Allergen immunotherapy was introduced by Leonard Noon 100 years ago and is the only disease-modifying treatment for allergic individuals (Allergy, 2012).
Mechanisms of allergen-specific immunotherapy (click to enlarge the image):
This literature review included 31 publications on subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) in pediatric patients from January 2006 to April 2011.
There is high-quality evidence that grass pollen SCIT causes a reduction in the symptom-medication score and increases the threshold of the conjunctival provocation test, immediately and 7 years after termination of SCIT. It also increases the threshold of the specific bronchial provocation test and the skin prick test reactivity.
Alternaria SCIT improves symptom-medication scores, and quality of life.
Dust mite SCIT
High-quality evidence of house dust mite SCIT shows that asthma symptom and medication scores improve and emergency department visits and skin reactivity are reduced.
Pollen SCIT prevents asthma (moderate evidence). Evidence for long-term benefit of pollen SCIT (7-12 years after termination) is low to moderate.
There is inconclusive evidence for SCIT reducing new sensitizations.
Grass pollen, Alternaria, and house dust mite SCIT are beneficial in allergic children.
Evidence of effect of subcutaneous immunotherapy in children: complete and updated review from 2006 onward. Larenas-Linnemann DE, Pietropaolo-Cienfuegos DR, Calderón MA. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Nov;107(5):407-416.e11. Epub 2011 Sep 15.