3 years ago

Vaccines for allergy

Vaccines aim to establish or strengthen immune responses but are also effective for the treatment of allergy. The latter is surprising because allergy represents a hyper-immune response based on immunoglobulin E production against harmless environmental antigens, i.e., allergens. Nevertheless, vaccination with allergens, termed allergen-specific immunotherapy is the only disease-modifying therapy of allergy with long-lasting effects. New forms of allergy diagnosis and allergy vaccines based on recombinant allergen-derivatives, peptides and allergen genes have emerged through molecular allergen characterization. The molecular allergy vaccines allow sophisticated targeting of the immune system and may eliminate side effects which so far have limited the use of traditional allergen extract-based vaccines. Successful clinical trials performed with the new vaccines indicate that broad allergy vaccination is on the horizon and may help to control the allergy pandemic.

Highlights

► Allergen-specific immunotherapy is based on therapeutic vaccination with allergens. ► The genes encoding allergen molecules and their structures have been identified. ► Detailed knowledge of allergen structures and epitopes allows engineering new vaccines. ► These vaccines target different mechanisms of the allergic immune response. ► New allergy vaccines will increase safety, efficacy and convenience of immunotherapy and are currently tested in immunotherapy trials.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0952791512000507

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