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Journal: Allergology international : official journal of the Japanese Society of Allergology


Cholinergic urticaria (CU) has clinically characteristic features, and has been frequently described in the literature. However, despite its comparatively old history, the pathogenesis and classification remains to be clarified. CU patients are occasionally complicated by anhidrosis and/or hypohidrosis. This reduced-sweat type should be included in the classification because the therapeutic approaches are different from the ordinary CU. It is also well-known that autologous sweat is involved in the occurrence of CU. More than half of CU patients may have sweat hypersensitivity. We attempt to classify CU and address the underlying mechanisms of CU based on the published data and our findings. The first step for classification of CU seems to discriminate the presence or absence of hypersensitivity to autologous sweat. The second step is proposed to determine whether the patients can sweat normally or not. With these data, the patients could be categorized into three subtypes: (1) CU with sweat hypersensitivity; (2) CU with acquired anhidrosis and/or hypohidrosis; (3) idiopathic CU. The pathogenesis of each subtype is also discussed in this review.

Concepts: Medical terms, Perspiration, Hyperhidrosis, Type theory, Polymorphism in object-oriented programming, Subtype polymorphism, Cholinergic urticaria


Wheat-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (WDEIA) is a specific form of wheat allergy typically induced by exercise after ingestion of wheat products. Wheat ω-5 gliadin is a major allergen associated with conventional WDEIA, and detection of serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) specific to recombinant ω-5 gliadin is a reliable method for its diagnosis. Recently, an increased incidence of a new subtype of WDEIA, which is likely to be sensitized via a percutaneous and/or rhinoconjunctival route to hydrolyzed wheat protein (HWP), has been observed. All of the patients with this new subtype had used the same brand of soap, which contained HWP. Approximately half of these patients developed contact allergy several months later and subsequently developed WDEIA. In each of these patients, contact allergy with soap exposure preceded food ingestion-induced reactions. Other patients directly developed generalized symptoms upon ingestion of wheat products. The predominant observed symptom of the new WDEIA subtype was angioedema of the eyelids; a number of patients developed anaphylaxis. This new subtype of WDEIA has little serum ω-5 gliadin-specific serum IgE.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Hypersensitivity, Immunoglobulin E, Allergy, Mast cell, Wheat, Allergology


Several guidelines for urticaria and angioedema have been published in Europe and United States since 1997. General principles for diagnosis and treatments of them are similar. However, each guideline has its own characteristics and shows differences in areas such as the coverage of urticaria subtypes, nomenclatures, and hierarchy of the medications. In Japan, the Japanese Dermatological Association (JDA) published its first guideline for urticaria and angioedema in 2005. It established a new classification of urticaria and angioedema together with the definition of each subtype. It emphasized the importance of discriminating idiopathic urticaria, consisting of acute urticaria and chronic urticaria from inducible urticaria, such as allergic urticaria, physical urticaria and cholinergic urticaria. It contains several unique algorithms for diagnosis and treatment of urticaria from a view point of clinical practices, and was further enforced by a style of EBM in 2011. Nevertheless, these guidelines have not been recognized outside of Japan, because of a language barrier. In this article, the outline of the newest guidelines by JDA are introduced and compared with the guidelines in other countries published in English.

Concepts: Angioedema, Urticaria, Urticaria and angioedema, Cholinergic urticaria


Angioedema is the end result of deep dermal, subcutaneous and/or mucosal swelling, and is potentially a life-threatening condition in cases where the pharynx or larynx is involved. Drug-induced angioedema has been reported to occur in response to a wide range of drugs and vaccines. Drug-induced angioedema, like other cutaneous drug reactions, has been reported to be most frequently elicited by beta-lactam antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, although reliable data from epidemiologic studies are scarce. Recent reports suggested an increasing role of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) in the causation of life-threatening angioedema. ACEI-related angioedema is never accompanied by urticaria and occurs via a kinin-dependent mechanism. ACEI-related angioedema not only can start years after beginning the treatment, but it can then recur irregularly while under that treatment. Furthermore, allergy tests are unreliable for the diagnosis of ACEI-related angioedema, and so the relationship between angioedema and ACEIs is often missed and consequently quite underestimated. Accordingly, better understanding of the kinin-dependent mechanism, which is particular to angioedema, is necessary for the appropriate management of drug-induced angioedema.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Drug, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Anti-inflammatory, Drug addiction, Penicillin, Angioedema, ACE inhibitor


Background: Allergic rhinitis represents a worldwide health problem. The prevalence is increasing. The aim of this study was to analyse the correlation between the severity of allergic rhinitis and an adequate treatment dose of modern oral antihistamines. Methods: From a comprehensive databank containing data from ten different open-label prospective observational studies including raw data of 140,853 patients with allergic rhinitis, symptomatology variables were analysed and scored to study the effects of treatment with four antihistamines (Desloratadine, Ebastine, Fexofenadine, Levocetirizine) alone or in combination with intranasal corticosteroids. The patient data were collected in 23,606 study centres from Germany, mostly medical specialist and some primary care physicians in private practice. The analyses were performed via individual patient data meta-analysis techniques. Results: Finally 92,900 patient data from nine of ten studies could be analysed. One study with data of 47,953 patients was excluded due to incomplete treatment documentation. Both monotherapy analysis subgroups (Total Symptom Score and Total Nasal Symptom Score) were significantly better than those of their combinations with intranasal steroids. Monotherapy with levocetirizine was determined to be significantly more effective in lowering the Total Symptom Score (p < 0.001) and the Total Nasal Symptom Score (p < 0.05) than the other antihistamines. In the next stage, a greater positive effect of levocetirizine was demonstrated in relation to the severity of the clinical symptoms of allergic rhinitis (Total Nasal Symptom Score in cases with severe symptomatology [effect size = -0.09]). Conclusions: Levocetirizine asserted itself as the only antihistamine compared with the others as significant in this analysis. The study authors recommend monotherapy with the new-generation antihistamine levocetirizine, especially in severe cases of allergic rhinitis.

