Mouse Allergens Drives Asthma Symptoms In Many Children Interview with:

Elizabeth C. Matsui, MD MHS Professor of Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Environmental Health Sciences Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 21287

Dr. Matsui

Elizabeth C. Matsui, MD MHS
Professor of Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Environmental Health Sciences
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, MD 21287 What is the background for this study?

Response: We designed this study after our previous work indicated that mouse allergy was common among low-income children living in some urban neighborhoods in the US, that these children also had high levels of mouse allergen exposure in their homes, and that children who are both allergic to mice and exposed to high levels of mouse allergen are at greater risk of asthma symptoms, emergency room visits and hospitalization.   Given this background, we designed a randomized clinical trial to determine if an intensive professionally delivered mouse intervention was better than education about mouse control in reducing asthma symptoms and lowering home mouse allergen levels. What are the main findings?

Response: First, the group that received the intensive professionally delivered intervention did not have a greater reduction in either asthma symptoms or home mouse allergen levels than the group that received education about mouse control.

The surprising finding was that both groups had substantial reductions in mouse allergen that have not been observed in previous trials, and these reductions in home mouse allergen were associated with significant improvements in asthma. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

(1) Professionally delivered pest management for mice appears to be no better than education about pest management in reducing home mouse allergen levels or reducing asthma symptoms.

(2) Although we did not test whether education about mouse control was better than doing nothing at all, the findings suggest that learning how to get rid of mice and lower home mouse allergen levels may be helpful in reducing mouse allergen exposure and improving asthma.

(3) Mouse allergen levels are high in many neighborhoods and is an important driver of asthma morbidity. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future studies should assess if education about mouse control can reduce asthma morbidity. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Matsui EC, Perzanowski M, Peng RD, Wise RA, Balcer-Whaley S, Newman M, Cunningham A, Divjan A, Bollinger ME, Zhai S, Chew G, Miller RL, Phipatanakul W. Effect of an Integrated Pest Management Intervention on Asthma Symptoms Among Mouse-Sensitized Children and Adolescents With AsthmaA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. Published online March 06, 2017. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.21048

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on March 9, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD