Monthly Archives

April 2021

Manifesto on united airways diseases (UAD): an Interasma (global asthma association – GAA) document

By | Selected articles

Angelica Titiu, et al.

Received 21 Oct 2020, Accepted 17 Jan 2021, Accepted author version posted online: 25 Jan 2021, Published online: 05 Mar 2021

The large amount of evidence and the renewed interest in upper and lower airways involvement in infectious and inflammatory diseases has led Interasma (Global Asthma Association) to take a position on United Airways Diseases (UAD). Starting from an extensive literature review, Interasma executive committee discussed and approved this Manifesto developed by Interasma scientific network (INES) members.

The manifesto describes the evidence gathered to date and defines, states, advocates, and proposes issues on UAD (rhinitis, rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis), and concomitant/comorbid lower airways disorders (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, obstructive sleep apnoea) with the aim of challenging assumptions, fostering commitment, and bringing about change. UAD refers to clinical pictures characterized by the coexistence of upper and lower airways involvement, driven by a common pathophysiological mechanism, leading to a greater burden on patient’s health status and requiring an integrated diagnostic and therapeutic plan. The high prevalence of UAD must be taken into account. Upper and lower airways diseases influence disease control and patient’s quality of life.

The Manifesto concludes that patients with UAD need to have a timely and adequate diagnosis, treatment, and, when recommended, referral for management in a specialized center. Diagnostic testing including skin prick or serum specific IgE, lung function, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), polysomnography, allergen-specific immunotherapies, biological therapies and home based continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) whenever these are recommended, should be part of the management plan for UAD. Education of medical students, physicians, health professionals, patients and caregivers on the UAD is needed.

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Biologics for the Use in Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria: When and Which

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Marcus Maurer, David A. Khan, Daniel Elieh Ali Komi, Allen P. Kaplan

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract . 2021 Mar;9(3):1067-1078. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2020.11.043.

Urticaria treatment has evolved a lot during the past decade. Current guidelines for the treatment of chronic spontaneous urticaria recommend the use of omalizumab, an IgE-targeted biologic. IgE has high-affinity to the receptor FcεRI, and degranulate skin mast cells, which are responsible for the development of signs and symptoms of urticaria, itchy wheals and angioedema. This study aims to review the existing understanding of the pathogenesis of chronic urticaria and its autoimmune endotypes.

Omalizumab is the only licensed biologic for use in chronic urticaria from 12 years old age. It is recommended as the third step of the therapy in patients who have failed standard or high-dose second-generation antihistamines and is generally well tolerated. Omalizumab has multiple potential mechanisms of action in chronic urticaria, with effects on mast cells and basophils, reducing mediators’ release and decreasing FcεRI expression. It has been approved for chronic urticaria at doses of 150 or 300 mg every 4 weeks. Poor responders may benefit from shortening the dosing interval to every 2 or 3 weeks or by adjunctive therapy with cyclosporine 3 mg/kg/day for 4 months each.

Some other biologic drugs used as off-label in chronic urticaria include dupilumab, benralizumab, mepolizumab, reslizumab, and secukinumab. New biologics under development aim to reduce mast cell activation by blocking activating pathways or engaging inhibitory receptors or mast cell numbers. These include ligelizumab and GI-301, avdoralimab, tezepelumab, lirentelimab, LY3454738, and CDX-0159 at different stages of development.

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Health Disparities in Allergic and Immunologic Conditions in Racial and Ethnic Underserved Populations

By | Selected articles

Carla M. Davis, et al.

J Allergy Clin Immunol . 2021 Mar 10;S0091-6749(21)00365-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2021.02.034. Online ahead of print.

Health disparities negatively impact groups with greater social or economic obstacles in health based on race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, and/or geographic location. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology participated in a Commission to End Health Disparities 10 years ago. This study describes health disparities in allergy/immunology in racial and ethnic underserved populations and how they address people with allergic rhinitis and other allergic conditions.

Certain racial and ethnic populations are frequently not included in guidelines of care for patients with allergic rhinitis. Racial minorities show less allergic rhinitis prevalence, probable due to variability in self-reporting the disease: a 2017 report revealed that 5% of black children and 5% of Hispanic children had allergic rhinitis, compared to 9% of white children.

It is known that allergic rhinitis significantly impacts the quality of life and morbidity in underserved populations, and allergic rhinitis control was associated with fewer school absences.

Studies have shown that low-income and minority groups are less likely to receive allergen immunotherapy and have highlighted that additional burdens faced by these minorities can contribute to fewer resources needed to adhere to AIT schedules.

In conclusion, adherence could be improved when medical resources are provided to increase specialty care access in underserved communities. Observational and interventional studies are important for allergic rhinitis diagnosis, management, and outcomes for these underserved populations. A multi-level approach should also be addressed, involving patients, health providers, local agencies, professional societies, and national governmental agencies.

