July World Medical Journal Review
Prof. Richard F. Lockey, MD, WAO Web Editor-in-Chief, reviewed premier July medical journal articles for practicing allergists. Read his top 3 picks below and for the other 11 reviews,
1. EFFECTS OF EARLY INTERVENTION WITH INHALED BUDESONIDE ON LUNG FUNCTION IN NEWLY DIAGNOSED ASTHMA
This randomized, double-blind study of 7,165 patients (5 to 66 yrs) with persistent asthma for < 2 years determined whether early intervention with low-dose inhaled budesonide (IB) prevents severe asthma-related events and decline in lung function. Patients received IB (200 µg qd for children < 11 years and 400 µg qd for others) or placebo for three years in addition to the usual asthma medications. IB treatment significantly improved pre- and post-bronchodilator FEV1 percentage of predicted and reduced the mean declines from baseline for bronchodilator FEV1 at one and three years: -0.62% and -1.79% for IB and -2.11% and -2.68% for placebo, respectively (p<0.001). The decline was more marked for males, active smokers, and subjects > 18 years. The smallest treatment effects occurred in adolescents. Editor's comment: This multinational study demonstrates that low-dose IB improves lung function in recent-onset persistent asthma and reduces the loss of lung function over time. O'Byrne PM, et al. Chest 2006; 129: 1478.
2. SENSITIZATION TO AEROALLERGENS AND AIRWAY HYPERRESPONSIVENESS (AHR) AT 7 YEARS OF AGE
One hundred thirty-one children at high risk for atopy underwent both skin-prick tests (SPT) to a panel of aeroallergens and a methacholine challenge test between 6.5 and 8.8 years (median-age 7.0 yr) of age to investigate the relationship between current and early life factors and AHR. Fifty-one percent (67) had at least one positive SPT and 28% (37) had AHR. After adjusting for relevant covariates, AHR was strongly associated with sensitization to at least four aeroallergens: cat, dust mite, cockroach, and ragweed. No relationship was found with early life exposure to perennial aeroallergens or other perinatal and first-year-of-life factors (daycare attendance, breastfeeding, tobacco exposure, and lower respiratory tract infection). The authors conclude that among young children at risk for atopy, sensitization to specific aeroallergens, but not early life exposures, is associated with increased AHR. Editor's comment: The major risk factor for AHR in this study was sensitization to cat, dust mite, cockroach, and ragweed. TePas EC, et al. Chest 2006; 129: 1500.
3. EARLY RISE IN EXHALED NITRIC OXIDE AND MAST CELL ACTIVATION IN REPEATED LOW-DOSE ALLERGEN CHALLENGE
Eight subjects with mild allergic asthma completed two 7-day repeated low-dose challenge periods with diluent and allergen, respectively. Subjects were symptom free at inclusion and were investigated when not exposed to specific allergen. Pulmonary function and symptoms were followed, and nitric oxide fraction (Fe,NO) and urinary mediators were correlated to changes in airway responsiveness to histamine and adenosine. There were no pulmonary function changes or asthma symptoms. Repeated allergen exposure, in contrast to diluent, caused significant increases in histamine responsiveness (2.3 doubling doses), an early and gradual increase in Fe,NO (up to a doubling from baseline) and a small increase in the mast cell marker 9α11β-prostaglandin F2 after adenosine challenge. Editor's comment: Serial low-dose allergen exposure causes airway inflammation. Ihre E, et al. Eur Respir J 2006; 27: 1152.
To read the additional reviews, click here.
WAO Member Society Spotlight – The Allergy and Immunology Society of Thailand
Asia is the largest continent in the world. Its population is almost ten-fold that of the United States. Consequently, patients suffering from allergic and immunologic diseases in Asia are a large pool of underserved population due to limited human resources and infrastructures. Within the last decade, several advances in allergy research and development have been made in Asia, beginning in Japan and Korea. In 1991, the Asia-Pacific Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology was founded, and its first congress was launched in Bangkok, Thailand. In 1997, the Asia-Pacific Association of Pediatric Allergy, Respirology and Immunology took shape and has served as a hub for communication between key researchers and pediatric allergists in Asia. These developments have led to a quick leap in research and insights into allergy in Asia, both in research and in clinical care.
During December 2-6, 2007, in Bangkok, Thailand, Asia will have a chance to host a world-premier event in Allergy – the XX World Allergy Congress (WAC 2007), the biannual meeting of the World Allergy Organization (WAO). As a prelude to this forthcoming meeting, the Allergy and Immunology Society of Thailand (AIST) is planning a warm-up event for the WAC 2007. The Allergy and Immunology Network in Asia, Quantum Leap to the Future Summit Meeting will be held in Pattaya, a famous seaside resort of Thailand, October 5-6, 2006. The meeting will feature several keynote speakers from Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, France, Italy and the United States. Topics covered will be broad, including basic and every-day clinical research.
