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Domestic Arthropods and Their Allergens

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Allergy prevalence has increased worldwide over the last 25 years along with industrialization and westernized lifestyles. Indoor allergens are primarily responsible for the sensitization and development of atopic diseases. The main indoor allergens are known to be derived from various arthropods which account for up to 80% of the kingdom Animalia. The two classes of arthropods are Insecta, which includes cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, ants and silverfishes, and Arachnida, which includes mites, spiders, ticks, and scorpions and are the main sources of the allergens. Excreted materials, cast-overs from skin-molting, and dead debris are sources of allergens that can sensitize genetically predisposed individuals and elicit allergic disorders.

The use of molecular biology techniques has contributed to the identification and characterization of an ever-increasing number of allergens. However, key determinants and allergen properties that drive allergic responses are poorly understood.

The biological characterization of allergens will provide an understanding of the pathogenesis of allergic diseases and contribute to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: Allergen; allergy; arthropod; asthma; atopy; insect

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-10-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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