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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

Posted: December 2011

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. Ability of house dust mite (HDM) extracts to alter epithelial immune and barrier responses.

Post S, Nawijn MC, Hackett TL, Baranowska M, Gras R, van Oosterhout AJM, Heijink IH. The composition of house dust mite is critical for mucosal barrier dysfunction and allergic sensitisation. Thorax 2011; published online first 13 December 2011 (doi.10.1136/thoraxjnl-2011-20066)

Abstract

Editor's comment: Serine/cysteine protease activity is not critical for the disruption of epithelial barrier function and the proinflammatory response due to house dust mite extract. Epithelial immune and barrier responses are more closely related to allergic sensitization.

2. Elevation of. 12-hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE) in Churg Strauss syndrome.

Szczeklik W, Sanak M, Mastalerz L, Sokolowska BM, Gielicz A, Soja J, Kumik J, Musial J, Szczeklik A. 12-hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid (12-HETE): a biomarker of Churg-Strauss syndrome. Clinical & Experimental Allergy 2011; Accepted Article 13 December 2011 (doi.10.1111/j.1365-2222.2011.03943.x/abstract)

Abstract

Editor's comment: Exhaled breath condensate and broncho-alveolar lavage fluid from patients of Churg-Strauss Syndrome (CSS) showed markedly elevated levels of 12-HETE, thus distinguishing this condition from both asthma and hypereosinophilic syndrome. Thus 12-HETE has potential as a differential biomarker for CSS.

3. Unraveling the the inflammatory networks that are upregulated during virus-induced asthma.

Bosco A, Ehteshami S, Panyala S, Martinez FD. Interferon regulatory factor 7 is a major hub connecting interferon-mediated responses in virus-induced asthma exacerbations in vivo. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2011; Article in Press 24 November 2011 (doi.10.1016/j.jaci.2011.10.038)

Abstract

Editor's comment: The gene networks associated with picornavirus-induced asthma exacerbations have been identified and involve a series of innate signaling hubs that could serve as targets for novel therapeutic agents.

4. The understanding of the term "wheezing" by parents and health professionals.

Fernandes RM, Robalo B, Calado C, Medeiros S, Saianda A, Figueira J, Rodrigues R et al. The multiple meanings of "wheezing": a questionnaire survey in Portuguese for parents and health professionals. BMC Pediatrics 2011; 11:112 12 December 2011 (doi.10.1186/1471-2431-11-112).

Provisional Abstract
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Editor's comment: This Portuguese survey found that the word “wheeze” can have multiple meanings. The interpretation of the word “Wheezing” can be influenced by education, respiratory history and regional terminology, suggesting the need for more accurate questionnaires and additional objective measurement instruments to study the epidemiology of wheezing disorders.

5. Allergy rhinitis seminar.

Greiner AN, Hellings PW, Rotiroti G, Scadding G. Allergic rhinitis. The Lancet 2011; 378(9809): 2112-2122 (doi.10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60130-X).

Abstract

Editor's comment: A concise and comprehensive summary of relevant aspects of allergic rhinitis, its epidemiological importance, comorbidities, and response to medication and immunotherapy.

6. Most of acute infusion reactions with monoclonal antibodies are consistent with type I hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis.

Hong DI, Bankova L, Cahil KN, Kyin T, Castells MC. Allergy to monoclonal antibodies: cutting-edge desensitization methods for cutting-edge therapies. Expert Reviews of Clinical Immunology 2012; 8(1): 43-54 (doi.10.1586/eci.11.75).

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Editor's comment: This excellent article reviews the current literature on acute adverse events to monoclonal antibodies and discusses desensitization and readministration protocols to these agents. There is an emphasis on four agents: rituximab, infliximab, cetuximab and trastuzumab.

7. New NICE clinical guideline on anaphylaxis.

Guideline Development Group, National Collaborating Centre and NICE Project team. Anaphylaxis: assessment to confirm an anaphylactic episode and the decision to refer after emergency treatment for a suspected anaphylactic episode. NICE clinical guideline 134. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, December 2011.

Abstract
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Editor's comment: A comprehensive evidence-based clinical guideline on the diagnosis, evaluation and management of anaphylaxis, which includes information for primary care physicians and specialists, patients, and even a set of slides for dissemination.

8. Antigen-specific IgE can be detected using mucosal brush biopsy testing in the sinonasal cavity.

Reisacher, WR. Mucosal brush biopsy testing of the inferior turbinate to detect local, antigen-specific immunoglobulin E. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology 2011; Early View, Article first published online 8 November 2011 (doi.10.1002/alr.20103).

Abstract
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Editor's comment: Mucosal brush biopsy testing in the sinonasal cavity is a well-tolerated, technically straightforward, and minimally-invasive test that has the potential to accelerate research in the area of local immunity.

9. Effect of exposure to traffic-related air pollution on the risk for asthma hospitalization in older people.

Jovanovic Andersen Z, Bønnelykke K, Hvidberg M, Jensen SS, Ketzel M, Steffen L, Sørensen M, Tjønneland A, Overvad K, Raaschou-Nielsen O. Long-term exposure to air pollution and asthma hospitalisations in older adults: a cohort study. Thorax 2012; 67: 6-11 (doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2011-200711).

Abstract

Editor's comment: This Danish study is a 35 year follow-up of a large cohort of older adults. It found that long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution increases the risk for asthma hospitalization in older people especially in patients with previous hospitalizations for asthma or COPD.

10. Assessing different types of chronic urticaria using one generic and one disease-specific health-related quality of life instrument.

Fusel de Ue AP, de Souza PK, Rotta O, de Jesus Furlani W, Mirande de Lima AR, Vilarinho Sabbag SO. Quality of life assessment in patients with chronic urticaria. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia 2011; 86(5): 879-904 (doi.10.1590/S0365-05962011000500006).

Abstract
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Editor's comment: Chronic urticaria significantly affects quality of life as assessed by both a disease specific and a generic questionnaire. There was no significant difference related to the type of urticaria, but the presence of angioedema impaired quality of life even further. There was a statistically significant correlation between the scores obtained using the disease-specific questionnaire and those obtained using the generic questionnaire.

11. Clinical relevance of fungal sensitization on allergic rhinitis and asthma.

Torres-Rodríguez JM, Pulido-Marrero Z, Vera-García Y. Respiratory allergy to fungi in Barcelona, Spain: Clinical aspects, diagnosis and specific treatment in a general allergy unit. Allergologia et Immunopathologia 2011; Article in press, corrected proof, available online 30 November 2011 (doi.10.1016/j.allerg.2011.09.003).

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Editor's comment: This study was designed to assess the importance of fungal sensitization in patients with rhinitis and asthma. Sensitization to Alternaria occurred most frequently followed by Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium or Candida albicans. The study shows the importance of these sensitizations in rhinitis or rhinoconjunctivitis alone or in association with asthma. A diagnostic methodology using skin tests and serum specific-IgE associated with a conjunctival provocation test confirms the clinical relevance of fungal sensitization in these disorders.

12. Relationship between vitamin D and asthma and allergy.

Bozzetto S, Carraro S, Giordano G, Boner A, Baraldi E. Asthma, allergy and respiratory infections: the vitamin D hypothesis. Allergy 2012; 67(1): 10-17 (doi.10.1111/j.1398-995.2011.02711.x)

Abstract
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Editor's comment: Excellent review of the relationship between vitamin D and asthma and allergy, emphasizing the need for controlled, prospective studies on vitamin D supplementation to clarify its role in prevention or treatment.