This systematic review evaluates the efficacy and safety of biologicals for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) compared to the standard of care. Pubmed, EMBASE and Cochrane Library were searched for RCTs. Critical and important CRSwNP-related outcomes were considered. The risk of bias and the certainty of the evidence were assessed using GRADE. RCTs evaluated (dupilumab-2, omalizumab-4, mepolizumab-2, reslizumab-1) included 1236 adults, with follow-up 20-64 weeks. Dupilumab reduces the need for surgery (NFS) and oral corticosteroid (OCS) use (RR 0.28; 95%CI 0.20-0.39, moderate certainty) and improves with high certainty smell (mean difference (MD) +10.54; 95%CI +9.24 to +11.84) and quality of life (QoL) (MD -19.14; 95%CI 95%CI -22.80 to -15.47), with fewer treatment-related adverse events (TAEs) (RR 0.95; 95%CI 0.89-1.02, moderate certainty). Omalizumab reduces NFS (RR 0.85; 95%CI 0.78 to 0.92, high certainty), decreases OCS use (RR 0.38; 95%CI 0.10-1.38, moderate certainty), improves with high certainty smell (MD +3.84; 95%CI +3.64 to +4.04) and QoL (MD -15.65; 95%CI -16.16 to -15.13), with increased TAE (RR 1.73; 95%CI 0.60-5.03, moderate certainty). There is low certainty for mepolizumab reducing NFS (RR 0.78; 95%CI 0.64 to 0.94) and improving QoL (MD -13.3; 95% CI -23.93 to -2.67) and smell (MD +0.7; 95%CI -0.48 to +1.88), with increased TAEs (RR 1.64; 95%CI 0.41-6.50). The evidence for reslizumab is very uncertain.
Article type: News and Views: Groundbreaking Discoveries in ImmunologyTitle: Uncovering the influence of diet and gut microbiota in human serum metabolomeAuthors: David Obeso1,2‡, Elisa Zubeldia-Varela1,2‡ and Alma Villaseñor11Instituto de Medicina Molecular Aplicada (IMMA), Departamento de Ciencias Médicas Básicas. Facultad de Medicina. Universidad San Pablo-CEU, CEU Universities, Madrid, España.2Centro de Metabolómica y Bioanálisis (CEMBIO), Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad San Pablo-CEU, CEU Universities, Urbanización Montepríncipe, Madrid, España.‡: These Authors have equally contributedCorrespondence: Alma Villaseñor, Centro de Metabolómica y Bioanálisis (CEMBIO), Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad San Pablo-CEU, CEU Universities, Urbanización Montepríncipe, Madrid, EspañaEmail address:email@example.comKeywords: Metabolomics, Diet, Microbiota, Allergy, Serum, MetabolomeAbbreviations: MS, mass spectrometry; LC, liquid chromatography; short chain fatty acids (SCFA)Acknowledgement: We would like to thank Anna Głobińska for her assistance in generating the graphical figure. AV Gratefully acknowledges the Martín-Carbajo family for supporting her scientific development through the X Mario Martín Velamazán award.Author contributions: D.O., E.Z-V. and A.V contributed to the writing of the manuscript and have given approval to the manuscript. A.V. supervised the final version.
Although there is a considerable body of knowledge about allergen immunotherapy (AIT), there is a lack of data on the reliability of real-world evidence (RWE) in AIT and consequently, a lack of information on how AIT effectively works in real life. To address the current unmet need for an appraisal of the quality of RWE in AIT, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Methodology Committee recently initiated a systematic review of observational studies of AIT, which will use the RELEVANT tool and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach (GRADE) to rate the quality of the evidence base as a whole. The next step will be to develop a broadly applicable, pragmatic “real-world” database using systematic data collection. Based on the current RWE base, and perspectives and recommendations of authorities and scientific societies, a hierarchy of RWE in AIT is proposed, which places pragmatic trials and registry data at the positions of highest level of evidence. There is a need to establish more AIT registries that collect data in a cohesive way, using standardised protocols. This will provide an essential source of real-world data that can be easily shared, promoting evidence-based research and quality improvement in study design and clinical decision-making.
