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עמוד בית
Wed, 17.07.24

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September 2014
Menachem Rottem MD and Adham Egbarya BSc

Background: The efficacy of subcutaneous immunotherapy for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, allergic asthma and stinging insect hypersensitivity has been demonstrated in several studies.

Objectives: To investigate the effectiveness and side effects of immunotherapy in Israel and the relationship between local and systemic side effects.

Methods: This retrospective study was based on patient records and a computerized database for drug dispensing over a 5 year period. Success was rated as partial or complete. Side effects were classified as local or systemic. Systemic side effects were further classified according to severity, as mild (cutaneous), moderate (respiratory symptoms), or severe (cardiovascular).

Results: Of the 135 patients on aero-allergen immunotherapy who reached maintenance, 120 (88.9%) exhibited complete or partial improvement and 15 (11.1%) did not improve. All of the 44 patients on hymenoptera immunotherapy reached effective maintenance doses. The mean percent side effects calculated per treatment (injection) were 2.49 for local and 1.58 for a systemic reaction during the build-up phase, and 1.13 and 1.12 during the maintenance phase, respectively. Rates of systemic reactions were 1.3% for cutaneous, 1.14% for respiratory and 0.97% for cardiovascular reactions during the build-up phase, and 1.11%, 0.53%, and 0.51% during the maintenance phase, respectively. The odds of systemic reactions were significantly higher in patients with local reactions both in the build-up phase (P = 0.03) and in the maintenance phase (P = 0.0003). The number of annual medications dispensed per patient decreased from 31.5 to 26.0 during the first year after reaching maintenance, and to 22.5 in the second year. Pharmaceutical costs were 67% lower 1 year after the start of the maintenance phase, compared to the year before the start of immunotherapy, and 63% lower in the second year (P = NS).

Conclusions: Immunotherapy was effective and safe. Recognizing the benefits and safety of immunotherapy is necessary for physicians and health authorities in order to provide better care for allergic patients.

June 2014
Vanya Tsvetkova-Vicheva PhD, Emiliana Konova PhD, Tcvetan Lukanov PhD, Svetla Gecheva MD, Angelika Velkova PhD Dsc and Regina Komsa-Penkova PhD
 Background: Interleukin-17A (IL-17A)-producing CD4+T helper cells have been implicated in allergic inflammation; however, the role of IL-17A in allergic rhinitis (AR) patients with different degrees of atopy and airway reactivity to methacholine (Mch) has not been examined.

Objectives: To explore IL-17A-producing CD3+CD4+T cells in peripheral blood of patients with persistent AR and assess the degree of atopy, eosinophil count (Eo count), and bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) to methacholine.

Methods: The study involved 61 patients and 30 controls. The percentage of CD3+CD4+IL-17A+T cells in peripheral blood was measured by flow cytometry, bronchial challenges with Mch were performed, as was skin prick tests with standard inhalant allergens, and Eo count was measured. Atopic status was determined by the number of positive SPT results and wheal mean diameter.

Results: A statistically significant difference in Th17 cell percentage was found in the AR and control groups (2.59 ± 1.32% and 1.24 ± 0.22% respectively, P = 0.001). Forty-one patients (67.2%) were polysensitized to indoor and outdoor allergens, while 20 (32.8%) had positive skin prick tests to indoor allergens. CD4+T cells were significantly higher in the patient group compared to the control group (2.91 ± 1.5% versus 1.91 ± 0.62%, P = 0.005), as was Eo count (4.48 ± 2.13 vs. 2.32 ± 1.83) (P = 0.0001). Forty-one in the AR group (67%) and 7 (23%) in the control group were Mch-positive (P = 0.001). The percentage of IL-17A-producing CD4+T cells was significantly higher in males compared to females (3.15 ± 1.8% versus 2.31 ± 0.9%, P = 0.02)

Conclusions: Polysensitized AR patients exhibited higher IL-17A-producing CD4+T cell levels and eosinophil counts. Male patients displayed a higher frequency of IL-17A-producing T cells. 

January 2012
Michael D. Keller, MD, Michele Shuker, RD, Jennifer Heimall, MD and Antonella Cianferoni, MD, PhD.

