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WAO News & Notes

August Medical Journal Review
WAO Member Society Spotlight
WAO Now: What's New in the World of WAO
And In Other News . . .

August World Medical Journal Review

Prof. Richard F. Lockey, MD, WAO Web Editor-in-Chief, reviewed premier August medical journal articles for practicing allergists. Read his top 3 picks below and for the other 9 reviews, click here.

1. DIRECT DETECTION OF BACTERIAL BIOFILMS ON THE MIDDLE-EAR MUCOSA (MEM) OF CHILDREN WITH CHRONIC OTITIS MEDIA (OM)
This study tested the hypothesis that chronic OM in humans is bacterial biofilm-related. MEM biopsy specimens were obtained from 26 children (mean age, 2.5 [range, 0.5-14] yrs) undergoing tympanostomy tube placement for OM with effusion (OME) and recurrent OM. Control biopsies were obtained from 8 subjects undergoing cochlear implantation. Samples were analyzed using microbiological culture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – based diagnostics, direct microscopic examination, fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunostaining. Mucosal biofilms were visualized by confocal laser scanning microscopic images using generic and pathogen-specific probes on 46 (92%) of 50 MEM specimens (vs none from controls) from children with OME and recurrent OM. Editor’s comment: The finding of biofilms on biopsy specimens from children with OME and recurrent OM supports the hypothesis of a cause and effect in the pathophysiology of chronic OM. Hall-Stoodley L, et al. JAMA 2006; 296: 202.

2. ULTRA-RUSH VENOM IMMUNOTHERAPY (VIT) INDUCES DIFFERENTIAL T CELL ACTIVATION AND REGULATORY PATTERNS ACCORDING TO THE SEVERITY OF ALLERGY
The objectives of this study were to assess the early effects of ultra-rush VIT on T lymphocyte activation and regulatory profile induction in 30 vespid-allergic patients according to the four severity grades of the Mueller classification. The authors found that a T helper type 2 (Th2)-to-Th1 switch occurs during ultra-rush VIT, in parallel with a natural and acquired regulatory T cell increase. These immunologic events occur earlier and at a higher level in less severe subjects, suggesting that VIT tolerance induction is easier to achieve in patients with less severe reactions. Editor’s comment: The immunologic changes induced during ultra-rush venom immunotherapy are impressive and easier to achieve in patients with milder vs more severe reactions. Mamessir E, et al. Clin and Exp Allergy 2006; 36: 704.

3. CONTROL OF AIRWAY INFLAMMATION MAINTAINED AT A LOWER STEROID DOSE WITH 100/50 μg OF FLUTICASONE PROPIONATE (FP)/SALMETEROL
Eighty-eight subjects, age > 18 yr, who demonstrated improved asthma control after an increase of FP from 100 μg twice daily to 250 μg twice daily were randomized to receive 100/50 μg of FP/salmeterol twice daily or continued FP 250 μg twice daily both through a Diskus inhaler for 24 weeks. Clinical outcomes, bronchial biopsy results, and bronchoalveolar fluid analysis results were similar. The authors conclude that a lower dose of FP with salmeterol versus a higher dose of FP is equally effective in controlling inflammation and asthma symptoms. Editor’s comment: Salmeterol augments the clinical benefits of FP. Jarjour NN et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006; 118: 44.

To read the additional reviews, click here.


WAO Member Society Spotlight The CIS Society of Allergology and Immunology

The CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) Society of Allergology and Immunology is a non-government organization that co-ordinates the activities of medical scientists and public health specialists in Russia and other CIS countries in the field of allergology, immunology and asthma basic research, prophylaxis and management. The Society unites over 4,500 members from 12 CIS countries as well as 15 national and 7 regional societies of allergologists and immunologists. The CIS Society of Allergology and Immunology publishes four journals: "Allergology and Immunology," "Asthma," "International Journal on Immunorehabilitation," and an Abstract Journal "Immunophysiology, Immunorehabilitology, Clinical Immunology and Allergology" (jointly published with the Russian Academy of Sciences). Our Society is the successor of the Soviet Union Immunological Society that was founded in June 1983 with the first Congress held in 1989.

The CIS Society of Allergology and Immunology is a WAO member alongside international and regional organizations such as EAACI, AAAAI, and ACAAI.

Our Society has a wealth of experience in organizing important international congresses and conferences. In 2001, we hosted the I European Asthma Congress in Moscow; in 2003, the XVII World Asthma Congress was held in Saint-Petersburg, and our events in the Bolshoi Theater in 2001 and in Petershoff in 2003 are engraved in the memory of these congress participants.

