglyphus species. Blomia kulagini demonstrated a medium degree of cross-reactivity with Euroglyphus maynei. Immunological crossreactivity between Pyroglyphidae and non- Pyroglyphidae mites was reported to be very low (18).

After an examination of cross-reactivity at the T-cell level, E. maynei Group 1 allergens were reported to be a significant source of primary T-cell sensitisation and to have little T-cell cross-reactivity with D. pteronyssinus or D. farinae (19).

Although E. maynei and B. tropicalis are the source of both species-specific and crossreactive allergens, most allergens in each appear to be species-specific (20). Eur m 3, a Group 3 mite serine protease allergen, has been shown to exhibit 42-57% homology with a cloned trypsin gene from the German cockroach (21). As Blo t 3 from B. tropicalis is highly homologous to Group 3 Dust mite allergens, cross reactivity is likely between B. tropicalis and E. maynei.7 (22). Der p 4 and Eur m 4 were calculated to be 90% identical, and their amino acid sequences demonstrated an approximately 50%-identical match to insect and mammalian alpha-amylases, although the clinical relevance of this latter finding is unknown (8).

Of 2 recombinant allergens constructed from Sarcoptes scabiei, 1 was homologous to and cross-reactive with the E. maynei allergen Eur m 14, an apolipophorin from haemolymph (23). Amino acid sequence data has demonstrated similarity between Eur m 14 and other allergens in D. pteronyssinus and D. farinae; these allergens showed strong similarity to the insect apolipophorins that exist in the lipid transport particles in haemolymph (10).

Clinical Experience

IgE-mediated reactions

E. maynei may commonly induce symptoms of asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis and exacerbate atopic dermatitis in sensitised individuals (24-26).

House dust mites from the family Pyroglyphidae Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, D. farinae and Euroglyphus maynei – are recognised as the major source of allergens in house dust and the indoor environment, producing multiple potent allergens. They are common inhabitants of homes worldwide (27-29). In fact, the House dust mites to which humans are most frequently sensitised are these very 3 (4,30). Sensitisation to E. maynei has been reported throughout many countries of the world.

In Germany, sensitisation to E. maynei was shown to be common (31). In 86 German farmers with rhinitis and/or asthma evaluated by skin-specific IgE determination, the most frequent sensitisations were found to be to the 3 Blomia species, E. maynei and G. domesticus (25).

In a survey of mites in 30 homes in Oxfordshire, UK, D. pteronyssinus and E. maynei were found to be the most abundant species, but D. farinae was absent (32). In Oxford, UK, 25 atopic children under 11 years of age were studied through skin test and IgE antibody response to D. pteronyssinus, D. farinae, D. microceras and Euroglyphus maynei. All of the children were sensitive to D. pteronyssinus, 20 (80%) were also sensitive to D. farinae and D. microceras, and of this latter group16 (64%) were also sensitive to E. maynei (33).

Similarly, a survey was done of the House dust mite population in the homes of 50 asthmatics residing in Liverpool, UK, who had strong skin reactivity to D. pteronyssinus. It was demonstrated, as expected, that D. pteronyssinus was the commonest species. However, E. maynei made up 37% of the total adult mite count and was the predominant species in 48% of beds examined (34). Glasgow, with a mild, highrainfall climate, combined with deteriorating housing and low standards of living in many parts of the city, is said to be a particularly suitable place for thriving populations of House dust mites. In a study, 31 species were detected, of which the most abundant were D. pteronyssinus (64.3%), Glycyphagus domesticus (16.7%), and Euroglyphus maynei (11.6%) (35-36).

In a Polish study, more than 30 mite species were found, of which the most common were those of the Pyroglyphid family, especially D. pteronyssinus and D. farinae. E. maynei occurred in very small numbers (37). These findings concurred with those of a study examining house dust samples from 335 dwellings at 27 different localities in Poland. This study identified 15 species, including 4 species from the family Pyroglyphidae. D. farinae predominated, followed by D. pteronyssinus, and only 1.6% of the homes contained E. maynei (38).

