Multiple-allergen And Single-allergen Immunotherapy Strategies In Polysensitized Patients: Looking At The Published Evidence

Imperial College-National Heart & Lung Institute, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology (Impact Factor: 11.48). 01/2012; 129(4):929-34. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.11.019
Source: PubMed


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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    • "This fact has important implications when considering the prescription of immunotherapy. In recent large clinical trials, single-allergen immunotherapy with grass pollen extract has proved to be as safe and effective for that specific allergy both in polysensitized as in monosensitized patients [13,14], provided that the allergen extract administered matches the patient’s most relevant sensitization. "
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    ABSTRACT: The knowledge on molecular allergy diagnosis is continuously evolving. It is now time for the clinician to integrate this knowledge and use it when needed to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and thus provide more precise therapeutic and avoidance measures. This review does not intend to comprehensively analyze all the available allergen molecules, but to provide some practical clues on use and interpretation of molecular allergy diagnosis. The potential role of component resolved diagnosis in circumstances such as the indication of allergen immunotherapy, pollen polysensitization, food allergy, latex allergy or anaphylaxis, is assessed. Interpreting the information provided by molecular allergy diagnosis needs a structured approach. It is necessary to evaluate single positivities and negativities, but also to appraise "the big picture" with perspective.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014
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    • "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 "
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    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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Allergy, asthma & immunology research
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    • "In the United States, allergists tend to use mixtures of extracts to treat for all sensitivities identified as individually important in skin prick tests (SPTs). In contrast, polysensitized patients in Europe are typically treated with one or a few allergens deemed to be most clinically relevant [10-12]. There is an ongoing debate as to whether single- or multiple-allergen formulations of AIT should be prescribed. "
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    ABSTRACT: The type of allergic sensitization is of central importance in the diagnosis and treatment of respiratory allergic diseases. At least 10% of the general population (and more than 50% of patients consulting for respiratory allergies) are polysensitized. Here, we review the recent literature on (i) the concepts of polysensitization, paucisensitization, co-sensitization, co-recognition, cross-reactivity, cross-sensitization, and polyallergy, (ii) the prevalence of polysensitization and (iii) the relationships between sensitization status, disease severity and treatment strategies. In molecular terms, clinical polysensitization can be divided into cross-sensitization (also known as cross-reactivity, in which the same IgE molecule binds to several allergens with common structural features) and co-sensitization (the simultaneous presence of different IgEs binding to allergens that may not necessarily have common structural features). There is a strong overall association between sensitization in skin prick tests and total IgE values but there is debate as to whether IgE thresholds are useful guides to the presence or absence of clinical symptoms in individual cases. Molecular information from component-resolved techniques appears to be of value for diagnosis and treatment decisions. Polysensitization develops over time and is a risk factor for respiratory allergy (being associated with disease severity) and therefore has clinical relevance for treatment decisions. The subterm polysensitization has been defined as polysensitization to between two and four allergens. Polyallergy is defined as clinically confirmed allergy to two or more allergens. Single-allergen grass pollen allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is safe and effective in polysensitized patients, whereas multi-allergen AIT requires more supporting evidence. Given that AIT may be more efficacious in moderate-to-severe disease than in mild disease, polysensitization could be an indication for this type of treatment. There is a need for flowcharts or decision trees for choosing the allergens for AIT in polysensitized patients and polyallergic patients.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014
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