New developments in the field of allergy

This is a 2011 summary from the 200 articles published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy in 2010. This is a little bit old but still interesting overview and my comments are added to each item below:

- Asthma and rhinitis phenotypes and biomarkers (phenotypes and endotypes) continue to be an important area of research.

- New therapies, including those derived from plants and herbs, are explored, e.g. Chinese herbal formula for treatment of food allergy is currently in trials at Mount Sinai.

- Pro-, pre- and synbiotics research remains a controversial and complicated field. The allergy-related research is not yet conclusive whether these substance are beneficial or not. Some studies have shown hints of efficacy in atopic dermatitis but the results are preliminary.

- Relationship between helminthic disease and allergy had a new twist in 2010-2011, involving studies using infection with helminths as a potential treatment.

- Genetics of allergic disease has moved on from only investigating single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of candidate genes to Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) and gene-environment interactions (epigenetics).

- There is a renewed interest in reactions to contrast media with some studies showing a higher rate of IgE-mediated reactions than previously anticipated, employing older and time-tested methods such as skin prick testing.

- There is a growing interest in the role of component resolved diagnosis, particularly in the field of food allergy, and peanut allergy, specifically. The first component resolved test for peanut allergy is now commercially available at the cost of $300. The test is not covered by health insurance.

Overall, these are exciting developments that hopefully will bring relief and lasting improvement to patients with allergic diseases. Feel free to add your comments in the section below this post.


C. H. Katelaris, A. Linneberg, A. Magnan, W. R. Thomas, A. J. Wardlaw and P. Wark, Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2011 (41) 1690-1710.

Image source: Wikipedia.

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