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Journal: Allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology : official journal of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

186

Cats are the major source of indoor inhalant allergens after house dust mites. The global incidence of cat allergies is rising sharply, posing a major public health problem. Ten cat allergens have been identified. The major allergen responsible for symptoms is Fel d 1, a secretoglobin and not a lipocalin, making the cat a special case among mammals.

Concepts: Asthma, Atopy, Allergen, Cat, Allergen immunotherapy, House dust mite, Fel d 1, Cat allergy

172

Oral H1-antihistamines (AHs) are the most commonly used therapy to treat allergic rhinitis and chronic urticaria. Older, first-generation AHs (e.g. diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine) have significant and common side effects including sedation, impairment with decreased cognitive function, poor sleep quality, dry mouth, dizziness, and orthostatic hypotension. These drugs have also been found to result in death from accidents, intentional or unintentional overdoses, and sudden cardiac death. The unfavourable risk-benefit profile of first-generation AHs led to the development of newer, less-sedating second- and third-generation AHs, which first became available in Canada in the 1980s. High-quality trials have proven that newer generation AHs are superior in safety compared to older first-generation AHs. On average, they have improved potency and efficacy. Second- and third-generation AHs are the recommended first-line treatment for mild allergic rhinitis and acute and chronic urticaria. Despite this evidence, older first-generation AHs continue to be over-utilized because of their over-the-counter (OTC) status and long history of use. The Canadian Society of Allergy Clinical Immunology (CSACI) recommends that newer generation AHs should be preferred over first-generation AHs for the treatment of allergic rhino-conjunctivitis and urticaria. To promote this recommendation, education of health professionals and the public is necessary. Further, given the dangers of older first-generation AHs, we believe they should be used only as a last resort with eventual consideration given to having them only available behind the counter in pharmacies.

172

Systemic corticosteroids play an integral role in the management of many inflammatory and immunologic conditions, but these agents are also associated with serious risks. Osteoporosis, adrenal suppression, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, Cushing’s syndrome, psychiatric disturbances and immunosuppression are among the more serious side effects noted with systemic corticosteroid therapy, particularly when used at high doses for prolonged periods. This comprehensive article reviews these adverse events and provides practical recommendations for their prevention and management based on both current literature and the clinical experience of the authors.

Concepts: Medicine, Corticosteroid, Glucocorticoid, Cortisol, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Cushing's syndrome, Adrenal cortex, Adrenal insufficiency

116

113

The heterogeneous nature of asthma has been understood for decades, but the precise categorization of asthma has taken on new clinical importance in the era of specific biologic therapy. The simple categories of allergic and non-allergic asthma have given way to more precise phenotypes that hint at underlying biologic mechanisms of variable airflow limitation and airways inflammation. Understanding these mechanisms is of particular importance for the approximately 10% of patients with severe asthma. Biomarkers that aid in phenotyping allow physicians to “personalize” treatment with targeted biologic agents. Unfortunately, testing for these biomarkers is not routine in patients whose asthma is refractory to standard therapy. Scientific advances in the recognition of sensitive and specific biomarkers are steadily outpacing the clinical availability of reliable and non-invasive assessment methods designed for the prompt and specific diagnosis, classification, treatment, and monitoring of severe asthma patients. This article provides a practical overview of current biomarkers and testing methods for prompt, effective management of patients with severe asthma that is refractory to standard therapy.

Concepts: Immune system, Medicine, Asthma, Understanding, The Age, Physician, Phenotype, Assessment

107

Shrimp and house dust mite (HDM) allergies are common in Canadians. Often, both of these allergies occur in the same patient. This may be due to homology of tropomyosin or other potentially shared proteins. The aim of our study was to assess the frequency of house dust mite sensitization in a shrimp allergic Canadian population.

Concepts: Asthma, Canada, Acari, Arachnid, Mite, House dust mite, Ontario, Southern Ontario

61

To assess the relationship between any systemic antibiotic prescription within the first year of life and the presence of an ICD-9-CM diagnosis code for food allergy (FA).

Concepts: Bacteria, Virus, Allergy, Greek loanwords, Linguistics, Antibiotic, Penicillin, Medical classification

41

Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) or macrogols are polyether compounds and are widely used as additives in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food.

Concepts: Ether

37

BACKGROUND: A diagnosis of peanut allergy has a major impact on an individual’s quality of life. Exposure to even small amounts of peanut can trigger serious reactions. Common cleaning agents can easily remove peanut allergen from surfaces such as table tops. Parents of children with peanut allergy frequently ask if peanut allergen can persist on surfaces if they have not been cleaned.Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the persistence of peanut allergen on a typical table surface over time. METHODS: 5 mL of peanut butter was evenly smeared on a 12 inch by 12 inch (30.5 by 30.5 cm) square on a nonporous (laminated plastic) table surface. Five squares were prepared in the same manner. The table was kept in a regular hospital office at room temperature and ambient lighting. No cleaning occurred for 110 days. Samples were taken at regular intervals from different areas each time. A monoclonal-based ELISA for arachis hypogaea allergen 1 (Ara h 1), range of detection 1.95-2000 ng/mL, was used to assess peanut allergen on the table surface. RESULTS: At baseline, there was no detectable Ara h 1 allergen. Immediately post application and for 110 days of collecting, detectable Ara h 1 was found each time a sample was taken. There was no obvious allergen degradation over time. Active cleaning of the contaminated surface with a commercial cleaning wipe resulted in no detectable Ara h 1 allergen. CONCLUSIONS: Peanut allergen is very robust. Detectable Ara h 1 was present on the table surface for 110 days. Active cleaning of peanut contaminated surfaces easily removed peanut residue and allergen. Regular cleaning of surfaces before and after eating should be reinforced as a safety measure for all individuals with peanut allergy.

Concepts: Allergy, Fabaceae, Food allergy, Allergology, Peanut, Arachis, Peanut butter, Peanuts

20

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory immune disorder of the airways affecting one in ten children in westernized countries. The geographical disparity combined with a generational rise in prevalence, emphasizes that changing environmental exposures play a significant role in the etiology of this disease. The microflora hypothesis suggests that early life exposures are disrupting the composition of the microbiota and consequently, promoting immune dysregulation in the form of hypersensitivity disorders. Animal model research supports a role of the microbiota in asthma and atopic disease development. Further, these model systems have identified an early life critical window, during which gut microbial dysbiosis is most influential in promoting hypersensitivity disorders. Until recently this critical window had not been characterized in humans, but now studies suggest that the ideal time to use microbes as preventative treatments or diagnostics for asthma in humans is within the first 100 days of life. This review outlines the major mouse-model and human studies leading to characterization of the early life critical window, emphasizing studies analyzing the intestinal and airway microbiotas in asthma and atopic disease. This research has promising future implications regarding childhood immune health, as ultimately it may be possible to therapeutically administer specific microbes in early life to prevent the development of asthma in children.

Concepts: Immune system, Archaea, Bacteria, Asthma, Microbiology, Model organism, Allergy, Atopy