Vaccines and Allergic reactions: the past, the current COVID-19 pandemic, and future perspectives.
Vaccines are essential public health tools with a favorable safety profile and prophylactic effectiveness that have historically played significant roles in reducing infectious disease burden in populations, when the majority of individuals are vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccines are expected to have similar positive impacts on health across the globe. While serious allergic reactions to vaccines are rare, their underlying mechanisms and implications for clinical management should be considered to provide individuals with the safest care possible. In this review, we provide an overview of different types of allergic adverse reactions that can potentially occur aftervaccination and individual vaccine components capable of causing the allergic adverse reactions. We present the incidence of allergic adverse reactions during clinical studies and through post-authorization and post-marketing surveillance and provide plausible causes of these reactions based on potential allergenic components present in several common vaccines. Additionally, we review implications for individual diagnosis and management and vaccine manufacturing overall. Finally, we suggest areas for future research.
View details for DOI 10.1111/all.14840
View details for PubMedID 33811364
Early intervention of atopic dermatitis as a preventive strategy for progression of food allergy.
Allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology : official journal of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
2021; 17 (1): 30
BACKGROUND: Atopic diseases, such as atopic dermatitis (AD) and food allergy (FA), have increased in prevalence in industrialized countries during the past few decades and pose a significant health burden. They appear to have a common underlying mechanism and a natural disease progression. AD is generally the first atopic disease to manifest followed by other atopic diseases, such as FA, allergic rhinitis, or allergic asthma suggesting that they are likely different manifestations of the same disease. BODY: Evidence suggests that allergic sensitization occurs through an impaired skin barrier, while consumption of these foods at an early age may actually result in tolerance. This has been termed the Dual-Allergen-Exposure hypothesis. Loss of barrier integrity has been hypothesized to enable penetration of allergens, pollutants, and microbes and initiation of an inflammatory immune cascade of events leading to sensitization. The immune dysfunction is thought to further exacerbate the impaired skin barrier to form a vicious cycle. There is much interest in preventing or protecting the skin barrier from developing a proinflammatory atopic state, which may potentially lead to the development of AD and subsequently, FA.CONCLUSION: Research on preventing or treating skin barrier dysfunction is ongoing. A number of studies have evaluated the efficacy of emollients in preventing AD and FA with mixed results. Studies have differed in the study design, population characteristics, emollients type, and frequency, duration, and area of application. Emollient type has varied widely from oils, creams, petrolatum-based lotions, and trilipid creams. Current research is directed towards the use of trilipid emollients that are similar to the skin's natural lipid composition with a 3:1:1 ratio of ceramides, cholesterol and free fatty acids and a pH that is similar to that of skin to determine their effectiveness for skin barrier repair and prevention of AD and FA.
View details for DOI 10.1186/s13223-021-00531-8
View details for PubMedID 33726824
COVID-19 pandemic: Practical considerations on the organization of an allergy clinic-An EAACI/ARIA Position Paper.
2021; 76 (3): 648?76
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has evolved into a pandemic infectious disease transmitted by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Allergists and other healthcare providers (HCPs) in the field of allergies and associated airway diseases are on the front line, taking care of patients potentially infected with SARS-CoV-2. Hence, strategies and practices to minimize risks of infection for both HCPs and treated patients have to be developed and followed by allergy clinics.The scientific information on COVID-19 was analysed by a literature search in MEDLINE, PubMed, the National and International Guidelines from the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), the Cochrane Library, and the internet.Based on the diagnostic and treatment standards developed by EAACI, on international information regarding COVID-19, on guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations, and on previous experience, a panel of experts including clinicians, psychologists, IT experts, and basic scientists along with EAACI and the "Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA)" initiative have developed recommendations for the optimal management of allergy clinics during the current COVID-19 pandemic. These recommendations are grouped into nine sections on different relevant aspects for the care of patients with allergies.This international Position Paper provides recommendations on operational plans and procedures to maintain high standards in the daily clinical care of allergic patients while ensuring the necessary safety measures in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
View details for DOI 10.1111/all.14453
View details for PubMedID 32531110
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7323448
Targeted DNA methylation profiling reveals epigenetic signatures in peanut allergy.
