To date, there have been no randomized, double-blind studies showing the effectiveness of sublingual immunotherapy with multiple allergens.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether the efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) with standardized timothy extract was reduced by combination with other allergen extracts.
A single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with SLIT was conducted. After an observational grass season, SLIT was administered for 10 months to 54 patients randomized to 1 of 3 treatment arms: placebo, timothy extract (19 microg Phl p 5 daily) as monotherapy, or the same dose of timothy extract plus 9 additional pollen extracts. Symptom and medication scores were collected and titrated nasal challenges, titrated skin prick tests, specific IgE, IgG4 and cytokines release by timothy-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation were performed.
Perhaps because of a very low grass pollen season in 2008, there were no significant differences in medication or symptom scores in either treatment group compared with placebo. Compared with placebo, in the timothy monotherapy group, thresholds for titrated nasal challenge and skin prick tests (P = .03 and P = .001, respectively), and serum-specific IgG4 levels (P = .005) significantly increased, and IFN- gamma levels decreased (P = .02), whereas in the multiallergen group, there was significant improvement only in the titrated skin prick tests (P = .04) which was less than in the monotherapy group. There were no significant differences between the 2 active groups in any outcome measure, and both active groups experienced more adverse events than placebo. There were no systemic reactions.
Improvement in multiple relevant outcomes strongly suggests that SLIT with timothy extract alone was effective; however, the results for symptom and medication scores were not significant. The differences between multiple allergen SLIT and placebo only in skin sensitivity to timothy suggest a reduction in SLIT efficacy in this group. However, further studies are required to confirm these observations.
"Of the remaining 40 publications, only 2 provided any detail about proficiency testing. One paper reported that, “SPTs were performed by S.M.A., who achieved a coefficient of variation of 16.25 on repetitive testing with histamine on a single patient” . The second paper reported that, “An SPT score was computed by subtracting the saline control measure, and a positive SPT response was defined by a score of 3 mm or greater. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Skin prick/puncture testing (SPT) is widely accepted as a safe, dependable, convenient, and cost-effective procedure to detect allergen-specific IgE sensitivity. It is, however, prone to influence by a variety of factors that may significantly alter test outcomes, affect the accuracy of diagnosis, and the effectiveness of subsequent immunotherapy regimens. Proficiency in SPT administration is a key variable that can be routinely measured and documented to improve the predictive value of allergy skin testing.
Literature surveys were conducted to determine the adherence to repeated calls for development and implementation of proficiency testing standards in the 1990’s, the mid-2000’s and the 2008 allergy diagnostics practice parameters.
Authors publishing clinical research in peer-reviewed journals and conducting workshops at annual scientific meetings have recommended proficiency testing based primarily on its potential to reduce variability, minimize confounding test results, and promote more effective immunotherapeutic treatments. Very few publications of clinical studies, however, appear to report proficiency testing data for SPT performance. Allergen immunotherapy recommendations are updated periodically by the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters representing the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), and the Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (JCAAI).
Despite consensus that all staff who perform SPT should meet basic quality assurance standards that demonstrate their SPT proficiency, the gap between recommendations and daily practice persists. By embracing standards, the accuracy of SPT and allergy diagnosis can be optimized, ultimately benefiting patients with allergic disease.
"However, AR is often induced by a variety of allergens, and the safety and effectiveness of a multi-allergen SIT is still debatable. Some clinical trials have shown that multiple-allergen immunotherapy is effective in AR and asthma,15,16,17 but others have not.18,19 Multiple-allergen immunotherapy increases the risk of adverse reactions during SIT.20,21 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose
Specific immunotherapy (SIT) is a suitable but uncommon treatment option for allergic rhinitis (AR) in China. The current understanding and attitude of Chinese ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialists in regards to SIT is unclear. This study investigates current trends in the awareness and application status of SIT among Chinese ENT specialists.
We performed a nationwide, cross-sectional survey with a specially designed questionnaire given to 800 ENT specialists in China. A member of the trained research group conducted face-to-face interviews with each respondent.
Most of the respondents considered AR (96.0%) and allergic asthma (96.0%) the most suitable indications for SIT. Of all respondents, 77.0% recommended the application of SIT as early as possible; in addition, SIT was considered 'relatively controllable and safe' by most respondents (80.6%). The highest allergen-positive rate in AR was associated with house dust mite (47.7%) and obvious differences existed among geographical regions. Conventional subcutaneous immunotherapy was the most highly recommended treatment option (96.2%). 'The high cost of SIT' (86.6%) and 'lack of patient knowledge of SIT' (85.2%) were probably the main reasons for the lower clinical use of SIT in China.
Most cases showed that the opinions of Chinese ENT specialists appeared to be in agreement with recent SIT progress and international guidelines; however, many areas still need to enhance the standardization and use of SIT in China. Clinical guidelines for SIT require improvement; in addition, Chinese ENT specialists need continuing medical education on SIT.
"Although sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) and subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) are the two main routes of administration, SLIT seems to be the more safe and favorable route of both. Several large-scaled, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials demonstrated the long lasting and disease-modifying effects of SLIT [84-88]. Oral SIT possesses a high potential for the development of novel treatment modalities. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergen-specific immunotherapy (allergen-SIT) is a potentially curative treatment approach in allergic diseases. It has been used for almost 100 years as a desensitizing therapy. The induction of peripheral T cell tolerance and promotion of the formation of regulatory T-cells are key mechanisms in allergen-SIT. Both FOXP3+CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (Treg) cells and inducible IL-10- and TGF-β-producing type 1 Treg (Tr1) cells may prevent the development of allergic diseases and play a role in successful allergen-SIT and healthy immune response via several mechanisms. The mechanisms of suppression of different pro-inflammatory cells, such as eosinophils, mast cells and basophils and the development of allergen tolerance also directly or indirectly involves Treg cells. Furthermore, the formation of non-inflammatory antibodies particularly IgG4 is induced by IL-10. Knowledge of these molecular basis is crucial in the understanding the regulation of immune responses and their possible therapeutic targets in allergic diseases.
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