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WAO News & Notes

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

May World Medical Journal Review

Prof. Richard F. Lockey, MD, WAO Web Editor-in-Chief, reviewed premier May medical journal articles for practicing allergists. Read his top 3 picks below and for the other 8 reviews, click here.

Two-hundred and eighty-five children, two or three years old, with a positive asthma predictive index were observed for one year and then given either fluticasone propionate (FP), 88µg 2x d, or placebo for two years. They were followed one additional year on no study medication or placebo. Treatment was associated with a significantly greater proportion of episode-free days, a lower rate of exacerbations, and less supplemental use of controller medications. At the end of the fourth year, the height increase was 0.7 cm less in the treatment group (P = 0.008). Even though the FP group did better during the two years of treatment, FP treatment did not alter the development of asthma or lung function during a third treatment-free year. Editor's comment: ICS are effective to treat pre-school children with asthma but do not alter long-term outcomes. Guilbert TW, et al. N Engl J Med 2006; 354: 1985. Gold DR, Fuhlbrigge AL, (editorial) 2058.

Two-hundred and ninety-four infants were randomly assigned to receive budesonide or placebo at their first episode of wheezing. Proportion of symptom-free days was similar in both groups as was persistent wheezing. The outcomes were not affected by the presence or absence of atopic dermatitis, and the mean duration of the acute episodes was identical in both groups and independent of respiratory viral status. Height and bone mineral density were not affected in either group. Inhaled budesonide has no short-term benefit during episodes of wheezing during the first three years of life nor does it affect the progression from episodic to persistent wheezing. Editor's comment: Finding a way to prevent these episodes may be the best solution for early onset episodic wheezing. Bisgaard H, et al. N Engl J Med 2006; 354: 1998. Gold DR, Fuhlbrigge AL, (editorial) 2058.

Twenty-one patients with physician-diagnosed stable COPD with cough (77% male; mean age, 68 years; mean predicted FEV1, 53%; median smoking history, 43.5 pack-years) were studied in a DBPC crossover study. Cough frequency, cough seconds/hours, citric acid cough threshold, and subjective measurements were obtained. Codeine phosphate 60 mg or matched placebo was administered, in random order, at the start of each cough recording (0 and 12 hours). There were no significant differences in median time spent coughing, challenge thresholds, or subjective cough measures for codeine vs. placebo. Editor's comment: Codeine was no better than placebo to treat cough in patients with COPD. Smith J, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006; 117: 831.

To read the additional reviews, click here.

WAO Member Society Spotlight – Austrian Society of Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI)

Dear colleagues and friends,

Here is the news from the Austrian Society of Allergology and Immunology (ÖGAI). We really enjoyed hosting so many of you at the Congress of the EAACI in Vienna, June 10 – 14, 2006.

The booth of the Austrian Society of Allergology and Immunology in the "National Village" of this EAACI congress was a real success. You may remember that in our booth we offered not only information about Vienna but also delicious "Mozartkugeln," the famous sweets created in honor of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

Last but not least, we would like to announce a newly funded Doctoral College CCHD (Cellular Communications in Health and Disease) at the Medical University Vienna, where we offer 24 doctoral positions for a newly established, high-quality PhD program. We cordially invite you to suggest that your best students apply for these truly attractive positions by the July 30, 2006 deadline.

The program offers cutting-edge education in the field of Neurobiology, Vascular Biology, Immunology and Inflammation Research and integrates basic, applied, and clinical sciences, as well as a huge spectrum of experimental techniques.

Admitted PhD Students will receive funding for at least three years including support to visit international conferences and specialized workshops. Applicants must hold a final degree in the diploma studies of Medicine, Dentistry, or in any scientific/technical subject-related diploma (such as cell or molecular biology) by the commencing term of the program.

Further information on research topics and courses, as well as application forms, is available at: www.phd-cchd.at. Applications must be submitted by email to: phd_cchd@meduniwien.ac.at.