Background: Alternatives to cow’s milk and soy milk are often necessary for children with food allergies. Although hydrolyzed and elemental formulas are appropriate replacements, other milk products such as rice and almond milk are insufficient protein sources for children under 2 years of age. A chart review on three patients treated for protein malnutrition in association with multiple diagnosed food allergies that resulted in refractory eczema revealed adverse outcomes that resulted from elimination diets. The use of rice milk resulted in hypoalbuminemia and poor weight gain in all cases, and multiple secondary infections in one patient. These cases illustrate the need for careful nutritional guidance in the management of food allergy, as well as the importance of cautious use and interpretation of testing for food allergies in the absence of a clear clinical history of reaction.

December 2008
V. Gazit, D. Tasher, A. Hanukoglu, Z. Landau, Y. Ben-Yehuda, E. Somekh, I. Dalal

Background: Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is dominated by a Th1 response whereas atopic diseases such as asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis are characterized by a Th2 response. Because it is known that Th1 and Th2 cells reciprocally counteract each other, it can be speculated that the prevalence of Th2-mediated diseases is lower in patients with a Th1-mediated disease.

Objectives: To compare the prevalence of atopic diseases among children with IDDM[1] and age-matched controls.

Methods: The study group comprised 65 children with IDDM attending the pediatric endocrinology clinic at the Wolfson Medical Center. The control group consisted of 74 non-diabetic children who presented at the emergency room due to an acute illness (burns, abdominal pain, fever, head trauma). Patients were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire on their history of personal and familial atopic and autoimmune diseases. In addition, a total serum immunoglobulin E concentration and the presence of IgE[2] antibodies to a panel of relevant inhalant allergens were analyzed.

Results: Children with IDDM and their first-degree relatives had a significantly higher prevalence of other autoimmune diseases such as thyroiditis and celiac as compared to controls. The two groups had a similar prevalence of atopic diseases with respect to history, total serum IgE, or the presence of IgE antibodies to a panel of relevant inhalant allergens.

Conclusions: The prevalence of atopic diseases in IDDM patients was similar to that in the normal population. Our results suggest that the traditional Th1/Th2 theory to explain the complexity of the immune response is oversimplified. 



[1] IDDM = insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

[2] Ig = immunoglobulin

December 2005
M. Iancovici Kidon, M. Stein, C. Geller-Bernstein, Z. Weisman, S. Steinberg, Z. Greenberg, Z. T. Handzel, Z. Bentwich.

Background: Since 1984, several waves of Ethiopian immigrants have settled in Israel. On arrival they were found to be highly infected with intestinal parasites and to have increased serum immunoglobulin E and eosinophilia. 

Objectives: To study serum IgE [1] levels in Ethiopian children growing up in the environment of Israel . 

Methods: We assessed four groups of children of Ethiopian origin: a) adolescents examined on their arrival to Israel (group 1, n=11); b) adolescents born in Ethiopia and living in Israel for more than 7 years (group 2, n=10); c) children of Ethiopian origin born in Israel, without a history of allergy or asthma (group 3, n=15); and d) asthmatic children of Ethiopian origin born in Israel (group 4, n=8). A thorough clinical interview and examination as well as serum IgE levels, stool parasites and absolute eosinophil count were performed. 

Results: Group 1 (11 newly arrived Ethiopian adolescents) had a mean eosinophil count of 688 cells/ml (0–1739) and a mean serum IgE of 1043 IU/ml (253–2932), P < 0.0009 as compared to group 2. Helminthic parasites were observed in 8/11 individuals; after 1 year of follow-up and anti-parasitic treatment, serum IgE levels did not change significantly. Group 2 (10 Ethiopian born adolescents living in Israel for on average 10 years, 7–15 years) had a normal leukocyte count, MEC [2] 192 cells/ml (range 54–289), serum IgE 142 IU/ml (range 14–399 IU/ml) and no parasites in stool. Group 3 (15 Ethiopian children born in Israel) had a normal leukocyte count, MEC 128 cells/ml (0–324), serum IgE 55 IU/ml (7–189 IU/ml), similar to age-matched Israeli controls. In group 4 (8 Israeli born children of Ethiopian descent diagnosed with asthma), serum IgE showed significant elevation compared to Israeli age-matched asthmatic children (P < 0.005).  

Conclusions: High levels of IgE found in Ethiopian children on arrival to Israel declined to Israeli control levels after several years of living in the new environment. Ethiopian children born in Israel had normal levels of IgE, suggesting that environment is the main factor affecting IgE levels in this population. Israeli born Ethiopian children with asthma had significantly increased serum IgE levels compared to asthmatics of Israeli origin. These findings suggest that both environmental and genetic factors determine the level of serum IgE in these children. 


 [1] Ig = immunoglobulin

 [2] MEC = mean eosinophil count

January 2003
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