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Mite Allergens

Volume 460: debated on Monday 14 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research she has (a) conducted and (b) supported into mite allergens; and whether this research indicates potential risks to human health. (128139)

The Department is currently funding a research programme at a cost of £2.5 million over five years at the Social Medicine and Health Services Research Unit at Imperial College, London on respiratory epidemiology. Part of this programme includes research on allergens, including house dust mites.

The unit is the coordinating centre for the second European Community Respiratory Health Survey. The survey has sought among other things to determine the risk attributable to chronic exposure to environmental risk factors including mite allergens for the incidence and prognosis of allergy, allergic disease and low lung function. Results will be published in due course.

The Medical Research Council, one of the main agencies through which the United Kingdom Government support medical and clinical research, is currently funding a large volume of underpinning work on allergic mechanisms and on asthma, although none specifically on mite allergens at present.