On September 11-13, 2006, the VI CIS Congress of Immunology and Allergology took place in Moscow. The Opening Ceremony of the Congress included the official presentation of the Russian Edition of Allergy & Clinical Immunology International – Journal of the World Allergy Organization. It was a very important event for allergists and immunologists in post-Soviet countries and became a reality due to our cooperation with Professor Allen Kaplan, a former President of WAO, and financial support of the project by the Immunology Research Institute of New England (IRINE). We hope that the publication of such a prominent journal in Russian will contribute to further development of allergology and immunology in the CIS countries and improve educational levels of not only allergologists and immunologists but also specialists involved in related fields. It will also promote higher levels of medical care standards in the CIS countries and the implementation of recent research into clinical practice, which is one of the key tasks of our Society. Another important aim of the CIS Society of Allergology and Immunology is to establish a bridge connecting scientists and health care practitioners.

In April 2007, the VII CIS Congress of Allergology and Immunology will take place in Moscow. From April 21 through April 24, 2007, we will have a great chance to host the V European Asthma Congress and the I World Congress on COPD in Moscow. We would be happy to meet allergologists, immunologists, pulmonologists, pediatricians and other health care practitioners from all over the world. Our guests will have an opportunity to visit the most beautiful and famous sights of Moscow such as the Kremlin, the Red Square, the Manezh Exhibition Hall, the Bolshoi Theater, the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, Christ the Savior Cathedral, Vassily the Blessed Cathedral, the State Tretyakov Gallery complex, the Panorama museum of the Battle of Borodino, the Novodevichy Convent, and the Memorial museum on Poklonnaya Gora.

Provided by: Professor Revaz Sepiashvili, MD, PhD
President, CIS Society of Allergology and Immunology
E-mail: info@wipocis.org


WAO Now: What's New in the World of WAO

gloria logoUS GLORIA Program

WAO, in collaboration with the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), is excited to launch our first year of the US GLORIA program, which has been developed to promote the mission of both WAO and ACAAI to optimize allergy care in the United States.

Launching this fall, GLORIA modules will be presented at US Regional, State and Local allergy societies for CME credit. Click here if your society is interested in applying for this new program in 2007; the deadline to apply is November 30.

2006 Placements

Northwest Allergy Forum
September 29 – October 1, 2006
Tacoma, Washington
US GLORIA Faculty:
Dr. Richard Lockey
Presentations:
Module 7: Angioedema
Module 8: Anaphylaxis

Los Angeles Society of Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology, Inc.
October 21, 2006
Brentwood, California
US GLORIA Faculty:
Dr. Michael Kaliner
Presentation:
Module 8: Anaphylaxis

Broward Palm Beach Allergy Society
November, 2006
Boca Raton, Florida
US GLORIA Faculty:
Dr. Phil Lieberman
Presentation:
Module 8: Anaphylaxis

Mid-South Allergy Forum
December 5, 2006
Memphis, Tennessee
US GLORIA Faculty:
Dr. Bob Lanier
Presentation:
Module 4: Immunotherapy

Greater Washington Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Society
December 6, 2006
Tyson's Corner Area, Virginia
US GLORIA Faculty:
Dr. Michael Kaliner
Presentation:
Module 8: Anaphylaxis

Indiana Allergy and Immunology Society
December 9, 2006
Indianapolis, Indiana
US GLORIA Faculty:
Dr. Ira Finegold
Presentations:
Module 4: Immunotherapy
Module 5: The Symptoms and Treatment of Asthma

Emerging Societies Meeting Held in Latin America

An Emerging Societies Meeting, jointly funded by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) and WAO, took place on Friday, August 18, 2006, at the Latin American Congress of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The goals of this meeting were to provide outreach in regions where established allergy societies do not exist, improve standards for existing societies and improve standards for research.

National Allergy Society representatives from Latin America were invited to attend, and Allergy Societies that do not currently belong to WAO were asked to give brief presentations on the practice and structure of allergy services in their countries. They were able to identify the most pressing needs related to allergy education in their countries and also provide WAO with a 'wish list' of services that they would like to receive.

