Dust mites are everywhere. They love the places we love to be – cushy, comfy sleeping spots. And, there can be as many as several hundred to thousands of dust mites per gram of dust! While dust mites don’t bite and don’t spread disease, they can wreak havoc as an allergen – especially people with asthma. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, as many as 20 million Americans are allergic to dust mites. And I’m one of them! Currently, all we can do is manage the symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, red itchy eyes – and asthma! – and try to minimize their numbers by dusting, dusting, and more dusting. My house has no carpet, as it’s easier to keep dust in check as much as possible.
But there’s good news! Researchers at the University of Iowa have developed a nano-sized vaccine delivery method that reduced lung inflammation in mice by a whopping 83%! The researchers took a cancer vaccine delivery method which uses an adjuvant called CpG and studied its effect on the allergic reaction – and it worked. Animals given the vaccine with CpG produced more antibodies and had less lung inflammation! This is very exciting news for those 20 million people (including me!) who suffer from allergic and asthmatic responses to dust mites!