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

December 2020

Advances and novel developments in drug hypersensitivity diagnosis

Adriana Ariza; Cristobalina Mayorga; Gador Bogas; Esther Barrionuevo; Maria J. Torres; Inmaculada Doña; Tahia D. Fernandez


A correct diagnosis of drug hypersensitivity reactions (DHRs) is very important for both the patient and health system. However, DHRs diagnosis is complex, time consuming, requires trained personnel, is not standardized for many drugs, involves procedures not exempt of risk, and in most cases lacks standardized in vivo and in vitro tests. Thus, there is an urgent need for improving the different approaches to diagnose patients with suspected DHRs. In this review, we have analyzed the advances performed in immediate and nonimmediate DHRs diagnosis during the last two years and obtained several conclusions: the significant heterogeneity in current practice among centers illustrates the need to re-evaluate, update, and standardize in vivo tests and protocols for the diagnosis and management of patients with suspected drug allergy. Regarding in vitro tests, the latest studies have focused on increasing their sensitivity or on establishing the sensitivity and specificity for the tests performed with new drugs. There seems to be a consensus about combining in vivo and in vitro tests as the best way to increase the diagnostic accuracy.

Advances and novel developments in environmental influences on the development of atopic diseases

Shifaa Suhayl Alkotob; Cade Cannedy; Katharina Harter; Hesam Movassagh; Bibek Paudel; Mary Prunicki; Vanitha Sampath; Tamara Schikowski; Eric Smith; Qi Zhao; Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann; Kari C. Nadeau1


Although genetic factors play a role in the etiology of atopic disease, the rapid increases in the prevalence of these diseases over the last few decades suggest that environmental, rather than genetic factors are the driving force behind the increasing prevalence. In modern societies, there is increased time spent indoors, use of antibiotics, and consumption of processed foods and decreased contact with farm animals and pets, which limit exposure to environmental allergens, infectious parasitic worms, and microbes. The lack of exposure to these factors is thought to prevent proper education and training of the immune system. Increased industrialization and urbanization have brought about increases in organic and inorganic pollutants. In addition, Caesarian birth, birth order, increased use of soaps and detergents, tobacco smoke exposure and psychosomatic factors are other factors that have been associated with increased rate of allergic diseases. Here, we review current knowledge on the environmental factors that have been shown to affect the development of allergic diseases and the recent developments in the field.

Advances and novel developments in molecular allergology

Öykü Üzülmez; Tanja Kalic; Heimo Breiteneder


The continuous search for new allergens and the design of allergen derivatives improves the understanding of their allergenicity and aids the design of novel diagnostic and immunotherapy approaches. This article discusses the recent developments in allergen and epitope discovery, allergy diagnostics and immunotherapy. Structural information is crucial for the elucidation of cross-reactivity of marker allergens such as the walnut Jug r 6 or that of nonhomologous allergens, as shown for the peanut allergens Ara h 1 and 2. High-throughput sequencing, liposomal nanoallergen display, bead-based assays, and protein chimeras have been used in epitope discovery. The binding of natural ligands by the birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 or the mold allergen Alt a 1 increased the stability of these allergens, which is directly linked to their allergenicity. We also report recent findings on the use of component-resolved approaches, basophil activation test, and novel technologies for improvement of diagnostics. New strategies in allergen-specific immunotherapy have also emerged, such as the use of virus-like particles, biologics or novel adjuvants. The identification of dectin-1 as a key player in allergy to tropomyosins and the formyl peptide receptor 3 in allergy to lipocalins are outstanding examples of research into the mechanism of allergic sensitization.

Advances and recent developments in asthma in 2020

Lacin Cevhertas; Ismail Ogulur; Debbie J. Maurer; Daniel Burla; Mei Ding; Kirstin Jansen; Jana Koch; Chengyao Liu; Siyuan Ma; Yasutaka Mitamura; Yaqi Peng; Urszula Radzikowska; Arturo O. Rinaldi; Pattraporn Satitsuksanoa; Anna Globinska; Willem van de Veen; Milena Sokolowska; Katja Baerenfaller; Ya-dong Gao; Ioana Agache; Mübeccel Akdis; Cezmi A. Akdis