DNA methylation (DNAm) has been shown to play a role in mediating food allergy, however, the mechanism by which it does so is poorly understood. In this study, we used targeted NextGen bisulfite sequencing to evaluate DNAm levels in 125 targeted highly informative genomic regions containing 602 CpG sites on 70 immune-related genes to understand whether DNAm can differentiate peanut allergy (PA) vs non-allergy (NA). We found PA-associated DNAm signatures associated with 12 genes (7 novel to food allergy, 3 associated with Th1/Th2, and 2 associated with innate immunity) as well as DNAm signature combinations with superior diagnostic potential compared to serum peanut specific-IgE for PA vs. NA. Further, we found that following peanut protein stimulation, peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMCs) from PA participants showed increased production of cognate cytokines compared to NA participants. The varying responses between PA and NA participants may be associated with the interaction between the modification of DNAm and the interference of environment. Using Euclidean distance analysis, we found that the distances of methylation profile comprising 12 DNAm signatures between PA and NA pairs in monozygotic (MZ) twins were smaller than that in randomly paired genetically unrelated individuals, suggesting that PA related DNAm signatures may be associated with genetic factors.
View details for DOI 10.1172/jci.insight.143058
View details for PubMedID 33571165
Towards personalization of asthma treatment according to trigger factors.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
Asthma is a severe and chronic disabling disease affecting more than 300 million people world-wide. While in the past few drugs for treatment of asthma were available, new treatment options are currently emerging which appear to be highly effective in certain subgroups of patients. Accordingly there is a need for biomarkers which allow selection of patients for refined and personalized treatment strategies. Recently, serological chip tests based on micro-arrayed allergen molecules and peptides derived from the most common rhinovirus strains have been developed which may discriminate two of the most common forms of asthma, i.e., allergen- and virus-triggered asthma. In this perspective we argue that classification of asthma patients according to these common trigger factors may open new possibilities for personalized management of asthma.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.02.001
View details for PubMedID 32081759
Epigenetics and the Environment in Airway Disease: Asthma and Allergic Rhinitis.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology
2020; 1253: 153?81
Asthma and rhinitis are complex, heterogeneous diseases characterized by chronic inflammation of the upper and lower airways. While genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a number of susceptible loci and candidate genes associated with the pathogenesis of asthma and allergic rhinitis (AR), the risk-associated alleles account for only a very small percent of the genetic risk. In allergic airway and other complex diseases, it is thought that epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, and non-coding microRNAs, caused by complex interactions between the underlying genome and the environment may account for some of this "missing heritability" and may explain the high degree of plasticity in immune responses. In this chapter, we will focus on the current knowledge of classical epigenetic modifications, DNA methylation and histone modifications, and their potential role in asthma and AR. In particular, we will review epigenetic variations associated with maternal airway disease, demographics, environment, and non-specific associations. The role of specific genetic haplotypes in environmentally induced epigenetic changes are also discussed. A major limitation of many of the current studies of asthma epigenetics is that they evaluate epigenetic modifications in both allergic and non-allergic asthma, making it difficult to distinguish those epigenetic modifications that mediate allergic asthma from those that mediate non-allergic asthma. Additionally, most DNA methylation studies in asthma use peripheral or cord blood due to poor accessibility of airway cells or tissue. Unlike DNA sequences, epigenetic alterations are quite cell- and tissue-specific, and epigenetic changes found in airway tissue or cells may be discordant from that of circulating blood. These two confounding factors should be considered when reviewing epigenetic studies in allergic airway disease.
View details for DOI 10.1007/978-981-15-3449-2_6
View details for PubMedID 32445095
Advances and novel developments in environmental influences on the development of atopic diseases.
Although genetic factors play a role in the etiology of atopic disease, the rapid increases in the prevalence of these diseases over the last few decades suggest that environmental, rather than genetic factors are the driving force behind the increasing prevalence. In modern societies, there is increased time spent indoors, use of antibiotics, and consumption of processed foods and decreased contact with farm animals and pets, which limit exposure to environmental allergens, infectious parasitic worms, and microbes. The lack of exposure to these factors is thought to prevent proper education and training of the immune system. Increased industrialization and urbanization has brought about increases in organic and inorganic pollutants. In addition, Caesarian birth, birth order, increased use of soaps and detergents, tobacco smoke exposure and psychosomatic factors are other factors that have been associated with increased rate of allergic diseases. Here, we review current knowledge on the environmental factors that have been shown to affect the development of allergic diseases and the recent developments in the field.
View details for DOI 10.1111/all.14624
View details for PubMedID 33037680
Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy: The pro argument.