Among farmers working and living in rural regions of Austria (Styria, Lower Austria), and 26 citizens of Vienna, elevated levels of IgE antibodies specific for E. maynei were more frequently observed in the urban dwellers (39). In the Czech Republic, E. maynei was found more commonly in recreation houses and some hospitals (40). In Russia, in a group of patients with allergic disease who were sensitised to D. pteronyssinus, 80% were also sensitised to D. farinae, 55% to E. maynei, 45% to A. siro and 35% to L. destructor (41). Sensitisation to this mite has been reported in Scandinavian countries (42). In Sweden, E. maynei was shown to be a common cause of sensitisation among the whole farming population, with a prevalence of 4.5%, as shown by on the detection of serum-specific IgE (43). However, sensitisation to this mite in Swedish bakers was reported to be rare (44).

In Israel, the House dust mites D. pteronyssinus, D. farinae and Euroglyphus maynei constituted 94.8% of the mites. The most prevalent species of mites were shown to be D. pteronyssinus (85.6%) and D. farinae (71.3%) (45).

E. maynei has also been shown to be an important mite in the Americas. In a study involving 8 geographic areas of the United States, it was demonstrated that the most common Dust mites found in homes were D. farinae, D. pteronyssinus, E. maynei, and B. tropicalis (46). In Hawaii, dust was collected from 102 university student dormitory rooms. Thirty-three samples were selected for analysis and shown to contain D. pteronyssinus in 81.9% and D. farinae in 11.2%. The presence of the Euroglyphus species was reported to be very low (47). In the city of Juiz de Fora, Brazil, E. maynei and Tyrophagus putrescentiae were some of the main species found (48). In 99 subjects with acute asthma and 100 controls in Cartagena, Colombia, sensitisation to E. maynei was demonstrated to be 68.7% vs. 22% (49). In a study involving 56 asthmatics in Santa Fe, Argentina, 46 were found to be positive on skin test to D. pteronyssinus, 43 to D. farinae, 27 to Aleuroglyphus ovatus, 38 to B. tropicalis and 27 to Chortoglyphus arcuatus; 38 of 54 individuals had IgE antibodies to E. maynei, and 22 of 54 to L. destructor (50). In 100 children with a history of mild or moderate asthma living in Mexico City, skin tests demonstrated that D. pteronyssinus was positive in 96, D. farinae in 80, and E. maynei in 41 (51). In an allergen exposure study in Uberaba, Brazil, 240 dust samples were collected from 60 houses. D. pteronyssinus was reported to be the most frequent species found (15.6%), followed by D. farinae (12.3%) and E. maynei (7.9%) (52).

In Valdivia, Chile, among 100 consecutive paediatric asthma patients evaluated, 80 were confirmed to have skin reactivity to at least 1 mite species. All patients with skin reactivity for mites were positive to D. pteronyssinus, 99% to D. farinae, 92% to E. maynei, 80% to L. destructor, 73% to T. putrescientae, 72% to B. tropicalis, 70% to A. siro and 68% to C. arcuatus. All of the patients with severe persistent asthma had skin reactivity to mites, as did 85% in the moderate group and 73% in the mild group. Ninety-five percent of patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis were shown to have skin reactivity to mites, as were 92% of patients with asthma and eczema and 100% of patients with asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema (53).

Mites from mattresses in homes of 11 cities in Puerto Rico were assessed, and E. maynei was found in 5.3% of homes (54). The predominant mite species in Perth and Bunbury in Australia were D. pteronyssinus, E. maynei and Tarsonemus species. Surprisingly, D. farinae was found to be absent from all dust samples examined. E. maynei was present in the 10 Bunbury homes and in 50% of the Perth homes, ranging up to 81% of mites identified (55). E. maynei has been reported from China (56). In 93 Taiwanese asthmatic children aged from 3 to 15 years examined for IgE antibodies to 5 different species of mites, 63 were found to have IgE antibodies to at least 1 mite. Seventy-seven percent were shown to be sensitised to E. maynei. Some patients were shown to have IgE antibodies to E. maynei (3.2%) and B. tropicalis (3.2%), even though they had none to D. pteronyssinus and D. farinae (57).

In the manufacture of "chorizo" sausage, occupational allergy has been reported to E. maynei (58).

Compiled by Dr Harris Steinman,


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As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.