Research Findings in Food Allergy and Skin Diseases Unveiled

Article ID: 545797

Released: 29-Oct-2008 1:00 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI)

Newswise — Researchers are presenting more than 450 abstracts on investigational findings in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases at the ACAAI Annual Meeting in Seattle, Nov. 8-10. Following are highlights of some key studies on food allergy and skin diseases.

"Can the Occurrence of an Adult-Onset Red Meat Allergy be Explained by IgE Antibodies to a Carbohydrate?" (Abstract #12: Nov. 9 at 1:45 p.m. " Clemmens von Pirquet Award) " Scott P. Commins, M.D., Ph.D., Charlottesville, Va. Recent clinical experience suggests that there has been an increase in adult patients who report an allergic reaction 3-6 hours after eating red meat. This unusually long delay prompted this investigation of 15 patients who reported a similar history of anaphylaxis or urticaria 3-6 hours after the ingestion of meat and reported fewer or no episodes when following an avoidance diet. Investigators report a novel, severe food allergy related to IgE antibody to the carbohydrate galactose-a-1,3-galactose, which was present in sera from adult patients who develop an allergy to beef, pork or lamb.

"Efficacy and Tolerability of Second and Third Generation Antihistamines in the Treatment of Acquired Cold Urticaria." (Abstract #59: Nov. 10 at 1:30 p.m. " First Year Fellow-in-Training Award) " Mark E. Weinstein, M.D., Newark, N.J., et al " Authors report that acquired cold urticaria (ACU) is a rare form of physical urticaria that has been treated with first generation antihistamines, and recently with better tolerated, non-sedating second and third generation antihistamines. This meta-analysis demonstrates that newer, non-sedating antihistamines appear to be effective in the treatment of ACU in terms of their ability to significantly reduce the presence of wheals and pruritus after cold exposure. The newer antihistamines are reported to be well tolerated, and in some cases, better tolerated than their first generation counterparts.

"Serum Eosinophil Derived Neurotoxin (EDN) in Childhood Atopic Dermatitis Patients: As a Useful Marker of Disease Activity" (Abstract #P48: Nov. 8 at Noon) " Keun-Young Lee, M.D., Uijeongbu, South Korea, et al " Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic recurring, allergic inflammatory skin disease frequently associated with peripheral eosinophilia. Activated eosinophils release eosinophil derived neurotoxin (EDN), which investigators demonstrate may be a useful clinical marker for monitoring disease activity of AD. They found positive correlation of EDN with disease severity of AD, and the levels of EDN of AD patients decreased after treatment.

"Shortcomings in the Diagnosis of Hereditary Angioedema: Are We Adequately Screening Family Members of Affected Patients?" (Abstract #P50: Nov. 8 at Noon) " Carah Santos, B.S., Hershey, Pa., et al " Survey results of 313 patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE) showed the average time to diagnose the disease was 8.3 years after initial symptoms, with patients reporting visiting an average of 4.4 different physicians before being diagnosed correctly. HAE is a genetic disease, characterized by a deficiency of a protein called C1-inhibitor, that causes swelling of extremities, face and internal organs that can be life-threatening. Investigators say screening family members and alerting patients on the need for screening their family members may lead to earlier diagnosis in even asymptomatic patients. This would better prepare them for potentially life-threatening future attacks and provide them with the education necessary to manage their disease.

"Pollen-Associated Food Allergies in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis." (Abstract #P277: Nov. 9 at Noon) " Marion Koch, Hersbruck, Germany, et al " The aim of this study was to analyze both the frequency and the clinical relevance of pollen-associated food allergies in patients hospitalized due to severe atopic dermatitis. Of the 253 patients studied, 64 percent of patients demonstrated a clinically relevant allergy caused by pollen-associated foods. The most frequent reactions were to hazelnut, raw apple, almonds, walnut and carrots. They also found 60 percent of patients suffered from seasonal allergic rhinitis. The high rate of cross-reactivity with pollen allergens could be explained by a selection due to the severity of their skin disease.

"A Window into Food Allergy " a Survey of School Nurses." (Abstract #P282: Nov. 9 at Noon) " John M. Pulcini, M.D., Greenville, S.C., et al " Though the ACAAI, AAP and NASN all recommend food allergy action plans for food allergic students, authors report their inconsistent use in a Greenville County, South Carolina school district. The survey of school nurses in 43 schools showed 42 percent had less than half of their food allergic students on action plans. Seventy percent of schools reported making at least one accommodation for students with food allergies and 23 percent of schools made multiple accommodations. At least 3 additional school personnel were trained in administering rescue medications besides the school nurse in 86 percent of schools, but in 5 percent of schools no other adult was trained to give rescue medications. Rescue medications were exclusively stored in the school nurse office in 60 percent of schools.

About the American College of Allergy, Asthma and ImmunologyThe ACAAI is a professional medical organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill., that promotes excellence in the practice of the subspecialty of allergy and immunology. The College, comprising more than 5,000 allergists-immunologists and related health care professionals, fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research.

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