J Korean Med Sci.  2007 Apr;22(2):383-385. 10.3346/jkms.2007.22.2.383.

Activated Charcoal Suppresses Breeding of the House Dust Mite, Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus, in Culture

  • 1Department of Clinical Parasitology and Allergy, Soonchunghyang University, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 2Wellington Asthma Research Group, Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, PO Box 7343, Wellington South, New Zealand. rob@wnmeds.ac.nz
  • 3Medical Science and Technology Center, Soonchunghyang University, Asan, Korea.


House dust mite sensitized asthmatics are advised to practice allergen avoidance. Charcoal pillows are used in Korea with unsubstantiated claims regarding their efficacy in alleviating asthma symptoms. We tested the effects of activated charcoal on breeding of house dust mites in culture. Twenty live adult house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) were inoculated, 10 replicates, on culture media containing 0%, 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% activated charcoal and incubated at 25 degrees C and a relative humidity of 75%. After four weeks, the mean numbers of live house dust mites were 286, 176, 46, 16, 7, and 0 for the 0%, 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% charcoal-containing culture media, respectively. Thus, activated charcoal suppresses breeding of house dust mites and offers a new promising method for house dust mite control.


Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus; House Dust Mite; Activated Charcoal; Survival; Allergy

MeSH Terms

Pyroglyphidae/*drug effects/*growth & development
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Charcoal/*administration & dosage
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