House dust mites (HDM) are a globally important source of allergen responsible for the sensitization of more than 50% of allergic patients. Specific immunotherapy with HDM extracts is effective but allergen extracts cannot be fully standardized and severe side-effects can occur during the protracted course of treatment. The introduction of molecular biological techniques into allergy research allowed the indentification of more than 20 groups of HDM allergens. Recombinant HDM allergens can be produced in defined concentrations and consistent quality and allow the development of vaccines for HDM allergy with reduced allergenic activity and retained immunogenicity. The immunotherapy trials in pollen allergic patients with recombinant pollen allergens/hypoallergenic allergen derivatives have shown that this treatment is effective and indicated that recombinant HDM vaccines might improve immunotherapy of HDM allergic patients. Here we report the steps for the development of vaccines for HDM allergy. After selection of the most prevalent HDM species, the panel of allergens to be included into a therapeutic vaccine for HDM allergy needs to be determined. HDM allergens with high IgE-binding frequency and clinical relevance will be modified into hypoallergenic variants and evaluated for their allergenic activity and immunogenicity. Derivatives with reduced allergenic activity but with retained immunogenicity would be good candidates for a HDM vaccine for safe and efficient immunotherapy. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.