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Journal: Allergy, asthma & immunology research


Food allergy has increased dramatically in prevalence over the past decade in westernized countries, and is now a major public health problem. Unfortunately for patients with food allergy, there is no effective therapy beyond food allergen avoidance, and rapid medical treatment for accidental exposures. Recently, oral immunotherapy (OIT) has been investigated as a treatment for this problem. In this review, we will discuss the progress in developing OIT for food allergy, including a novel approach utilizing Xolair (anti-IgE monoclonal antibody, omalizumab) in combination with OIT. This combination may enhance both the safety and efficacy of oral immunotherapy, and could lead to a widely available and safe therapy for food allergy.

Concepts: Immune system, Medicine, Asthma, Monoclonal antibodies, Immunology, Immunoglobulin E, Allergy, Food allergy


Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare autosomal dominant disease that usually occurs in adolescence and early adulthood. It is characterized by recurrent non-pitting edema involving the skin and intestinal tract, especially the extremities and face. It is not associated with urticaria and pruritus. The cause is known to be the deficiency of C1 inhibitor. We herein report a 7-year-old girl with HAE who had recurrent episodes of swelling of the extremities and face without urticaria and pruritus. Her great grandmother had suffered from the same symptoms. The level of serum C4 was 8.01 mg/dL (normal: 10-40 mg/dL). The level of C1 inhibitor was 5.0 mg/dL (normal: 18-40 mg/dL). To our knowledge, this is the first pediatric case with typical clinical symptoms of HAE and C1 esterase inhibitor deficiency in Korea.

Concepts: Allergy, Gastroenterology, Angioedema, Hereditary angioedema, Urticaria, C1-inhibitor, Cetirizine


The present study was performed to determine the factor, either duration or the temperature of heat treatment, exerting maximal and significant influence on the composition and allergenicity of egg white (EW) proteins.

Concepts: Present, Time, Egg white


Allergic reactions to fungi were described 300 years ago, but the importance of allergy to fungi has been underestimated for a long time. Allergens from fungi mainly cause respiratory and skin symptoms in sensitized patients. In this review, we will focus on fungi and fungal allergens involved in respiratory forms of allergy, such as allergic rhinitis and asthma. Fungi can act as indoor and outdoor respiratory allergen sources, and depending on climate conditions, the rates of sensitization in individuals attending allergy clinics range from 5% to 20%. Due to the poor quality of natural fungal allergen extracts, diagnosis of fungal allergy is hampered, and allergen-specific immunotherapy is rarely given. Several factors are responsible for the poor quality of natural fungal extracts, among which the influence of culture conditions on allergen contents. However, molecular cloning techniques have allowed us to isolate DNAs coding for fungal allergens and to produce a continuously growing panel of recombinant allergens for the diagnosis of fungal allergy. Moreover, technologies are now available for the preparation of recombinant and synthetic fungal allergen derivatives which can be used to develop safe vaccines for the treatment of fungal allergy.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Immunology, Allergy, Atopy, Eczema, Allergology, Allergen immunotherapy


The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between three major allergic diseases, asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR), and atopic dermatitis (AD), and psychological and behavioural problems in preschoolers based on a community survey.

Concepts: Time, Psychology, Asthma, Allergy, Atopy, Behavior, Human behavior, Behaviorism


The oil spill from the Heibei Spirit in December 2007 contaminated the Yellow Coast of South Korea. We evaluated the respiratory effects of that spill on children who lived along the Yellow Coast.

Concepts: Chungcheongnam-do


Atopic diseases such as atopic dermatitis (AD) are very common in industrialized countries. Up to 15%-30% of all children and 2%-10% of all adults suffer from AD. Already in early disease stages, a defective epidermal barrier is known to contribute to the pathogenesis of AD. Central elements in the epidermal barrier are antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which are secreted by keratinocytes, sweat gland cells but also infiltrating immune cells. AMPs function as endogenous antibiotics and are able to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Furthermore AMPs act as immune modulators with effects on the innate and adaptive immune system. The probably best studied AMPs in human skin are the defensins and cathelicidin. In atopic diseases the functions of AMPs such as cathelicidin might be impaired and microbial superinfections could serve as cofactors for allergic sensitization. Hence, induction of AMPs could be beneficial in these patients. Cathelicidin which is often referred to its peptide form hCAP18 or LL-37 can be induced by ultraviolet light B (UVB) irradiation and is upregulated in infected and injured skin. The cathelicidin gene carries a vitamin D response element and the vitamin D pathway could therefore be targeted for cathelicidin regulation. As the development and course of atopic diseases might be influenced by vitamin D signaling these pathomechanisms could explain the growing evidence connecting vitamin D to allergic diseases, including AD, allergic rhinitis, food allergies and asthma. In this review the role of vitamin D and the AMP cathelicidin in the pathogenesis of atopic diseases with impaired barrier function will be discussed.

Concepts: Immune system, Vitamin D, Ultraviolet, Bacteria, Asthma, Immunology, Allergy, Atopy


To evaluate the frequency of banana sensitization and allergy among a group of atopic Egyptian children in relation to parental/self reports.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Hypersensitivity, Allergy, Atopy


Allergic rhinitis (AR) is an inflammatory disorder of the upper airway. Exosomes or extracellular vesicles are nanosized vesicles of endosomal origin released from inflammatory and epithelial cells that have been implicated in allergic diseases. In this study, we characterized the microRNA (miRNA) content of exosomes in AR.

Concepts: Gene, Asthma, Messenger RNA, Allergy, Stomach, Respiratory system, Respiratory epithelium, Mucus


The prevalence of asthma and allergic disease has increased worldwide over the last few decades. Many common environmental factors are associated with this increase. Several theories have been proposed to account for this trend, especially those concerning the impact of environmental toxicants. The development of the immune system, particularly in the prenatal period, has far-reaching consequences for health during early childhood, and throughout adult life. One underlying mechanism for the increased levels of allergic responses, secondary to exposure, appears to be an imbalance in the T-helper function caused by exposure to the toxicants. Exposure to environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals can result in dramatic changes in cytokine production, the activity of the immune system, the overall Th1 and Th2 balance, and in mediators of type 1 hypersensitivity mediators, such as IgE. Passive exposure to tobacco smoke is a common risk factor for wheezing and asthma in children. People living in urban areas and close to roads with a high volume of traffic, and high levels of diesel exhaust fumes, have the highest exposure to environmental compounds, and these people are strongly linked with type 1 hypersensitivity disorders and enhanced Th2 responses. These data are consistent with epidemiological research that has consistently detected increased incidences of allergies and asthma in people living in these locations. During recent decades more than 100,000 new chemicals have been used in common consumer products and are released into the everyday environment. Therefore, in this review, we discuss the environmental effects on allergies of indoor and outside exposure.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Asthma, Hypersensitivity, Immunology, Immunoglobulin E, Allergy, T helper cell