Since Thailand is within easy reach for most Asian countries, traveling to our Congress will be quick and affordable to most members of national allergy societies in Asia. The cost for joining the Congress is kept to a minimum to allow participation even from newly-developing countries in Asia. Moreover, ample time will be allowed to acquaint new comers to old guards in allergy and immunology. We cordially invite you to enjoy the Summit and look forward to seeing you in Pattaya in October 2006.
Allergy and Immunology Society of Thailand
WAO Now: What's New in the World of WAO
New WAO Conversation
Listen to Michael A. Kaliner, WAO President, enlighten you on "what is WAO" and talk about the importance of gathering allergy knowledge from throughout the world.
New GLORIA Modules
WAO has recently developed three new modules that are available for member societies to apply to host:
Module 7: Angioedema
This new module reviews the pathophysiology, diagnosis, genetics and management of acquired and genetic forms of angioedema.
Module 8: Anaphylaxis
The module has been developed to provide a global overview on the pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis and management of this life-threatening allergic condition.
Module 9: Diagnosis of IgE Sensitization
This module reviews the specificity and sensitivity of the major diagnostic tests, skin testing and allergen-specific IgE antibody serology, that help to determine the pathological mechanisms underlying allergic symptoms.
Click here for details on all GLORIA modules.
2006 Seminars & Conferences Remaining Placements
Seminars & Conferences, WAO's newest educational program, offers Member Societies the opportunity to apply for an international lecturer, who they would not otherwise be able to afford, to invite to their annual allergy meeting. The remaining 2006 placements include:
17th Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Annual Scientific Meeting
WAO Invited Lecturer: Ronald Dahl
7-10 September 2006
Manly Beach, New South Wales, Australia
ALL-4-Kids Congress: Joint Meeting of Allergy Society of South Africa & the South African Pediatric Association
WAO Invited Lecturer: Michael A. Kaliner
7-11 September 2006
To apply for a WAO Invited Lecturer in 2007, please fill out the online application.
WAO Long-Term Research Fellowship – reminder!
Applications for the first WAO Long-Term Research Fellowship should be submitted to WAO head office not later than 30 September 2006.
Application forms may be downloaded here.
Sign up for On-Line Journal Subscription –
WAO and Hogrefe & Huber Publishers are offering a limited number of free on-line subscriptions to Allergy & Clinical Immunology International - Journal of the World Allergy Organization for members in developing countries. If you are interested in receiving a complimentary, on-line subscription, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, noting "Free Journal Subscription" in the subject line, with the following details:
City, State/Province and postal code
Name of Member Society
And In Other News
Allergy Book Review
STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY of the COMPLEMENT SYSTEM
Morikis D, Lambris JD, eds.
2005 CRC Press
List price: $169.95
Available from: CRC Press
Dr Olga Patricia MARTINEZ, MB BS, FRACP, FRCPA, PhD
Royal Perth Hospital, PathWest, School of Surgery and Pathology, University of Western Australia
The discovery of the complement proteins and molecules involved in their activation and inhibition has taken many years. This book describes the current knowledge of the structure of complement components and of complement activator and inhibitory molecules. Each chapter is dedicated to particular components, with a detailed description of their structure and function and how these correlate with each other. The final two chapters describe molecules that control complement activation, for which analogues could potentially be designed and produced for therapeutic purposes.
The purpose of this book was to assemble a volume containing the current state-of-the-art of the structural biology of components, activators and inhibitors of the complement system, with structure-function correlations.
This book is predominantly targeted to researchers interested in understanding the many molecules participating in complement-mediated responses, including activating and inhibiting molecules and their interactions. It is also directed to researchers interested in protein dynamics and thermodynamics of these processes. Some sections of the book that describe the role of the complement system in innate and acquired immunity would be of interest to immunologists. The potential for synthetic molecules to control complement activation is of interest to clinicians dealing with immune-mediated disorders.
The first chapter provides a historical overview of discovery, purification and description of three-dimensional structure of complement proteins. Subsequent chapters describe in detail the molecular and modular structure of complement control proteins (CCP), individual complement proteins, some complement receptors and activators and inhibitors. Each chapter is well ordered with a table of contents and contains clear tables and diagrams. Each chapter concludes with an extensive list of references and, where required, acknowledgment of funding and contribution by colleagues.
A companion CD is provided with the book. This contains all figures and legends in separate Acrobat files. Most figures are in black and white, but some have color to highlight specific features. There are links to the PDB (Protein Data BanK) for all structures discussed and for complement-related proteins and viral, semi-synthetic or synthetic complement regulators or inhibitors reviewed. The CD also contains the "RasTop" bio-molecular structure visualization program, which reads and displays PDB coordinate files.
The existence of the complement system has been recognized for many years. However, detailed description of the structure of its many components has taken many years and many techniques. This book brings together much of the currently available knowledge in this area. While there are still many unanswered questions about the precise mechanism of action and the many interactions involved in complement-mediated reactions, the potential for new therapeutic interventions makes it an exciting area for further investigation. The detailed information provided in STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY of the COMPLEMENT SYSTEM would be extremely useful for future researchers in this area, making this book a must-have for those intending to pursue this interesting field of research.
Find more allergy book reviews on the WAO Website here.