Concepts: Medical terms, Patient, Medical statistics, Effect, Effectiveness, Physician, Effect size, Antihistamines


We previously identified MGL_1304 secreted by Malassezia globosa as a sweat antigen for patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and cholinergic urticaria (ChU). However, purifying native MGL_1304 from human sweat or culture supernatant of M. globosa (sup-MGL_1304) is costly and time-consuming. Moreover, recombinant MGL_1304 expressed by using Escherichia coli (TF-rMGL_1304) needs a large chaperon protein and lacks the original glycosylation of yeasts. Thus, we generated a recombinant MGL_1304 by Pichia pastoris (P-rMGL_1304) and investigated its characteristic features.

Concepts: Protein, Gut flora, Endoplasmic reticulum, Fungus, Escherichia coli, Atopy, Yeasts, Cholinergic urticaria


Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that is often associated with the development of food allergy and asthma. New insights into AD reveals an important role for structural abnormalities in the epidermis resulting in a leaky epithelial barrier as well as chronic immune activation that contribute to the pathophysiology of this common skin disease. Patients with AD have a predisposition to colonization or infection by microbial organisms, most notably Staphylococcus aureus and herpes simplex virus (HSV). Measures directed at healing and protecting the skin barrier and controlling the immune activation are needed for effective management of AD. Early intervention may improve outcomes for AD as well as reduce the systemic allergen sensitization that may lead to associated allergic diseases in other organs.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Asthma, Virus, Staphylococcus aureus, Allergy, Atopy, Skin


IgE-mediated hypersensitivity refers to immune reactions that can be rapidly progressing and, in the case of anaphylaxis, are occasionally fatal. To that end, identification of the associated allergen is important for facilitating both education and allergen avoidance that are essential to long-term risk reduction. As the number of known exposures associated with anaphylaxis is limited, discovery of novel causative agents is crucial to evaluation and management of patients with idiopathic anaphylaxis. Within the last 10 years several apparently separate observations were recognized to be related, all of which resulted from the development of antibodies to a carbohydrate moiety on proteins. Interestingly, the exposure differed from airborne allergens but was nevertheless capable of producing anaphylactic and hypersensitivity reactions. Our recent work has identified these responses as being due to a novel IgE antibody directed against a mammalian oligosaccharide epitope, galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (“alpha-gal”). This review will present the historical summary of the identification of cetuximab hypersensitivity due to alpha-gal IgE and discuss the non-primate mammalian meat food allergy as well as current goals and directions of our research programs.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Asthma, Allergy, Antigen, Allergen, Allergology, Allergen immunotherapy


The allergenic load of house dust mite allergy is largely constituted by a few proteins with a hierarchical pattern of allergenicity. The serodominant specificities are the group 1&2 and the group 23 faecal allergens. The collective IgE binding to the group 1&2 allergens can measure unequivocal HDM sensitisation better than HDM extracts although discrepancies have been found in regions with complex acarofauna suggesting a need to investigate the specificity with allergen components. The group 4, 5, 7&21 allergens that each induce responses in about 40% of subjects are mid-tier allergens accounting for most of the remaining IgE binding. Their titres are proportional to the concomitant responses to Der p1&2. Group 2 allergen variants have different antibody binding. Body proteins only occasionally induce sensitisation although a higher prevalence of binding by atopic dermatitis patients provides a new avenue of research. A broad spectrum of IgE binding has been associated with diverse symptoms but not with the severity of asthma which is associated with low IgG antibody. Some allergens such as the group 14 large lipid binding proteins and the recently described proteins Der f 24-33, need further investigation but with the cognoscence that other denominated allergens have been found to be minor sensitisers by comparative quantitative analyses. Scabies is a confounder for diagnosis with extracts, inducing cross-reactive antibodies with Der p 4&20 as is seafood allergy with cross reactivity to Der p 10 a minor HDM allergen. The HDM genome sequence can now be used to verify allelic and paralogous variations.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Asthma, Immunology, Allergy, Antigen, Atopy, Allergen


Background: Increases in allergic diseases have been reported from various epidemiological surveys. However, a few reports demonstrate the comorbidity of food allergy (FA) and allergic march. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and comorbidity of allergic diseases in Japanese students. Methods: First-year students (n = 3,321; 2,209 male and 1,112 female) at Osaka University were asked about allergic diseases using postal interview sheets. Personal and family histories of doctor-diagnosed allergic diseases, clinical courses, and aggravating factors were included in the questionnaires. Results: The lifetime prevalence of allergic rhinitis (AR), atopic dermatitis (AD), bronchial asthma (BA), and FA was 35.7%, 16.5%, 9.9%, and 7.0%, respectively. Disease-specific family histories existed for AR, AD, and BA. There was a positive correlation between the number of family histories of allergic disease and comorbidity (R = 0.370, P < 0.001). Comorbidity with AD significantly lowered the onset age of both BA (P = 0.010) and AR (P < 0.001). In addition, the onset age of AD was remarkably lowered by comorbidity with FA (P < 0.001). Comorbidity with FA was the highest risk factor for the progression of allergic march. Although most students showed improvement in AD, BA, and AR over time, the peak recurrence period was observed in adolescence. Conclusions: These findings indicate that AD associated with FA accelerates the subsequent progression of allergic march. Early appropriate management for genetically high-risk groups is important for the prevention of allergic march.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Disease, Asthma, Allergy, Atopy, Food allergy, Eczema, Allergic inflammation