In this review, we discuss recent publications on asthma and review the studies that have reported on the different aspects of the prevalence, risk factors and prevention, mechanisms, diagnosis, and treatment of asthma. Many risk and protective factors and molecular mechanisms are involved in the development of asthma. Emerging concepts and challenges in implementing the exposome paradigm and its application in allergic diseases and asthma are reviewed, including genetic and epigenetic factors, microbial dysbiosis, and environmental exposure, particularly to indoor and outdoor substances. The most relevant experimental studies further advancing the understanding of molecular and immune mechanisms with potential new targets for the development of therapeutics are discussed. A reliable diagnosis of asthma, disease endotyping, and monitoring its severity are of great importance in the management of asthma. Correct evaluation and management of asthma comorbidity/ multimorbidity, including interaction with asthma phenotypes and its value for the precision medicine approach and validation of predictive biomarkers, are further detailed. Novel approaches and strategies in asthma treatment linked to mechanisms and endotypes of asthma, particularly biologicals, are critically appraised. Finally, due to the recent pandemics and its impact on patient management, we discuss the challenges, relationships, and molecular mechanisms between asthma, allergies, SARSCoV- 2, and COVID-19.

Age-Related Differences in Immunological Responses to SARS-CoV-2

Lydia Su Yin Wong, MRCPCH, Evelyn Xiu Ling Loo, PhD, Alicia Yi Hui Kang, BS, Hui Xing Lau, BSc, Paul Anantharajah Tambyah, MD, and Elizabeth Huiwen Tham, MRCPCH


There is a striking age-related disparity in the prevalence and severity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-induced coronavirus disease 2019 infections, which might be explained by age-dependent immunological mechanisms. These include age-related physiological differences in immunological responses, cross-neutralizing antibodies, and differences in levels and binding affinity of angiotensinconverting enzyme 2, the SARS-CoV-2 target receptor; antibodydependent enhancement in adults manifesting with an overexuberant systemic inflammation in response to infection; and the increased likelihood of comorbidities in adults and the elderly. Emerging immunological phenomena such as Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Disorder Temporally associated with SARS-CoV-2 or Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children are now being observed, though the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Understanding the mechanisms through which pediatric patients are protected from severe novel coronaviruses infections will provide critical clues to the pathophysiology of coronavirus disease 2019 infection and inform future therapeutic and prophylactic interventions. Asymptomatic carriage in children may have major public health implications, which will have an impact on social and health care policies on screening and isolation practices, school reopening, and safe distancing requirements in the community.  2020 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2020;8:3251-8)

Asthma-associated risk for COVID-19 development

Chrysanthi Skevaki, MD; Antonina Karsonova, MD, PhD; Alexander Karaulov, MD; Min Xie, MD; and Harald Renz, MD


The newly described severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for a pandemic (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]). It is now well established that certain comorbidities define high-risk patients. They include hypertension, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. In contrast, the context with bronchial asthma is controversial and shows marked regional differences. Because asthma is the most prevalent chronic inflammatory lung disease worldwide and SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the upper and lower airways leading to marked inflammation, the question arises about the possible clinical and pathophysiological association between asthma and SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19. Here, we analyze the global epidemiology of asthma among patients with COVID-19 and propose the concept that patients suffering from different asthma endotypes (type 2 asthma vs non–type 2 asthma) present with a different risk profile in terms of SARS-CoV-2 infection, development of COVID-19, and progression to severe COVID-19 outcomes. This concept may have important implications for future COVID-19 diagnostics and immune-based therapy developments. (J Allergy Clin Immunol 2020;146:1295-301.)

Biomarkers for diagnosis and prediction of therapy responses in allergic diseases and asthma

Heimo Breiteneder; Ya-Qi Peng; Ioana Agache; Zuzana Diamant; Thomas Eiwegger; Wytske J. Fokkens; Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann; Kari Nadeau; Robyn E. O'Hehir; Liam O'Mahony; Oliver Pfaar; Maria J. Torres; De-Yun Wang; Luo Zhang; Cezmi A. Akdis


