Researchers at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on Thursday said they have discovered the DNA evolution of mites, and findings on why they are so adaptive to Hong Kong's environment may help further studies in tackling mite allergies.
The researchers said dust and storage mites are major causes of allergies, and in Hong Kong over 50 percent of people have at least of one form of allergy, with the number of children suffering from allergies increasing in recent decades.
Dr Angel Wan, a member of the research team, said Hong Kong's living environment is ideal for mites.
"The relatively humidity of about 50 to 75 percent and 25 degrees Celsius is most favourable to the growth of mites. In Hong Kong we have a long range of time that has these conditions for mites to grow," she said.
Dr Xiong Qing, a postdoctoral fellow of the School of Biomedical Sciences at CUHK's Faculty of Medicine, said the genome analysis of mites shows there had been horizontal gene transfer, or DNA sharing between bacterial genomes, hundreds of millions of years ago.
He said this made mites more adaptive to the environment.
"We will try to screen some chemicals to try to remove the mites at our homes. In our homes, there are so many mites, we can't avoid them ... We will try to apply our findings in avoiding, removing the mites," he said.