The World Allergy Organization journal
2020; 13 (8): 100455
Food allergy (FA) is a growing public health problem with personal, social, nutritional, and economic consequences. In the United States, it is estimated that 8% of children and 10.8% of adults have food allergies. Allergies to peanuts are particularly worrisome as unlike allergies to other allergenic foods, such as milk and egg, which are commonly outgrown by 5 or 10 years of age, 80% of peanut allergies persist into adulthood. The first drug for peanut allergy, Palforzia, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2020. For other food allergies, the current standard of care for the management of FA is suboptimal and is limited to dietary elimination of the offending allergen, vigilance against accidental ingestion, and treatment of allergic reactions with antihistamines and epinephrine. However, dietary avoidance can be challenging, and it is estimated that approximately 40% of patients with food allergies report at least one food allergy-related emergency department in their lifetime. Reactions, even from minimal exposures, can be life-threatening. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) has been the best researched therapeutic approach for treating FA over the last decade, with clinical trials investigating its efficacy, safety, and ability to improve participants' quality of life (QoL). A number of studies and meta-analyses have shown that OIT treatment is effective in raising the threshold of reactivity to peanuts and other foods in addition to producing a measurable serum immune response to such therapy. Although OIT-related adverse events (AEs) are common during treatment, serious reactions are rare. In fact, while the majority of patients experience AEs related to dosing, most continue daily dosing in hopes of achieving protection against the culprit food. Moreover, the majority of participants report improvement of QoL after OIT and are positive about undergoing OIT. These results show patients' commitment to OIT and their optimism regarding the benefits of treatment. As a first step in therapeutic options to protect from reactions to unintentional ingestion of allergenic foods, and importantly, to address the many psychosocial aspects of living with FA, OIT shows promise. Future research will focus on identifying optimal OIT regimens that maintain protection after therapy and allow for regular food consumption without allergic symptoms. Education and informed shared decision making between patients and providers are essential in optimizing current therapy regimens.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100455
View details for PubMedID 33005286
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7519204
Cumulative Lifetime Burden of Cardiovascular Disease From Early Exposure to Air Pollution.
Journal of the American Heart Association
2020; 9 (6): e014944
The disease burden associated with air pollution continues to grow. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates ?7 million people worldwide die yearly from exposure to polluted air, half of which-3.3 million-are attributable to cardiovascular disease (CVD), greater than from major modifiable CVD risks including smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus. This serious and growing health threat is attributed to increasing urbanization of the world's populations with consequent exposure to polluted air. Especially vulnerable are the elderly, patients with pre-existing CVD, and children. The cumulative lifetime burden in children is particularly of concern because their rapidly developing cardiopulmonary systems are more susceptible to damage and they spend more time outdoors and therefore inhale more pollutants. World Health Organization estimates that 93% of the world's children aged <15 years-1.8 billion children-breathe air that puts their health and development at risk. Here, we present growing scientific evidence, including from our own group, that chronic exposure to air pollution early in life is directly linked to development of major CVD risks, including obesity, hypertension, and metabolic disorders. In this review, we surveyed the literature for current knowledge of how pollution exposure early in life adversely impacts cardiovascular phenotypes, and lay the foundation for early intervention and other strategies that can help prevent this damage. We also discuss the need for better guidelines and additional research to validate exposure metrics and interventions that will ultimately help healthcare providers reduce the growing burden of CVD from pollution.
View details for DOI 10.1161/JAHA.119.014944
View details for PubMedID 32174249
New Developments in Non-allergen-specific Therapy for the Treatment of Food Allergy.
Current allergy and asthma reports
2020; 20 (1): 3
The prevalence of food allergy is increasing. At the current time, there are no approved treatments for food allergy. Major limitations of immunotherapy are long treatment periods (months or years), frequent clinic visits, high costs, increased risk of adverse events during treatment, and lack of durability of desensitization. Additionally, it is allergen-specific, and in those allergic to multiple allergens, the length and cost of treatment are further increased. In this review, we summarize recent developments in novel non-allergen-specific treatments for food allergy.A number of monoclonal antibodies that block IgE or specific pro-allergenic cytokines or their receptors have shown promise in clinical trials for food allergy. The insight we have gained through the use of one drug for the treatment of an atopic disease is quickly being translated to other atopic diseases, including food allergy. The future for food allergy treatment with biologics looks bright.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11882-020-0897-8
View details for PubMedID 31950290
- The future of omics for clinical practice ANNALS OF ALLERGY ASTHMA & IMMUNOLOGY 2019; 123 (6): 535?36
Phase 2a randomized, placebo-controlled study of anti-IL-33 in peanut allergy.
