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WAO News & Notes - September 2007
Volume 4, Issue 9

Register Now for the World Allergy Congress™ (WAC)!
2-6 December 2007
Bangkok, Thailand

Final Pre-Registration Deadline: 30 September 2007
Late-Breaking Abstract Deadline: 30 September 2007
Click here to register for WAC or to submit your abstract.

wad 2007


World Allergy Day 2007 is organized by WAO in association with the Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD), a program of the WHO, and focuses on Chronic Allergic Respiratory Diseases (Chronic Allergic Respiratory diseases include allergic rhinitis, allergic rhinosinusitis, allergic asthma, allergic occupational asthma, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and other airway disorders caused by exposure to allergens). World Allergy Day will include a press conference on the ‘State of World Allergy: A Report of the World Allergy Organization’ and a World Allergy Day Symposium, held during World Allergy Congress, Bangkok, Thailand. 

For more information or to organize a World Allergy Day celebration in your own region, please visit: www.worldallergy.org/wad2007.

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

Medical Journal Reviews

Guest editors Dr. Mark Glaum and Dr. Gary Hellerman, and edited by Richard F. Lockey, reviewed premier medical journal articles for practicing allergists. Read their top 3 picks below and for the other 7 reviews, click here.

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are commonly used to treat COPD, although efficacy in this disease is less clear. A case-control study within a large cohort of Canadian patients with COPD was performed to determine whether ICS use is associated with increased risk of pneumonia. When normalized for COPD severity, ICS use is still associated with a 70% increased risk of hospitalization for pneumonia. With increased doses (fluticasone 1000 mcg per day or equivalent), the risk of hospitalization for pneumonia is 2-fold high than case control subjects.  Editor’s comment: Risk for pneumonia should be considered when prescribing ICS in COPD. Ernst P, Gonzales AV, Brassard P, Suissa S. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2007; 176:162-66.

Polymorphisms in the IL-13 gene were examined for association with total serum IgE, eosinophilia and asthma exacerbations in Costa Rican children and in children enrolled in the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP). IL-13 polymorphisms are associated with elevated serum IgE, and eosinophilia, but these polymorphisms are associated with asthma exacerbations in subjects on inhaled corticosteroids only in the CAMP subjects. Editor’s comment: The IL-13 gene may be an important locus that predisposes for certain asthma phenotypes. Hunninghake GM, Soto-Quiros ME, Avila L, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol  2007; 120: 84-90.

A genome-wide association scan was performed on DNA from 994 subjects with childhood-onset asthma and from 1243 non-asthmatics. More than one-third of children with asthma diagnosed at age 7 years or less show variations in the expression of the ORMDL3 gene on chromosome 17q21. Although the function of ORMDL3 gene product is not known, the gene codes for an evolutionarily ancient transmembrane protein also found in yeast and other primitive organisms. Editor’s comment: This study provides further evidence supporting the importance of genetic factors in childhood asthma. Moffatt MF, Kabesch M, Liang L, et al. Nature 2007; 448: 470-73.

To read the additional reviews, click here.

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

New Educational Postings on the WAO Website

Allergic Diseases Resource Center
Professor Ulrich Wahn has contributed The Allergic March, our latest synopsis to be posted in the Allergic Diseases Resource Center.  Preventing the progression of allergic symptoms in childhood is a major interest to allergists and pediatricians. To read this review on the current state of knowledge on this important topic, click here

Ask the Expert – Exclusive Benefit to WAO Members
Ask the Expert is a new online tool available exclusively to WAO Members. Directed by Professors Cassim Motala and Ruby Pawankar, this online service provides the opportunity to pose educational, scientific and medical questions about allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology to one of the many WAO volunteer experts located throughout the world. We invite all WAO Members to become a part of this online service. To Ask the Expert, click here.

WAO Membership Directory– Exclusive Benefit to WAO Members
WAO will be gathering information in the next couple of months to create a network of contacts for Allergists around the World. Once the membership directory is officially launched in November 2007, everyone listed in the directory will be able to access contact information for Allergists worldwide. To become a part of the WAO Membership Directory, click here.

Call for Applications: Application Deadlines Approaching

Long-Term Research Fellowship
The World Allergy Organization (WAO) will offer one Long-Term Research Fellowship to commence in 2008. The Fellowship will support a junior allergist following an approved research program at a WAO proposed host center for up to two years. WAO will contribute a monthly stipend of $1,700 US and once-yearly travel expenses between the home country and the host center.

Priority will be given to junior clinicians within five years of award of the most recent professional degree, who are specializing in allergy and who are affiliated with an academic department or clinical institute. Applicants must be active members of a WAO member society.

The Long-Term Fellowship will be applied to a project which meets one of the WAO Research Priorities:

  • Genetic factors involved in the development of allergic disease and response to  treatment
  • Allergen characterization and standardization
  • Clinical and basic studies in allergy and asthma

Application forms including a list of host centers may be downloaded here.

Applications must be received by WAO Secretariat no later than 30 September 2007.

WAO Program Deadlines
The World Allergy Organization (WAO) invites all Member Societies in good standing to submit applications to host a WAO educational program in 2008 at your annual meeting. 

Application Deadlines: 30 September 2007


Click here to apply for Global Resources In Allergy (GLORIA™)

seminars and conferences

Click here
to apply for Seminars & Conferences.

