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World Allergy Organization
WAO's mission: 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.

WAO Reviews - Editors' Choice

January 2014

Articles are selected for their importance to clinicians who care for patients with asthma and allergic/immunologic diseases by Juan Carlos Ivancevich, MD, WAO Web Editor-in-Chief, and Phillip Lieberman, MD, WAO Reviews Editor.

1. Misconceptions or false beliefs built up around allergen immunotherapy and its use in allergic rhinitis.

Calderón MA,  Frankland AW, Demoly P. Allergen immunotherapy and allergic rhinitis: false beliefs. BMC Medicine 2013; 11:255. doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-255.

Full Text, Open Access

Editor’s comment: The authors reviewed evidence that counters 8 of what they refer to as “false beliefs.” These were:

2. Overview of systematic reviews concerning the prevention and aetiology of food allergy.

Lodge CJ, Allen KJ, Lowe AJ, Dharmage SC. Overview of evidence in prevention and aetiology of food allergy: A review of systematic reviews. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2013; 10(11): 5781-5806. doi:10.3390/ijerph10115781

Full Text, Open Access

Editor’s comment: The authors overviewed 14 systematic reviews, which covered 3 broad topics: formula (hydrolyzed or soy) for the prevention of food allergy or food sensitization; maternal and infant diet and dietary supplements for the prevention of food allergy or food sensitization; and hygiene hypothesis-related interventions.

3. Probiotic supplementation during pregnancy or infancy, childhood asthma and wheeze.

Azad MB, Coneys JG, Kozyrskyj AL, Field CJ, Ramsey CD, Becker AB, Friesen C et al. Probiotic supplementation during pregnancy or infancy for the prevention of asthma and wheeze: Systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2013; 347. (4 December) doi:1136/bmj.f6471

Full Text, Open Access

Editor’s comment: The authors found no evidence to support a protective association between perinatal use of probiotics and doctor diagnosed asthma or childhood wheeze.

4. Food allergy (FA) is a significant clinical problem in Europe.

Nwaru BI, Hickstein L, Panesar SS, Muraro A, Werfel T, Cardona V, Dubois EJ et al. The epidemiology of food allergy in Europe: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Allergy 2013; published online before print (11 November). doi:10.1111/all.12305

Full Text, Free

Editor’s comment: Combined oral and nasal steroid therapy effectively improves hyposmia, polyp size, and nasal airflow. Massive polyposis and/or positive meatal discharge can be considered as major risk factors for steroid insensitivity.

5. Frequencies of allergic symptoms and upper respiratory infections in the general population, kitchen workers (KW) and health care workers (HCW).

Bilge U, Unluoglu I, Son N, Keskin A, Korkut Y, Unalacak M. Occupational allergic diseases in kitchen and health care workers: An underestimated health issue. BioMed Research International 2013; 285420. doi:10.1155/2013/28540

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Editor’s comment: Occupational allergic respiratory diseases are an important health issue and their importance is growing. Therefore, health care providers should become familiar with the workplace environment and environmental causes of occupational rhinitis and asthma.

6. Psychometric evidence for the self-administered Allergic Rhinitis Treatment Satisfaction and Preference (ARTSP) scale as a patient-reported outcomes measure for use in clinical research.

Turner, RR, Testa MA, Hayes JF, Maxwell S. Validation of the allergic rhinitis treatment satisfaction and preference scale.  Allergy and Asthma Proceedings 2013; 34(6): 551-557. doi:10.2500/aap.2013.34.3715

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Editor’s comment: The authors found that the ARTSP scale is a conceptually sound, reliable, valid, and responsive measure of patient evaluations of alternative therapies, providing detailed information about treatment characteristics that are likely to influence adherence levels and subsequent allergic rhinitis clinical control.

7. Prevalence and characteristics of exotic pet allergies.

Díaz-Perales A, González-de-Olano D, Pérez-Gordo M, Pastor-Vargas C. Allergy to uncommon pets: New allergies but the same allergens. Frontiers in Immunology 2013; 4:00492 (December). doi:10.3389/fimmu.2013.00492

Full Text, Open Access

Editor’s comment: This comprehensive article reviewed our knowledge about the most common exotic animals used as pets, the allergic symptoms they might cause, and the new allergens responsible for those reactions.

8. Low prevalence of iodinated contrast media (CM) reactions in Thailand.

Pradubpongsa P, Dhana N, Jongjarearnprasert K, Janpanich S, Thongngarm T.  Prevalence, risk factors and outcome of iodinated contrast media (CM) reactions.  Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology 2013; 31(4): 219-306. doi:10.12932/AP0297.31.4.2013

Abstract, Open Access (Full Text PDF Available)

Editor’s comment: The authors concluded that the prevalence of CM adverse reactions was as low as 1.05%. Risk factors consist of a history of previous CM reactions, female gender, and seafood allergy. Serious immediate reactions can occur particularly in patients with asthma.

9. Preventing life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.

Wölbing F, Biedermann T. Anaphylaxis: Opportunities of stratified medicine for diagnosis and risk assessment. Allergy 2013; 68(12): 1499-1508. doi:10.1111/all.12322

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Editor’s comment: This excellent review article unscrambles the complex interactions determining the clinical relevance of sensitizations, the risk of anaphylaxis, and the severity of reactions.

10. Combined exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and indoor allergens on IgE sensitization to aeroallergens in children.

Ciaccio CE, DiDonna AC, Kennedy K, Barnes CS, Portnoy JM, Rosenwasser LJ. Association of tobacco smoke exposure and atopic sensitization. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology 2013; 111(5): 387-390. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2013.07.023

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Editor’s comment: The authors found that ETS exposure was not associated with IgE sensitization to indoor allergens, even when home allergen levels were taken into consideration.

11. Implications of race and ethnicity on genetic profiles for personalized medicine.

Ortega VE, Meyers DA. Pharmacogenetics: Implications of race and ethnicity on defining genetic profiles for personalized medicine. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2014; 133(1): 16-26. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2014.10.040

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Editor’s comment: The authors summarize the genetic and epidemiologic basis for the variable genetic backgrounds observed between different, recently admixed ethnic groups such as African American or Hispanic.

12. The effects of histamine on myeloid dendritic cells (mDC).

Glatzer F, Mommert S, Köther B, Gschwandtner M, Stark H, Werfel T, Gutzmer R. Histamine downregulates the Th1-associated chemokine IP-10 in monocytes and myeloid dendritic cells. International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 2014; 163(1): 11-19. doi:10.1159/000355960

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Editor’s comment: Monocytes and mDC have similar histamine receptor repertoires with regard to H1R, H2R and H3R, but H4R expression is higher on mDC, and histamine stimulation shows similar functional effects on both cell types.