2019; 4 (22)
BACKGROUNDIL-33, found in high levels in participants with allergic disorders, is thought to mediate allergic reactions. Etokimab, an anti-IL-33 biologic, has previously demonstrated a good safety profile and favorable pharmacodynamic properties in many clinical studies.METHODSIn this 6-week placebo-controlled phase 2a study, we evaluated the safety and the ability of a single dose of etokimab to desensitize peanut-allergic adults. Participants received either etokimab (n = 15) or blinded placebo (n = 5). Clinical tests included oral food challenges and skin prick tests at days 15 and 45. Blood samples were collected for IgE levels and measurement of ex vivo peanut-stimulated T cell cytokine production.RESULTSEfficacy measurements for active vs. placebo participants at the day 15 and 45 food challenge (tolerating a cumulative 275 mg of peanut protein, which was the food challenge outcome defined in this paper) demonstrated, respectively, 73% vs. 0% (P = 0.008) to 57% vs. 0% (ns). The etokimab group had fewer adverse events compared with placebo. IL-4, IL-5, IL-9, IL-13, and ST2 levels in CD4+ T cells were reduced in the active vs. placebo arm upon peanut-induced T cell activation (P = 0.036 for IL-13 and IL-9 at day 15), and peanut-specific IgE was reduced in active vs. placebo (P = 0.014 at day 15).CONCLUSIONThe phase 2a results suggest etokimab is safe and well tolerated and that a single dose of etokimab could have the potential to desensitize peanut-allergic participants and possibly reduce atopy-related adverse events.TRIAL REGISTRATIONClinicalTrials.gov NCT02920021.FUNDINGThis work was supported by NIH grant R01AI140134, AnaptysBio, the Hartman Vaccine Fund, and the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University.
View details for DOI 10.1172/jci.insight.131347
View details for PubMedID 31723064
- Conflicting verdicts on peanut OIT from the ICER and FDA Advisory Committee; where do we go from here? The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 2019
Newly identified T cell subsets in mechanistic studies of food immunotherapy.
The Journal of clinical investigation
2019; 129 (4): 1431?40
Allergen-specific immunotherapy has shown promise for the treatment of food allergy and is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Although immunotherapy can induce desensitization, the mechanisms underlying this process are not completely understood. Recent advances in high-throughput technologies along with concomitant advances in data analytics have enabled monitoring of cells at the single-cell level and increased the research focus on upstream cellular factors involved in the efficacy of immunotherapy, particularly the role of T cells. As our appreciation of different T cell subsets and their plasticity increases, the initial simplistic view that restoring Th1/Th2 balance by decreasing Th2 or increasing Th1 responses can ameliorate food allergy is being enhanced by a more complex model involving other T cell subsets, particularly Tregs. In this Review, we focus on the current understanding of T cell functions in food allergy, tolerance, and immunotherapy.
View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI124605
View details for PubMedID 30932909
Can food allergy be cured? What are the future prospects?
Food allergies have become a significant heath burden as prevalence continues to rise, affecting 6-13% of the global population. In the absence of drugs approved by regulatory agencies, the current standard of care remains avoidance of allergenic foods and management of acute allergic reactions with antihistamines and epinephrine auto-injectors. Allergen immunotherapy has been shown to increase the threshold of reactivity in the majority of food-allergic individuals. However, challenges include long treatment periods, high rates of adverse reactions, and lack of permanence of desensitization and established protocols. To address these limitations, adjunctive allergen-specific immunotherapy, vaccines, and non-allergen specific therapies (e.g., monoclonal antibodies) are being explored. The future of food allergy treatment is promising with a number of clinical trials in progress. Currently, although desensitization can be achieved for the majority of individuals with food allergy through immunotherapy, continued ingestion of allergen is needed for most individuals to maintain desensitization. Further understanding of the mechanisms of food allergy and identification of biomarkers to distinguish between temporary and permanent resolution of allergies is needed before a cure, where reactivity to the allergen is permanently lost enabling the individual to consume the allergen in any amount at any time, can be envisioned.
View details for DOI 10.1111/all.14116
View details for PubMedID 31733120
- The Use of Biomarkers to Predict Aero-Allergen and Food Immunotherapy Responses CLINICAL REVIEWS IN ALLERGY & IMMUNOLOGY 2018; 55 (2): 190?204
- Comparison of sublingual immunotherapy and oral immunotherapy in peanut allergy ALLERGO JOURNAL 2018; 27 (6): 22?30
- High dimensional immune biomarkers demonstrate differences in phenotypes and endotypes in food allergy and asthma ANNALS OF ALLERGY ASTHMA & IMMUNOLOGY 2018; 121 (1): 117?19
- Impact of allergen immunotherapy in allergic asthma IMMUNOTHERAPY 2018; 10 (7): 579?93
Impact of allergen immunotherapy in allergic asthma.
Although traditional pharmacological approaches improve outcomes in disease management for allergic asthma, these fail to modify the underlying immune responses. Allergen immunotherapy remains the only etiological therapy for the treatment of respiratory allergies for which clinical efficacy has been demonstrated through several well-controlled studies. In this review, we examine evidence from the past 5 years regarding the impact of allergen immunotherapy on allergic asthma to inform practitioners and stimulate further discussion and research.
View details for PubMedID 29569506
New treatment directions in food allergy
ANNALS OF ALLERGY ASTHMA & IMMUNOLOGY
2018; 120 (3): 254?62
View details for PubMedID 29508712
The Use of Biomarkers to Predict Aero-Allergen and Food Immunotherapy Responses.
Clinical reviews in allergy & immunology
The incidence of allergic conditions has continued to rise over the past several decades, with a growing body of research dedicated toward the treatment of such conditions. By driving a complex range of changes in the underlying immune response, immunotherapy is the only therapy that modulates the immune system with long-term effects and is presently utilized for the treatment of several atopic conditions. Recent efforts have focused on identifying biomarkers associated with these changes that may be of use in predicting patients with the highest likelihood of positive clinical outcomes during allergen immunotherapy (AIT), providing guidance regarding AIT discontinuation, and predicting symptomatic relapse and the need for booster AIT after therapy. The identification of such biomarkers in food allergy has the additional benefit of replacing oral food challenges, which are presently the gold standard for diagnosing food allergies. While several markers have shown early promise, research has yet to identify a marker that can invariably predict clinical response to AIT. Skin prick testing (SPT) and specific IgE have commonly been used as inclusion criteria for the initiation of AIT and prediction of reactions during subsequent allergen challenge; however, existing data suggests that changes in these markers are not always associated with clinical improvement and can be widely variable, reducing their utility in predicting clinical response. Similar findings have been described for the use of allergen-specific functional IgG4 antibodies, basophil activation and histamine release, and type 2 innate lymphoid cells. There appears to be a promising association between changes in the expression of dendritic cell-associated markers, as well as the use of DNA promoter region methylation patterns in the prediction of allergy status following therapy. The cellular and molecular changes brought about by immunotherapy are still under investigation, but major strides in our understanding are being made.
View details for PubMedID 29455358
Food allergy and omics.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
2018; 141 (1): 20?29
Food allergy (FA) prevalence has been increasing over the last few decades and is now a global health concern. Current diagnostic methods for FA result in a high number of false-positive results, and the standard of care is either allergen avoidance or use of epinephrine on accidental exposure, although currently with no other approved treatments. The increasing prevalence of FA, lack of robust biomarkers, and inadequate treatments warrants further research into the mechanism underlying food allergies. Recent technological advances have made it possible to move beyond traditional biological techniques to more sophisticated high-throughput approaches. These technologies have created the burgeoning field of omics sciences, which permit a more systematic investigation of biological problems. Omics sciences, such as genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, microbiomics, and exposomics, have enabled the construction of regulatory networks and biological pathway models. Parallel advances in bioinformatics and computational techniques have enabled the integration, analysis, and interpretation of these exponentially growing data sets and opens the possibility of personalized or precision medicine for FA.
View details for PubMedID 29307411
Comparison of sublingual immunotherapy and oral immunotherapy in peanut allergy.
