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IgE and IgE Receptors in ‘Allergic’ Skin Diseases


Carlos E. Baena-Cagnani
Michael Kaliner


Carlos E. Baena-Cagnani

March, 2005

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to this 25th World Allergy Forum Symposium. World Allergy Forum is the longest-running educational program of World Allergy Organization, and we are very appreciative of the unrestricted educational grant from Novartis and Genentech which enables us to bring you an outstanding international faculty of speakers. Malcolm Greaves, Thomas Bieber and Johannes Ring will update us on IgE and IgE Receptors in 'Allergic' Skin Diseases.

WAO is a federation of allergy and clinical immunology societies, and currently represents 70 allergy and clinical immunology societies around the globe. Partnership with our member organizations is the keystone of WAO's global activities, and I would like to thank Dr. Michael Schatz and AAAAI for hosting today's World Allergy Forum session.

In addition to WAF and the well-established GLORIATM program, 2005 sees the re-launch of our Seminars and Conferences program. This program offers member societies the opportunity to apply for funding to bring an internationally renowned allergist to their annual meeting and to speak on a topic of the society's choice. This portfolio of different programs provides a variety of WAO educational offerings to suit all our member societies. I hope that your national society will wish to apply to host a WAO program at your next annual meeting, and to take advantage of this excellent member benefit.

WAO's Councils and Committees are busy working on the development of different areas of our specialty. Our Specialty Council is presently conducting a survey on training in allergy, providing valuable information about the status of the specialty in member societies' countries. This will enable WAO to provide advice on training programs in allergy and clinical immunology, and to develop recommendations for the minimum acceptable training standards for allergy certification. The Council is also conducting a global survey on allergy prevalence, based on published literature, to ascertain the true extent of allergy worldwide.

To keep members up to date about WAO's activities and membership benefits we have a monthly e-letter, WAO News and Notes. We offer you a review of the latest allergy papers published in the major journals, news from our member societies, information about our Congresses and educational programs, as well as reviews of new allergy books and journals. To subscribe to our e-letter, please visit our Web site

WAO's collaboration with the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, and the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology, will bring you the World Allergy Congress in Munich in June 2005. The first World Allergy Day will be launched during the Congress, with national World Allergy Day promotions scheduled to take place July 8th, 2005, when the leaders of WAO's Member Societies have returned to their countries. The aim of the day will be to promote global awareness of allergy as a major public health problem, and will focus on the prevention of allergy and allergic asthma. A lot will be happening in Munich, so please put the dates of June 26th-July 1st 2005 in your diary now this will be a Congress not to be missed. See you there!

Prof. Carlos E. Baena-Cagnani
World Allergy Organization


Michael Kaliner

March, 2005

Dear Colleagues

Welcome to San Antonio, and to World Allergy Forum. In this symposium, a superb international faculty will update us on IgE and IgE Receptors in 'Allergic' Skin Diseases. Thomas Bieber will review the role of IgE and IgE receptors in atopic dermatitis. Malcolm Greaves will describe the role of the IgE receptor in chronic autoimmune urticaria, and Johannes Ring will pull together the clinical implications of the scientific presentations to consider the role of immunomodulation in the treatment of hives and eczema.

The development of new knowledge and approaches to skin diseases is one of the brightest areas in today's allergy practices. This symposium will facilitate new understanding and treatment of patients with hives and eczema; two of the more perplexing problems seen by the allergist.

Our understanding of the role of IgE in skin inflammation has important implications for our nomenclature of the common skin disorders. This subject has greatly exercised the EAACI and WAO Nomenclature Review Committees, because the definition of atopy and the role of atopy in eczema have caused considerable confusion between allergists and dermatologists. WAO and EAACI define atopy as a personal and/or familial tendency, usually in childhood or adolescence, to become sensitized and produce IgE antibodies in response to ordinary exposure to allergens, usually proteins. As a consequence, these persons can develop typical symptoms of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis, or eczema.

Until recently, "atopic eczema" or "atopic dermatitis" were used to describe inflammatory, eczematous hypersensitivity reactions in the skin, analogous to rhinitis and asthma in the airways. Hanifin and Rajka determined that only three of the following criteria

  • Pruritus
  • Typical morphology and distribution (flexural lichenification or linearity in adults, facial and extensor involvement in infants)
  • Chronic or chronically relapsing course
  • Atopy: personal or family history of atopy

needed to be present to diagnose atopic eczema. Thus atopic eczema could be diagnosed without any evidence of atopy as defined by the EAACI and WAO Position Papers, and give rise to two sub-groups - "atopic eczema" and "non-atopic atopic eczema". The WAO committee proposed that "dermatitis" should be the umbrella term for local inflammation of the skin. Eczema should replace the old term atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS), and "atopic eczema" should be used to characterize eczema in an individual of the atopic constitution, linking the patient to other IgE-mediated diseases like allergic asthma. Eczema in a person not identified as atopic is thus "non-atopic eczema".

I know you will enjoy today's presentations, and I encourage you to consider and use the new nomenclature for allergic skin disease, which can be founding 24 translations on both the WAO Web site and the EAACI Web site

Michael A Kaliner
World Allergy Organization


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