Multiple-allergen and single-allergen immunotherapy strategies in polysensitized patients: Looking at the published evidence
ABSTRACT In allergen immunotherapy there is debate as to whether polysensitized patients are best treated with many allergens simultaneously (chosen according to the sensitization profile, a predominantly North American approach) or a single allergen (chosen according to the most clinically problematic allergy, a predominantly European approach). In patients seeking treatment for moderate-to-severe respiratory allergies, polysensitization is more prevalent (range, 50% to 80%) than monosensitization in both the United States and Europe. Safe, effective, single-allergen preparations will most likely have been tested in polysensitized patients. In robust, large-scale clinical trials of grass pollen sublingual tablets, polysensitized patients benefited at least as much from allergen immunotherapy as monosensitized patients. A recent review of multiallergen immunotherapy concluded that simultaneous delivery of multiple unrelated allergens can be clinically effective but that there was a need for additional investigation of therapy with more than 2 allergen extracts (particularly in sublingual allergen immunotherapy). More work is also required to determine whether single-allergen and multiallergen immunotherapy protocols elicit distinct immune responses in monosensitized and polysensitized patients. Sublingual and subcutaneous multiallergen immunotherapy in polysensitized patients requires more supporting data to validate its efficacy in practice.
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ABSTRACT: Polysensitisation is common in patients with respiratory allergy in Spain. Selection of the best allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is difficult in polysensitised patients. The present study was designed to help allergists better identify relevant allergens in these patients and to improve the selection of AIT in Spain. Sixty-two Spanish allergists answered a survey containing 88 items divided into four groups: 1) general approach to polysensitised subjects; 2) sensitisation profile involving mite, animal dander and moulds; 3) grass and olive pollen co-sensitisation, and 4) other pollen polysensitisation profile (weed and tree pollen). The Delphi method was used. A consensus was achieved for 83% of items (92%, 81%, 83% and 73% of the four groups analysed, respectively). Only polysensitised patients with clinical relevance should be considered polyallergic. A detailed medical history (clinical symptoms and medication) together with a profound knowledge of allergens present in the patient's environment are essential for diagnosis. Skin prick tests (SPTs) are not adequate to decide the clinical relevance of each allergen. Serum specific IgE against allergen sources adds value to SPT but molecular diagnosis, when possible, is strongly recommended, especially in pollen-allergic patients. Specific allergen challenge tests are difficult to perform and not recommended for daily practice. Regarding AIT composition, up to three allergens can be used in the same vaccine, but only related allergens may be mixed. In some cases more than one vaccine may be needed. Some criteria have been established to improve diagnosis and AIT prescription in polysensitised patients.
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ABSTRACT: Allergen-specific immunotherapy is the only currently available treatment to modify the natural history of allergic rhinitis (AR). If patients are polysensitized, it is difficult to identify the allergen causing the allergic symptoms. We evaluated the effectiveness of immunotherapy against house dust mites (HDMs) in AR patients polysensitized to both HDMs and seasonal allergens.Allergy, asthma & immunology research 11/2014; 6(6):535-40. DOI:10.4168/aair.2014.6.6.535 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Sublingual immunotherapy is currently considered a viable alternative to the subcutaneous route. The body of evidence of its efficacy is based on the results of 77 clinical trials and 7 meta-analyses, that have been published so far. Nonetheless, the experimental evidence is partially weak due to the large heterogeneity of studies, namely: doses, regimens, patient selection, duration of treatment, outcomes and reporting. In addition, it is virtually impossible to compare the potency of extracts produced by different manufacturers. Also, there is large variability in reporting and in the classification of adverse events, either systemic or local, so that only a rough estimate can be provided. Considering all these aspects, efforts are needed to harmonize the methodology, outcome measures and reporting of SLIT clinical trials, to achieve the ability of comparing the results of various studies. International societies and the World Allergy Organization have recently provided general recommendations on how to design and conduct trials which can provide more interpretable and homogeneous data.World Allergy Organization Journal 01/2014; 7(1):21. DOI:10.1186/1939-4551-7-21