Allergo journal international
2018; 27 (6): 153?61
The prevalence of food allergy has been increasing over the past few decades at an alarming rate with peanut allergy affecting about 2% of children. Both oral immunotherapy (OIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) have shown promise as a treatment option for peanut allergy. Immunotherapy induces desensitization and reduces the risk of reaction during accidental ingestion and may also enable those who are successfully desensitized to include the food allergen in their diet. OIT has been very well studied and has been found to be more efficacious that SLIT with an acceptable safety profile. However, SLIT is associated with fewer side effects. Studies indicate that a combination of SLIT and OIT may together induce a significant increase in challenge thresholds with fewer adverse events. More head-to-head clinical trials that direct compare OIT and SLIT as well as SLIT and OIT combination studies are warranted.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s40629-018-0067-x
View details for PubMedID 31440440
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6705598
Observational long-term follow-up study of rapid food oral immunotherapy with omalizumab
ALLERGY ASTHMA AND CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY
2017; 13: 51
A number of clinical studies focused on treating a single food allergy through oral immunotherapy (OIT) with adjunctive omalizumab treatment have been published. We previously demonstrated safety and tolerability of a rapid OIT protocol using omalizumab in a phase 1 study to achieve desensitization to multiple (up to 5) food allergens in parallel, rapidly (7-36 weeks; median = 18 weeks). In the current long-term, observational study, we followed 34 food allergic participants for over 5 years, who had originally undergone the phase 1 rapid OIT protocol.After reaching the maintenance dose of 2 g protein for each of their respective food allergens as a part of the phase 1 study, the long-term maintenance dose was reduced for some participants based on a pragmatic team-based decision. Participants were followed up to 62 months through standard oral food challenges (OFCs), skin prick tests, and blood tests.Each participant passed the 2 g OFC to each of their offending food allergens (up to 5 food allergens in total) at the end of the long-term follow-up (LTFU) study.Our data demonstrate the feasibility of long-term maintenance dosing of a food allergen without compromising the desensitized status conferred through rapid-OIT. Trial registration Registry: Clinicaltrials.gov. Registration numbers: NCT01510626 (original study), NCT03234764 (LTFU study). Date of registration: November 29, 2011 (original study); July 26, 2017 (LTFU study, retrospectively registered).
View details for PubMedID 29296107
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5738812
Feasibility of sustained response through long-term dosing in food allergy immunotherapy
ALLERGY ASTHMA AND CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY
2017; 13: 52
Clinical trials using oral immunotherapy (OIT) for the treatment of food allergies have shown promising results. We previously demonstrated the feasibility of desensitization for up to 5 food allergens simultaneously through OIT. In this observational study, we report the findings of long-term follow-up (LTFU) of the participants treated through a single site OIT phase 1 trial.The participants (n = 46) were followed up to 72 months since the time they reached 2 g maintenance dose per food in the initial phase 1 trial. During the long-term maintenance dosing, participants continued or reduced the initial maintenance dose of food allergen protein to high (median 2 g protein) vs. low (median 300 mg protein). Participant follow-up included clinical monitoring, standardized OFCs, and in some cases, skin prick tests and measurement of allergen-specific IgE and IgG4.Irrespective of the high vs. low long-term maintenance dose during LTFU, all participants were able to ingest 2 g protein of each food allergen protein during OFCs performed at the end of our LTFU.Our LTFU cohort of food OIT participants from a single site, phase 1 OIT study, supports the feasibility of sustained desensitization through long-term maintenance dosing. Trial registration Registry: Clinicaltrial.gov. Registration numbers: NCT01490177 (original study); NCT03234764 (LTFU study). Date of registration: November 29, 2011 (original study); July 26, 2017 (LTFU study, registered).
View details for PubMedID 29296108
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5738818
Combining anti-IgE with oral immunotherapy
PEDIATRIC ALLERGY AND IMMUNOLOGY
2017; 28 (7): 619?27
Food allergy is a significant medical problem that affects up to 8% of children in developed countries. At present, there are no curative therapies available in routine practice and management of food allergy involves strict allergen avoidance, education, and prompt treatment upon accidental exposure. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is an efficacious experimental approach to food allergy and has been shown to provide a substantial benefit in terms of allergen desensitization. However, OIT is associated with high rates of allergic reactions, and the period of protection offered by OIT appears to be limited and highly variable. Recurrence of allergen sensitivity after a period of treatment discontinuation is commonly observed. With the aim of overcoming these limitations of OIT, several trials have studied omalizumab (anti-IgE monoclonal antibody) as an adjuvant treatment for patients undergoing OIT. Results from these trials have shown that the addition of omalizumab to OIT leads to a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of reactions, which allows for an increase in the threshold of tolerance to food allergens. This review provides a summary of the current literature and addresses some of the key questions that remain regarding the use of omalizumab in conjunction with OIT.
