Allergens and Dirt-Molecular Pathways - Twitter summary from 2012 #AAAAI meeting

This summary was compiled from the tweets posted by the following allergists/immunologists who attended the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI): Matthew Bowdish MD ‏@MatthewBowdish. The tweets were labeled #AAAAI. The text was edited and modified by me.

Allergens and Dirt-Molecular Pathways and Consequences for the Allergic Epidemic: 715 allergens

There are 715 allergens in the WHO/IUIS Allergen Database. Allergens are structurally heterogeneous and some have homology with human proteins. Homology with human proteins is basis for cross-reactivity.

This is the central conundrum of allergy/asthma: Why only 715 allergens trigger symptoms out of tens of thousands of proteins and glycoproteins? Or put another way, why do allergens act as adjuvants and why are they allergenic?

PAMPs might play a role and explain genetic predisposition to atopy since they are passed on to progeny.

Dust mite

Dust mite is a major source of aeroallergens for patients with asthma. It has lots of allergenic peptides. There seems to be a functional homology between MD2 and DerP2, allowing for increased TLR4 signalling like LPS. It drives Th2 inflammation in a TLR4 dependent fashion.

Der p2 likely serves as a host defense role in the mite. Our response is likely a case of mistaken identity (we think they're bacteria).

Soman Abraham discussed Particulate Allergens:

Allergic particles are small allergens from 1-10 microns and may provoke more airway inflammation than soluble allergens. Here is one of Soman's papers on the subject of particulate allergens: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/43584

Only soluble allergens are processed through traditional mast cell endocytic route, particulate allergens stay in CD63+ compartments. Particulate allergens in CD63+ compartments cause sustained signaling via a lipid raft mechanism.

Allergists achieved highest use of social media by any specialty

During the 2012 AAAAI meeting, the allergists achieved the highest use of social media by any specialty. There are more than 100 allergists on Twitter and 30 of them posted simultaneously from the annual meeting, broadcasting thousands of tweets tagged with #AAAAI. The annual AAAAI meeting was attended by approximately 5,000 people. In comparison, the 30 allergists on Twitter reached 250,000 people (measured by TweetReach.com on 03/04/2012).

This summary was compiled from some of the tweets posted by Matthew Bowdish MD ‏@MatthewBowdish. 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. This is one of a series of posts that will be published during the next few weeks.

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