Contributed by:

Prof. Erika Jensen-Jarolim, MD
WAO delegate of the ÖGAI

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

Introducing New GLORIA Modules

The World Allergy Organization is excited to announce the launch of two new modules of our flagship educational program, GLORIA™ (Global Resources in Allergy™) at the meeting of the Singapore Society of Immunology, Allergy & Rheumatology, 15 July 2006, Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

GLORIA Symposia:

Module 8: Anaphylaxis
15 July 2006 from 8:20 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. in the TTSH Theatrette

Module 9: Diagnosis of IgE Sensitization
15 July 2006 from 10:40 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. in the TTSH Theatrette 

GLORIA Faculty: Cassim Motala, South Africa

New on the WAO Web Site

In WAO Conversations, hear Allen P. Kaplan share his informal ideas on the treatment of Urticaria. To hear the interview, click here.

We are pleased to announce two new Interactive Case Reviews that are based on Clinical Case Reports published in the ACII-JWAO.

  • "The approach to recurrent upper respiratory infections," presented by Patrick J. DeMarco and Richard F. Lockey
  • "Exercise -induced anaphylaxis," presented by Alexander T. Vu and Richard F. Lockey

To read the reviews, then make your diagnosis and learn if you agree with the experts, click here.

WAO Short-Term Research Fellowships Awarded

WAO has awarded three Short-Term Research Fellowships of $2,500 to enable young researchers to visit centers abroad and learn techniques to further their research programs. Congratulations to:

Eleonora Dehlink, Vienna, Austria who will visit Edda Fiebiger, Children's Hospital Boston, USA to further develop her project: Is Fc-epsilon-RI an antigen uptake/presentation receptor in the intestinal mucosa involved in the initiation of allergic immune responses in the gastro-intenstinal tract? An in-vivo approach.

Daniel P. Potaczek, Cracow, Poland who submitted an application to visit Hideoki Ogawa, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo where he will develop skills for his project: Genetic variability of alpha chain of high-affinity IgE receptor gene and its expression.

Dahlia Al-Ghoneimy, Cairo, Egypt who will study skin prick testing in the early diagnosis of atopy in infants and children, and the immunotherapeutic modalities. Her Fellowship will be hosted by G. Walter Canonica at DIMI, Genoa, Italy.

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
E-mail address
Name of Member Society

And In Other News

Allergy Book Review

Allergy and Asthma in Modern Society: A Scientific Approach
R. Crameri, Editor
2006 Karger
ISBN: 3-8055-8000-2

List Price: $167.25 USD
Available from: Karger Publishing

Dr David Sutherland, FRACP
Nineways Specialist Clinic, Broadmeadow NSW 2292

The prevalence of allergic diseases and bronchial asthma has increased throughout the industrialized world. This book is a collection of papers which seeks to explore the complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors that may have contributed to this increase. Contributions from a total of 40 authors have allowed a very broad coverage, ranging from epidemiology through to modern advances in molecular biology.

This book was compiled as a tribute to Professor Kurt Blaser, Director of the Swiss Institute of Allergy and Immunology Research, Davos, to celebrate his 65th birthday.

No doubt this book was edited for those with a scientific interest in the etiology and management of bronchial asthma and allergic disease. However, this very scope and the large number of invited authors, means that there would be very few amongst the intended audience that would find all of the topics, ranging from epidemiology through to molecular immunology, equally helpful, or indeed, comprehensible.

This volume is divided into six sections: Introduction, The Environment, The Lung Eosinophils and Asthma, The Skin, Molecular Aspects of Allergy and Asthma, and Immunotherapy. Within this format, there are a total of 18 chapters. The Foreward to the volume is a tribute to Professor Blaser, and it concludes with a brief subject index. It is a slim well-presented volume of 224 pages.

Presumably as the result of the celebratory nature of this book, its contents are extremely varied, and perhaps idiosyncratic. The end result has been an in depth assessment of numerous aspects of asthma and allergic disease, rather than a comprehensive coverage. The scientific quality of the contributions is variable also. Those dealing with epidemiology and basic immunology are of a high quality. A chapter on allergic conjunctivitis includes 22 references. Only four of those references are from 2000 or later publications, and the author's name is included in all but one of the references. Some chapters, such as an examination of the affect of high altitude on bronchial asthma, and the role of sensitization to Malassezia sympodialis in atopic eczema, would be unlikely to warrant a whole chapter in another publication.

Overall, this is a book to be used as a resource, rather than to be read from cover to cover. It would be a valuable addition to institutional libraries, and a useful purchase for clinical immunologists and allergists with wide-ranging scientific interests across the whole field of bronchial asthma and allergy. Others will find significant parts of this volume outside of their own areas of interest.

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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