View details for PubMedID 28782296
Cord blood T cell subpopulations and associations with maternal cadmium and arsenic exposures
2017; 12 (6): e0179606
Arsenic and cadmium are environmental pollutants, and although the evidence for adverse immune effects after prenatal arsenic and cadmium exposures is increasing, little is known about the underlying immunological mechanisms.We investigated the relationship between prenatal arsenic and cadmium exposures and a variety of T cell subpopulations measured in cord blood for 63 participants in the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study. Post-partum toenail concentrations of arsenic and cadmium were used as an estimate of maternal exposure during pregnancy. The characteristics of cord blood proportions of T lymphocytes and subpopulations (expression of markers for Th1, Th2, Th17, Th1Th17, induced and natural regulatory T cells and NKTs) are presented.In regression analyses, maternal arsenic exposure levels were inversely associated with cord blood T helper memory cells (-21%, 95% CI: -36%, -3%) and the association was found to be stronger in females. They were also inversely associated with activated T helper memory cells, particularly in males (-26%, 95% CI: -43%, -3%). Similarly, inverse associations were observed between cadmium exposure levels and activated T helper memory cells (-16%, 95% CI: -30%, -1%) and also for T helper memory cells in females (-20%, 95% CI: -35%, -3%).The results suggest that prenatal exposures to relatively low levels of arsenic and cadmium may contribute to altered distribution of T cell populations at birth. These changes in theory, could have contributed to the previously reported immunosuppressive effects observed later in infancy/childhood.
View details for PubMedID 28662050
Association of Clinical Reactivity with Sensitization to Allergen Components in Multifood-Allergic Children.
journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice
Thirty percent of children with food allergies have multiple simultaneous allergies; however, the features of these multiple allergies are not well characterized serologically or clinically.We comprehensively evaluated 60 multifood-allergic patients by measuring serum IgE to key allergen components, evaluating clinical histories and medication use, performing skin tests, and conducting double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges (DBPCFCs).Sixty participants with multiple food allergies were characterized by clinical history, DBPCFCs, total IgE, specific IgE, and component-resolved diagnostics (IgE and IgG4) data. The food allergens tested were almond, egg, milk, sesame, peanut, pecan, walnut, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, soy, and wheat.Our data demonstrate that of the reactions observed during a graded DBPCFC, gastrointestinal reactions occurred more often in boys than in girls, as well as in individuals with high levels of IgE to 2S albumins from cashew, walnut, and hazelnut. Certain food allergies often occurred concomitantly in individuals (ie, cashew/pistachio and walnut/pecan/hazelnut). IgE testing to components further corroborated serological relationships between and among these clustered food allergies.Associations of certain food allergies were shown by DBPCFC outcomes as well as by correlations in IgE reactivity to structurally related food allergen components. Each of these criteria independently demonstrated a significant association between allergies to cashew and pistachio, as well as among allergies to walnut, pecan, and hazelnut.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaip.2017.01.016
View details for PubMedID 28351786
Deciphering the black box of food allergy mechanisms.
Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology : official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology
2017; 118 (1): 21-27
To review our current understanding of immunotherapy, the immune mechanisms underlying food allergy, and the methodological advances that are furthering our understanding of the role of immune cells and other molecules in mediating food allergies.Literature searches were performed using the following combination of terms: allergy, immunotherapy, food, and mechanisms. Data from randomized clinical studies using state-of-the-art mechanistic tools were prioritized.Articles were selected based on their relevance to food allergy.Current standard of care for food allergies is avoidance of allergenic foods and the use of epinephrine in case of severe reaction during unintentional ingestion. During the last few decades, great strides have been made in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying food allergy, and this information is spearheading the development of exciting new treatments.Immunotherapy protocols are effective in desensitizing individuals to specific allergens; however, recurrence of allergic sensitization is common after discontinuation of therapy. Interestingly, in a subset of individuals, immunotherapy is protective against allergens even after discontinuation of immunotherapy. Whether this protection is permanent is currently unknown because of inadequate long-term follow-up data. Research on understanding the underlying mechanisms may assist in modifying protocols to improve outcome and enable sustained unresponsiveness, rather than a temporary relief against food allergies. The cellular changes brought about by immunotherapy are still a black box, but major strides in our understanding are being made at an exciting pace.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.anai.2016.10.017
View details for PubMedID 28007085
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5193239