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Differences in gut microbiota between allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, and skin urticaria: A pilot study

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Yu-Jih Su, Sheng-Dean Luo, Chung-Yuan, Ho-Chang Kuo

Medicine (Baltimore) . 2021 Mar 5;100(9):e25091. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000025091.

Allergic rhinitis and urticaria prevalence are increasing. The intestinal flora or microbiota may influence their pathogeneses. This study aimed to compare differences between the gut microbiota of people with atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and chronic urticaria.

The study included 19 participants with eczema, nine with urticaria, and 11 with allergic rhinitis. The microbiota was compared by examining participants’ fecal samples using 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid amplicon sequencing and bioinformatics and statistical analysis.

All three groups of patients had similar clinical data. The microbiota was substantially different between participants with atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and chronic urticaria, demonstrating gut-skin and gut-nose axes. Bacteroidales species were found in skin allergies more than in allergic rhinitis. This may represent a link between gut flora and skin allergy because gut flora colonies differ significantly between them.

In conclusion, different conditions have heterogeneous microbiota. Bacteroidales species could represent a link between gut flora and skin allergy, with Bacteroids Plebeius DSM 17135 being significantly associated with urticaria. Ruminococcaceae is also associated with allergic diseases.

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The role of mobile health technologies in stratifying patients for AIT and its cessation. The ARIA-EAACI perspective

By | Selected articles

Jean Bousquet, et al.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract . 2021 Mar 1;S2213-2198(21)00240-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2021.02.035. Online ahead of print.

Allergic rhinitis treatment options include allergen immunotherapy (AIT). There are different guidelines and national practice parameters or care pathways for AIT. However, the decision to prescribe AIT should be personalized and based on the importance of the allergens and the persistence of the symptoms, even when using appropriate medications.

The practice of medicine has been revolutionized by digital transformation, including mHealth and artificial intelligence, where the patient is placed at the health system’s center. There are different biomarkers associated with mHealth and clinical decision support systems. However, there are two conditions that should be considered before any mHealth tool is used: comply with privacy regulations and validation. Of the few tools available for allergic rhinitis, evidence-based development was found for four Apps: MASK-air, AllergyMonitor, Polle, and Air Rater.

This review focuses on patient stratification for AIT, symptom medication scores for follow-up, clinical trials, and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI).

Patient stratification is required to:

–           Identify the best candidates for intervention through complex care management

–           Reduce the time and resources needed to match a patient to a care management programme

–           Optimize costs.

Symptom medication scores are needed to assess the efficacy of AIT, especially in clinical trials and observational studies.

The EAACI task force was created to evaluate the state of the art and the future potential of technology in the field of allergic rhinitis. This task force evaluated the design, user engagement, content, potential of inducing behavioural change, credibility, and privacy policies of mHealth products.

In conclusion, mHealth technology is a potential tool to aid AIT’s decision-making, increase adherence, monitor efficacy and safety, and identify responders to the treatment. However, these tools may also have their inconveniences, namely if they are improperly used or are not validated.

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Association of Serum Vitamin D and Immunoglobulin E Levels with Severity of Allergic Rhinitis

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Nukhbat U. Awan, Shahzada K. Sohail, Fatima Naumeri, Shahida Niazi, Khalid Cheema, Samina Qamar, Syeda Fatima Rizvi

Cureus. 2021 Jan 25;13(1): e12911. doi: 10.7759/cureus. 12911..

Allergic rhinitis symptoms include inflammation of the nasal mucosa and affect up to 30-40% of the population with an increasing prevalence. This study’s objective was to assess the relationship between the severity of allergic rhinitis and serum vitamin D and immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels.

This was a case-control study conducted between June and September 2020, which included a total of 224 participants divided into two groups. Group A included 112 participants with moderate to severe asthma symptoms, and group B (control) included 112 participants with mild asthma symptoms after treatment of allergic rhinitis. Both groups were compared by assessing the mean difference between serum IgE and serum vitamin D levels. The relationship was evaluated by logistic regression and odds ratio.

There were 106 female participants (47,3%), with a mean age of 26.78±8.92 years old in group A and 25.72±8.12 years in group B. Mean serum IgE levels were 383.69±154.86 IU/mL for group A and 373.03±106.83 IU/mL for group B (p=0.0001). Mean serum vitamin D levels were 16.24±6.7 ng/mL for group A and 26.92±35 ng/mL for group B (p=0.0001).

Participants with low vitamin D levels were 24 times more likely to develop moderate to severe allergic rhinitis disease. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that IgE levels are increased in moderate to severe allergic rhinitis compared to mild allergic rhinitis. The deficiency of vitamin D is related to increased severity of allergic rhinitis symptoms.

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