April 26, 2016

Prick Test: Evolution toward Automated Reading


The Prick Test is one the most common medical methods for diagnosing allergies, and it has been carried out in a similar and laborious manner over many decades. In an attempt to standardize the reading of the test, many researchers have tried to automate the process of measuring the allergic reactions found by developing systems and algorithms based on multiple technologies.

Introduction to systematic reviews and meta-analysis

Invited review series: Modern Statistical Methods in Respiratory Medicine

Respirology Volume 21Issue 4pages 626–637, May 2016

Systematic reviews provide a method for collating and synthesizing research, and are used to inform healthcare decision making by clinicians, consumers and policy makers. A core component of many systematic reviews is a meta-analysis, which is a statistical synthesis of results across studies. In this review article, we introduce meta-analysis, focusing on the different meta-analysis models, their interpretation, how a model should be selected and discuss potential threats to the validity of meta-analyses. We illustrate the application of meta-analysis using data from a review examining the effects of early use of inhaled corticosteroids in the emergency department treatment of acute asthma.

April 25, 2016

Recurrent wheezing in children

Authors: Laura Tenero, Michele Piazza, Giorgio Piacentini
Recurrent wheezing have a significant morbidity and it’s estimated that about one third of schoolage children manifest the symptom during the first 5 years of life. Proper identification of children at risk of developing asthma at school age may predict long-term outcomes and improve treatment and preventive approach, but the possibility to identify these children at preschool age remains limited.

Inhaler technique: facts and fantasies. A view from the Aerosol Drug Management Improvement Team (ADMIT)

Review Article | O

April 22, 2016

Antigenic Fingerprinting following Primary RSV Infection in Young Children Identifies Novel Antigenic Sites and Reveals Unlinked Evolution of Human Antibody Repertoires to Fusion and Attachment Glycoproteins


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is the major cause of pneumonia among infants. Here we elucidated the antibody repertoire following primary RSV infection and traced its evolution through adolescence and adulthood. Whole genome-fragment phage display libraries (GFPDL) expressing linear and conformational epitopes in the RSV fusion protein (F) and attachment protein (G) were used for unbiased epitope profiling of infant sera prior to and following RSV infection. F-GFPDL analyses demonstrated modest changes in the anti-F epitope repertoires post-RSV infection, while G-GFPDL analyses revealed 100-fold increase in number of bound phages. The G-reactive epitopes spanned the N- and C-terminus of the G ectodomain, along with increased reactivity to the central conserved domain (CCD). Panels of F and G antigenic sites were synthesized to evaluate sera from young children (- 2 yr), adolescents (14–18 yr) and adults (30–45 yr) in SPR real-time kinetics assays.

April 20, 2016

Majority of shrimp-allergic patients are allergic to mealworm

First page of article
The growing world population motivates the exploration of new sustainable protein sources to ensure food security. Insects such as mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) are promising candidates, with active ongoing marketing efforts within America and Europe. This warrants assessment of the potential risks. Toxicologic and microbiological risks were assessed previously,1,2 but not the potentially allergenic risks. Pilot results3 suggest that shrimp-allergic patients might be at risk for mealworm allergy because IgE binding to tropomyosin and arginine kinase (major shellfish allergens) and sarcoplasmic calcium-binding protein and myosin light chain (minor shell fish allergens) was detected.

Epithelium-generated neuropeptide Y induces smooth muscle contraction to promote airway hyperresponsiveness

First published April 18, 2016 - 
Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases globally and can be divided into presenting with or without an immune response. Current therapies have little effect on nonimmune disease, and the mechanisms that drive this type of asthma are poorly understood. Here, we have shown that loss of the transcription factors forkhead box P1 (Foxp1) and Foxp4, which are critical for lung epithelial development, in the adult airway epithelium evokes a non-Th2 asthma phenotype that is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) without eosinophilic inflammation.

Assessing biomarkers in a real-world severe asthma study (ARIETTA)

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