Upcoming WAO Educational Programs

International GLORIA
Italian Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology Annual Meeting
27-29 September 2007
Palermo, Italy
International GLORIA Faculty: Lanny Rosenwasser
Module 7: Angioedema
Module 8: Anaphylaxis

International Forum of Allergic Disease
12-15 October 2007
Shanghai, China
International GLORIA Faculty: Michael A. Kaliner
Module 5: Treatment of Severe Asthma
Module 10: Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyposis

15th Annual Meeting of the Turkish National Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
17-19 October 2007
Beldibi Antalya, Turkey
International GLORIA Faculty: F. Estelle R. Simons
Module 7: Angioedema
Module 8: Anaphylaxis

Symposium of the Spanish Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
26 October 2007
Santander, Spain
International GLORIA Faculty: Paloma Ibañez Sandin
Module 6: Food Allergy

XXXIV Meeting of the Brazilian Association of Allergy and Immunopathology
27-31 October 2007
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
International GLORIA Faculty: Joaquin Sastre
Module 3: Allergic Emergencies
Module 6: Food Allergy

International GLORIA is supported through unrestricted educational grants from:

dyax & genzyme
nutricia shs international

New Jersey Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Society
3 October 2007
New Jersey
US GLORIA Faculty: Richard F. Lockey
Module 8: Anaphylaxis

Wisconsin Allergy Society
6 October 2007 
Madison, Wisconsin
US GLORIA Faculty: Allen P. Kaplan
Module 7: Angioedema

Northwest Allergy Forum
12-14 October 2007
Portland, Oregon
US GLORIA Faculty: Ernest Charlesworth
Module 6: Food Allergy
Module 10: Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyposis

New England Society of Allergy
20-21 October 2007
Mystic, Connecticut
US GLORIA Faculty: Phillip Lieberman
Module 10: Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Nasal Polyposis

Illinois Society of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology
21 October 2007
Chicago, Illinois
US GLORIA Faculty: Jay Portnoy
Module 7: Angioedema
Module 8: Anaphylaxis

US GLORIA is supported through unrestricted educational grants from:


Seminars & Conferences

Chilean Society of Allergy and Immunology
28-29 September 2007
Concepción, Chile
WAO Invited Lecturer: Fernan Caballero

International Forum of Allergic Disease
12-15 October 2007
Shanghai, China
WAO Invited Lecturer: Connie H. Katelaris

Sign up for Online Journal Subscription -
WAO and Hogrefe & Huber Publishers are offering a limited number of free online 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, online 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 (Family) name
Postal address
City, State/Province and postal code
E-mail address
Name of Member Society

And In Other News

Allergy Book Review

Quantitative Skin Testing for Allergy: IDT and MQT
By: Bradley F. Marple and Richard L. Mabry
ISBN: 9781588904300

List price: € 29.95 EUR (about $42.00 USD)
Available from: Thieme

Dr. David C Sutherland, FRACP
Nineways Specialist Clinic, Broadmeadow, NSW, Australia

This slim paperback on quantitative skin testing is set out in a logical fashion, with a reasonably comprehensive index and two appendices, the first of which is a glossary that does not describe commonly used immunological terms with an acceptable degree of precision.

The authors set out to provide a simple guide for otorhinolaryngologists who wish to undertake quantitative skin testing for allergies. These objectives are met. However, such testing is not evidence-based and would not be recommended by clinicians in the field. The work is based on two assumptions. The first is that there is a separate sub-discipline referred to by the authors as "otolaryngic allergy." This notion would not gain wide acceptance outside this particular group of enthusiasts. The second is that the form of testing advocated (intradermal dilutional testing based on the Rinkel method or end point titration) confers quantitative information useful in the diagnosis and management of allergic disease. The authors offer no evidence for such claims, and there is none in the peer reviewed scientific literature. This is conceded by one of the contributors: "In this era of evidence-based medicine, it is unfortunate that much of our information is still based on the reported anecdotal experience of Herbert Rinkel. Fortunately, he proved to be a very astute observer, and most of his recommendations have stood the test of time thus far."

The book is designed for otorhinolaryngologists who wish to include this form of skin testing in their diagnostic repertoire.

The authors have provided a simple and readily understood guide to the quantitative skin test practices they espouse. Unfortunately, these practices are not evidence based, and so cannot be recommended. Apart from problems with precision in the definition of immunological terms in appendix one, the immunology is deficient in other ways. For example, mast cell activation is referred to as "mast cell dissolution" (page 24), and the list of drugs said to interfere with skin testing includes "decongestants (topical or systemic), bronchodilators, corticosteroids (topical or systemic)...." It has been well demonstrated that these agents do not interfere with skin prick testing. There are a few black-and-white photographs relating to the setting up of a practice for skin testing, but the book lacks other illustrations. Tables have a grey background and are not particularly easy to read.

This book would be of interest to medical historians, particularly those studying the impediments to the widespread adoption of evidence-based medicine. Others would be better served by obtaining a free download of the manual on skin prick testing prepared by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (www.allergy.org.au). No doubt other learned societies have similar position papers.

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

World Allergy Organization (WAO)
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Email: info@worldallergy.org

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Made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from Novartis.