Facebook: World Allergy Organization
Twitter: World Allergy Organization
LinkedIn: World Allergy Organization
Instagram: World Allergy Organization
Back to Top

Disease Summaries

Nomenclature of Allergic Disease

Posted: May 2004

The terminology that evolved during the 20th century to characterize allergic and allergy-like reactions became a cause of confusion. A common understanding, and a strict use of the terminology which defines allergic disease, is required for science and patient care to be optimized.

In September, 2001, the EAACI Revised Nomenclature for Allergy Position Statement (EAACI NPS) was published in Allergy and was greatly appreciated, even outside Europe. However, for skin allergy transitional terms were introduced as it was felt this nomenclature required further consideration. The NPS is now available in 10 languages, and a glossary in 24 languages.

In May 2004, "A revised nomenclature for allergy for global use: Report of the Nomenclature Review Committee of World Allergy Organization, October 2003," appeared in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI 2004;113:832-836). The WAO nomenclature is an update of the EAACI NPS, presenting definitive terms for skin allergies. The WAO nomenclature is designed to be used independently of target organ or patient age group, and is based on the mechanisms which initiate and mediate allergic reactions. As knowledge about basic causes and mechanisms improves, WAO will continue to review the nomenclature to optimize global communication about allergic diseases.

The panel of global experts conducting the 2003 review was chaired by S.G.O. Johansson, Past-President of WAO, and Chair of the EAACI NPS Task Force. WAO Regional Societies each nominated a representative, and a number of dermatology specialists were invited to participate. The WAO panel comprised T. Bieber (Germany), R. Dahl (Denmark), S. Friedmann (UK), B. Lanier (ACAAI, USA), R. Lockey (USA), C. Motala (South Africa), J.A. Ortega Martell (LASAI, Mexico), T.A.E. Platts-Mills (AAAAI, USA), J. Ring (Germany), F. Thien (APAACI, Australia), P. Van Cauwenberge (EAACI, Belgium) H.C.Williams (UK).

A glossary of the key words from newly proposed nomenclature is available in several languages: click on the drop down box to select from those available:


The nomenclature translations posted on the WAO Web site may be downloaded and copied for distribution providing WAO copyright is acknowledged. Member Societies wishing to translate and reproduce the full report of the WAO Nomenclature Review Committee, published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, May, 2004, should first establish contact with Elsevier for copyright terms and permission.