Presenters:

Nicaragua Guiselle Urbina Palacios
Honduras Claudia Almandarez Flores
El Salvador Maria Emilia Castro Mendoza
Haiti/French Departments of America Sylvie Lafosse-Marin
Guatemala Ann-Michelle Rigalt


New on the WAO Web Site

We are pleased to announce a new Interactive Case Review based on a Clinical Case Report published in the ACII-JWAO. "A patient with yellow nails" is presented by Denise M. Kearney and Richard F Lockey. To read the review, then make your diagnosis and learn if you agree with the experts, click 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 info@worldallergy.org, noting "Free Journal Subscription" in the subject line, with the following details:

First name
Last name
Postal address
City, State/Province and postal code
Country
E-mail address
Name of Member Society


And In Other News

Allergy Book Reviews

Mast Cells and Basophils: Development, Activation and Roles in Allergic/Autoimmune Disease
By: Novartis Foundation

List price: $145.00 USD
Available from: Wiley

Reviewer:
Mark C. Glaum, MD, PhD
University of South Florida College of Medicine, Division of Allergy & Immunology

Description:
This book reviews the most recent research on the role of mast cells and basophils in allergic and autoimmune diseases. Topic reviews are followed by discussion among international experts in mast cell and basophil biology.

Purpose:
The purpose is to provide basic researchers or clinicians with a concise, timely review of the factors and mechanisms regulating the growth, differentiation and function of mast cells and basophils. This is en ever-evolving field, therefore periodic updates in this area are needed. Emphasis is placed on new technologies used to study mast cell and basophil function, and attention is focused on how basic scientific observations can be translated into possible therapeutic applications.

Audience:
Discussion is targeted to researchers and clinicians who have an interest in mast cell and basophil biology. Specialists most likely to use this book include allergists, clinical immunologists, rheumatologists, and dermatologists. Clinical and research fellows will also find it to be an excellent review of basic mechanisms of mast cell and basophil growth, differentiation, and activation.

Features:
Each chapter is presented in the format of a topic review, which is followed by specific discussion of the topic among seminar panelists. A general discussion of the presented material is included every 3 to 5 chapters. The topics include: development of mast cells and basophils, IgE-mediated activation of mast cells and basophils, mechanisms of exocytosis, non-IgE-mediated activation and modulation of mast cells and basophils, description of mediators including those that are lipid-derived, proteases, proteoglycans and cytokines. Each chapter is well referenced and participant and subject indexes are included. The compact size of the book makes transport manageable.

Assessment:
This is an excellent review of current research in mast cell and basophil biology. The discussion sections provide unique insight from world-recognized experts in the field. This is an excellent resource for clinicians or basic scientists with an interest in mast cells and related diseases.

PARASITES & ALLERGY
Editors: Capron, M; Trottein, F

List price: $162.00 USD
Available from: Karger

Reviewer:
PETER DEBUSE FRACP, FRCP (LOND.)
ROYAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Description:
Since the 1980's, the "hygiene hypothesis" has held sway in explaining the increase in allergic disease in affluent countries and the lack of increase in underdeveloped communities. The basic concept is that T helper cells are stimulated by infections in childhood and that if they are not, a default mode stimulates the T2 helper cells concerned with the allergic process. The allergic process is often considered to have evolved largely as a measure to counter the gut infestation by protozoan parasites. Where community parasite infestation is high, epidemiologic studies show that the incidence of allergic diseases is lower than in communities with low parasite infestation.

The editors have assembled twelve reviews which address the complicated cellular signaling mechanisms that are involved in the phenomenon, allowing the authors to discuss the anomalies in the basic "hygiene hypothesis" and speculate on the implications for associated T1 disease states such as inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes Type 1. Nearly all the reviews use the example of schistosomiasis in their discussion, probably because of the massive and widespread prevalence in the developing world. The biology of intestinal Helminths is dealt with not only in terms of the life cycle but also in evolutionary significance.

Purpose:
These reviews provide an up-to-date and informative discussion on signaling, proteases, and glycans as promoting molecules, the nature of white cells (natural killer, mast cells, and basophils) and importantly on Regulatory T cells.

Audience:
I found this a fascinating book and anyone interested in biology will enjoy it. Naturally immunologists and allergists are a target audience, but general physicians – both adult and paediatric – will be interested in the speculations on novel methods of controlling inflammatory/allergic diseases.

Features:
The multifaceted approach to unraveling the molecular basis is well organized by the Editors so that there is a layered wealth of detail and a good deal of consensus. The tables and figures are clear and the references numerous.

Assessment:
An excellent book which deals with the very basis of the allergic state. Interestingly, laboratory rodents feature in the experimental data; large domestic animals that are regularly wormed to rid them of intestinal parasites are not mentioned – just wondering?

Find more allergy book reviews on the WAO Website here.

WAO's mission is to be a global resource and advocate in the field of allergy, advancing excellence in clinical care through education, research and training as a world-wide alliance of allergy and clinical immunology societies. Visit us on the Web at www.worldallergy.org

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Made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis.