Why we develop allergies - Twitter summary from the 2012 WSAAI meeting

This summary was compiled from the tweets posted by @MatthewBowdish, an allergist/immunologist, who attended the 2012 Western Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (WSAAI) meeting. The tweets were labeled #WSAAI. The text was edited and modified by me.

Why we develop allergies

Tom Platts-Mills discussed the last 50 years in allergy & clinical immunology:

During 1966-70, the allergy world was turned upside down: IgE and and dust mite (DM) antigen were discovered.

Hygiene contributes (evidence from farm studies and developing nations) but isn't the only explanation for the increased allergy prevalence. Clean water, shoes, helminth eradication, separation of farm animals are all contributing to increase in allergies.

Children living on a farm are at reduced risk of asthma (OR 0.68), hay fever (OR, 0.43), atopic dermatitis (OR, 0.80), and atopic sensitization (OR, 0.54) http://goo.gl/qVY2G

Are exposures to cat and dog different mechanisms in terms of allergic sensitization? “Dog is like having a cow in the house” while cat is a completely different mechanism.

We are indoor much more. There is also chemical exposure (especially skin detergents), and peanut sensitization through the skin.

Who has lowest prevalence of allergy in the US? Amish. For example, Amish children living in Northern Indiana have a very low prevalence of allergic sensitization (http://goo.gl/HtDyI).

Amish farm kids appear remarkably "immune" to allergies - even better than the currently best-protected, Swiss farm kids (http://goo.gl/fVNLP).

Why? Think about vitamin D and sun exposure.

Indoor existence has been a more significant change than allergen exposure.

Rhinovirus is an important element in the allergic response.

Allergic (atopic) march (click here to enlarge the image):

This summary was compiled from some of the tweets posted by @MatthewBowdish . The tweets were labeled #WSAAI and they reached more than 3,000 people. I would strongly encourage you to post updates on Twitter from the CME conferences that you are planning to attend in the future. Here is how to do it: Twitter for Physicians: How to use Twitter to keep track of the latest news and scientific meetings, and share information with colleagues and patients.

Disclaimer: The text was edited, modified, and added to by me.

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