University of Reading Research Data Archive

Biogeographical distribution of house dust mites: database from the literature

How to cite this Dataset


There has been a multitude of research into mite fauna with focus on the medical and economic implications of these species, but there is not a recent comprehensive report of all indoor house dust mite fauna worldwide. 347 articles from 1950 to the beginning of 2017 were collected through online searches using Web of Science, Google Scholar, EThOs, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, Summon2.0, Interlibrary loans, and archives in the University of Reading collection, as well as the resources available at the University College of London library. Only mites which were collected from a location where people were living (i.e. sleeping and eating on a regular basis), as well as clothing, were included. Mites identified from other indoor locations, from human sputum after ingestion, or following an allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock were excluded. Specimens which were morphologically identified, as opposed to DNA identified, were incorporated. 531 species were collected from 63 countries worldwide, with the most diverse mite fauna in India (153 species), Japan (112 species), and Brazil (99 species). Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, and Euroglyphus maynei were the three most common species, collected from 298, 235 and 155 publications respectively. There were some issues with creating this database, including the large discrepancy in the number of studies conducted within one region or country. Therefore the minimal number of studies may not be an accurate representation of all mite fauna in that country. There are many geographical and housing differences between regions within a country, as well as sampling variations. There may also be an issue with species misidentification, particularly pertinent with older publications before more accurate keys had been produced. Some publications also only searched for specific species, so many others may be excluded. Finally, there is a bias towards English-written publications. Research published in certain journals or different languages may have not been encompassed within the online searches. Some information or articles may also be overlooked due to poor translation, as often an English abstract or summary is provided but not the reminder of the publication. Therefore, although this database contains as many publications as possible, some mite fauna may still be missing. However, as this house dust mite fauna database notes specific locations and collection times, it assists with detecting the previously outlined issues of sampling bias and differences between locations.

Resource Type: Dataset
Creators: Farncombe, Kirsten M
Contributors: Johnson, Louise J
Rights-holders: Kirsten M Farncombe
Data Publisher: University of Reading
Publication Year: 2018
Data last accessed: 22 June 2024
Metadata Record URL:
Organisational units: Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Participating Organisations: University of Reading
Keywords: Pyroglyphidae, Dermatophagoides, Worldwide, Mite fauna, house dust mites
Data Availability: OPEN


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