Modern health care requires a proactive and individualized response to diseases, combining precision diagnosis and personalized treatment. Accordingly, the approach to patients with allergic diseases encompasses novel developments in the area of personalized medicine, disease phenotyping and endotyping, and the development and application of reliable biomarkers. A detailed clinical history and physical examination followed by the detection of IgE immunoreactivity against specific allergens still represents the state of the art. However, nowadays, further emphasis focuses on the optimization of diagnostic and therapeutic standards and a large number of studies have been investigating the biomarkers of allergic diseases, including asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, food allergy, urticaria and anaphylaxis. Various biomarkers have been developed by omics technologies, some of which lead to a better classification of distinct phenotypes or endotypes. The introduction of biologicals to clinical practice increases the need for biomarkers for patient selection, prediction of outcomes and monitoring, to allow for an adequate choice of the duration of these costly and long-lasting therapies. Escalating healthcare costs together with questions about the efficacy of the current management of allergic diseases require further development of a biomarker-driven approach. Here, we review biomarkers in diagnosis and treatment of asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, viral infections, chronic rhinosinusitis, food allergy, drug hypersensitivity and allergen immunotherapy with a special emphasis on specific IgE, the microbiome and the epithelial barrier. In addition, EAACI guidelines on biologicals are discussed within the perspective of biomarkers.

Japanese guidelines for allergic conjunctival diseases 2020

Dai Miyazaki, Etsuko Takamura, Eiichi Uchio, Nobuyuki Ebihara, Shigeaki Ohno, Yuichi Ohashi, Shigeki Okamoto, Yoshiyuki Satake, Jun Shoji, Kenichi Namba, Kazumi Fukagawa, Atsuki Fukushima, Hiroshi Fujishima, The Japanese Society of Ocular Allergology, The Japanese Society of Allergology


The definition, classification, pathogenesis, test methods, clinical findings, criteria for diagnosis, and therapies of allergic conjunctival disease are summarized based on the Guidelines for Clinical Management of Allergic Conjunctival Disease 2019. Allergic conjunctival disease is defined as “a conjunctival inflammatory disease associated with a Type I allergy accompanied by some subjective or objective symptoms.” Allergic conjunctival disease is classified into allergic conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, and giant papillary conjunctivitis. Representative subjective symptoms include ocular itching, hyperemia, and lacrimation, whereas objective symptoms include conjunctival hyperemia, swelling, folliculosis, and papillae. Patients with vernal keratoconjunctivitis, which is characterized by conjunctival proliferative changes called giant papilla accompanied by varying extents of corneal lesion, such as corneal erosion and shield ulcer, complain of foreign body sensation, ocular pain, and photophobia. In the diagnosis of allergic conjunctival diseases, it is required that type I allergic diathesis is present, along with subjective and objective symptoms accompanying allergic inflammation. The diagnosis is ensured by proving a type I allergic reaction in the conjunctiva. Given that the first-line drug for the treatment of allergic conjunctival disease is an antiallergic eye drop, a steroid eye drop will be selected in accordance with the severity. In the treatment of vernal keratoconjunctivitis, an immunosuppressive eye drop will be concomitantly used with the abovementioned drugs. Copyright © 2020, Japanese Society of Allergology.

World allergy organization anaphylaxis guidance 2020

Victoria Cardona, Ignacio J. Ansotegui, Motohiro Ebisawa, Yehia El-Gamal, Montserrat Fernandez Rivas, Stanley Fineman, Mario Geller, Alexei Gonzalez-Estrada, Paul A. Greenberger, Mario Sanchez Borges, Gianenrico Senna, Aziz Sheikh, Luciana Kase Tanno, Bernard Y. Thong, Paul J. Turner, and Margitta Worm


Anaphylaxis is the most severe clinical presentation of acute systemic allergic reactions. The occurrence of anaphylaxis has increased in recent years, and subsequently, there is a need to continue disseminating knowledge on the diagnosis and management, so every healthcare professional is prepared to deal with such emergencies. The rationale of this updated position document is the need to keep guidance aligned with the current state of the art of knowledge in anaphylaxis management. The World Allergy Organization (WAO) anaphylaxis guidelines were published in 2011, and the current guidance adopts their major indications, incorporating some novel changes. Intramuscular epinephrine (adrenaline) continues to be the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. Nevertheless, its use remains suboptimal. After an anaphylaxis occurrence, patients should be referred to a specialist to assess the potential cause and to be educated on prevention of recurrences and self-management. The limited availability of epinephrine auto-injectors remains a major problem in many countries, as well as their affordability for some patients.

Cookie Notice

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Review our cookies information for more details.