Sever, M.L. et al. Cockroach allergen reduction by cockroach control alone in low-income urban homes: a randomized control trial. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 120, 849-855

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Impact Factor: 11.48). 11/2007; 120(4):849-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2007.07.003
Source: PubMed


We previously reported significant reductions in cockroach allergen concentrations in urban homes by reducing cockroach infestations.
To determine the effectiveness of pest control performed by professional entomologists, compared with commercial companies, in reducing cockroach allergen.
This 3-arm randomized controlled trial enrolled 60 cockroach-infested homes in North Carolina. Homes were randomly assigned to a control group or 1 of 2 treatment groups. Treatment 1 had insecticide baits placed by entomologists from North Carolina State University. Treatment 2 received pest control from a randomly assigned commercial company. Vacuumed dust sampling and cockroach trapping were conducted at 0, 6, and 12 months. Dust samples were analyzed by ELISA.
In treatment 1 homes, there were significant reductions in geometric mean trap counts compared with control and treatment 2 homes at 12 months. Relative to control, significant 12-month reductions in Bla g 1 were evident in treatment 1 homes at all sampled sites, except bedroom floor. From baseline to month 12, geometric mean Bla g 1 concentrations (U/g) decreased from 64.2 to 5.6 in kitchen, 10.6 to 1.1 in living room, 10.7 to 1.9 on bedroom floor, and 3.6 to 2.3 in bed. Treatment 2 homes showed no significant 12-month allergen reductions versus control.
Reductions in Bla g 1 in cockroach-infested homes can be achieved by reducing infestations; however, the magnitude of allergen reduction is dependent on the thoroughness and effectiveness of cockroach eradication efforts.
Elimination of cockroaches is an effective method for reducing exposure to cockroach allergen.

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    • "HDEs were prepared as described previously by Sever et al. (2007). Endotoxin levels were assayed by a Limulus amebocyte lysate assay (Lonza, Karlsruhe, Germany), and allergens were measured using a multi plex array for indoor allergens (MARIA; Indoor Biotechnologies, Charlottesville, VA), according to the manu‑ facturer's instructions. "
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    • "Such treatment, together with family education, will be effective in reducing cockroach populations for 2-3 months [22]. Treatment by professional entomologists was found to be more effective in reducing cockroach allergen when compared to treatment by chemical companies [23]. Reduction in cockroach allergen can be achieved through combined intervention of occupant education, insecticide application and professional cleaning [6]. "
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    • "The results of this study support the latest Þndings that cockroach allergen concentrations can be re - duced by integrating several tactics including educa - tion , cleaning , and pest control ( Arbes et al . 2003 , Peters et al . 2007 ) or by cockroach elimination alone ( Arbes et al . 2004 , Sever et al . 2007 ) . School districts that are hesitant to adopt IPM methods because of skepticism about the effectiveness of this pest control approach can be encouraged to implement IPM pro - grams because both prospective and retrospective studies show that IPM is more effective than conven - tional pest control , and it can lead to long - term re - "
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    ABSTRACT: Cockroach suppression is fundamental to cockroach allergen mitigation in infested homes. The effects of various cockroach control strategies on cockroach populations and allergen concentration have not been examined in schools. This study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of integrated pest management (IPM) and conventional pest control in controlling German cockroach (Blattella germanica L.) infestations and concentrations of the cockroach allergen Bla g 1 in public school buildings. Two school districts included six schools that used conventional pest control and one district included seven schools that used IPM to control pests. Cockroach traps were deployed to assess the level of infestation, settled dust samples were collected in food service areas, classrooms, and other school areas, and the Bla g 1 allergen was quantified by ELISA. Both cockroach counts and Bla g 1 concentrations were dependent on the pest control approach, with highly significant differences between IPM-treated schools and conventionally treated schools in both the cockroach mean trap counts (0 versus 82.6 +/- 17.3 cockroaches/trap/wk, respectively) and in the amount of Bla g 1 in dust samples (2.8 +/- 0.3 versus 30.6 +/- 3.4 U/g dust). Cockroaches and Bla g 1 were primarily associated with food preparation and food service areas and much less with classrooms and offices. Our data extend recent findings from studies in homes, showing that cockroach allergens can be reduced by cockroach elimination alone or by integrating several tactics including education, cleaning, and pest control. IPM is not only effective at controlling cockroaches but also can lead to long-term reductions in cockroach allergen concentrations, resulting in a healthier environment for students and school personnel.
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