Following the emergency use authorization of the vaccine mRNA-1273 on 18th December 2020 in the US and the vaccine BNT162b2 one week earlier, two mRNA vaccines are in currently used for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Phase 3 pivotal trials on both vaccines excluded individuals with a history of allergy to vaccine components. Immediately after the initiation of vaccination in the United Kingdom, Canada, and in the US, anaphylactic reactions have been reported. While the culprit trigger requires investigation, initial reports suggested the excipient polyethylene glycol 2000 (PEG-2000), which is contained in both vaccines as PEG-micellar carrier system as the potential culprit. Surface PEG chains form a hydrate shell to increase stability and prevent opsonization. Allergic reactions to such PEG-ylated lipids are rarely IgE-mediated, but may result from complement activation-related pseudoallergy (CARPA) that has been described to similar liposomes. In addition, mRNA-1273 also contains tromethamine (trometamol), which has been reported to cause anaphylaxis to e.g. gadolinium-based or iodinated contrast media. Skin prick-, intradermal-, epicutaneous- tests, in vitro sIgE assessment, evaluation of sIgG/IgM, as well as basophil activation test are in use to demonstrate allergic reactions to various components of the vaccines.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine BNT162b2 received approval and within the first few days of public vaccination several severe anaphylaxis cases occurred. An investigation is taking place to understand the cases and their triggers. The vaccine will be administered to a large number of individuals worldwide and concerns raised for severe adverse events might occur. With the current information, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) states its position for the following preliminary recommendations that are to be revised as soon as more data emerges. To minimize the risk of severe allergic reactions in vaccinated individuals, it is urgently required to understand the specific nature of the reported severe allergic reactions, including the background medical history of the individuals affected and the mechanisms involved. To achieve this goal all clinical and laboratory information should be collected and reported. Mild and moderate allergic patients should not be excluded from the vaccine as the exclusion of all these patients from vaccination may have a significant impact on reaching the goal of population immunity. Health care practitioners vaccinating against COVID-19 are required to be sufficiently prepared to recognise and treat anaphylaxis properly with the ability to administer adrenaline. A mandatory observation period after vaccine administration of at least 15 minutes for all individuals should be followed. The current guidelines, which exclude patients with severe allergies from vaccination with BNT162b2, should be re-evaluated after more information and experience with the new vaccine develops.
Background: Hereditary angioedema (HAE) attacks can be provoked with psychological factors. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of anxiety, depression and stress related to COVID-19 pandemic on disease activity of HAE patients during the quarantine period (QP) and the return to normal period (RTNP). Methods: This prospective study was conducted between March 2020 and September 2020 in four allergy centres. Demographic, clinical features and mental health status were evaluated in QP (from March to the beginning of June) and RTNP (from June to the beginning of September) was applied by the government. The 10-point visual analogue scale (VAS10) was used to define the severity of HAE attacks. Depression-Anxiety- Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) and Fear of Covid-19 (FC-19) scales were performed to assess mental health status. Results: 139 HAE patients were included in the study. In QP, median attack numbers and median VAS10 scores were 5 (min-max: 0-45) and 6 (min-max: 0-10), respectively. HAE attack numbers, DASS-21 stress, anxiety, depression and total DASS-21 scores, as well as FC-19 scores were higher in QP than RTNP (p= 0.001, p <0,001, p = 0,001, p <0,001, p <0.001, p<0.001, respectively). However, there was no difference in attack severity scores between the two periods (p>0.05). Conclusions: This study revealed that the restriction measures during Covid-19 outbreak causes an increase in the number of HAE attacks in relation to anxiety, depression, stress and fear of Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is important to provide psychological support to HAE patients during the pandemic.
Involvement of small airways, those of less than 2 mm in internal diameter, is present in all stages of asthma and contributes substantially to the pathophysiologic expression of asthma. Therefore, small airways are increasingly viewed as a potential target in optimal asthma control. Airway tone, which is increased in asthma, is mainly controlled by the vagus nerve that releases acetylcholine (ACh) and activates muscarinic ACh receptors (mAChRs) post-synaptically on airway smooth muscle (ASM). In small airways, M3 mAChRs are expressed, but there is no vagal innervation. Non-neuronal ACh released from the epithelial cells that may express choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) in response to inflammatory stimuli, as well as from other structural cells in the airways, including fibroblasts and mast cells, can activate these receptors. By antagonizing M3 mAChR, the contraction of the ASM is prevented and, potentially, local inflammation can be reduced and the progression of remodeling may be affected. In fact, ACh also contributes to inflammation and remodeling of the airways and regulates the growth of ASM. Several experimental studies have demonstrated the potential benefit derived from the use of mAChR antagonists, mainly long-acting mAChR antagonists (LAMAs), on small airways in asthma. However, there are several confounding factors that may cause a wrong estimation of the relationship between LAMAs and small airways in asthma.
Background: Early-life exposures to geohelminths may protect against the development of wheeze/asthma and atopy. Objective: Study effect of maternal geohelminths and infections in children during the first 5 years of life on atopy, wheeze/asthma, and airways reactivity/inflammation at 8 years. Methods: Birth cohort of 2,404 neonates followed to 8 years in rural Ecuador. Data on wheeze/asthma were collected by questionnaire and atopy by skin prick test (SPT) reactivity to 9 allergens. We measured airways reactivity to bronchodilator, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), and nasal eosinophilia. Stool samples were examined for geohelminths by microscopy. Results: 1,933 (80.4%) children were evaluated at 8 years. Geohelminths were detected in 45.8% of mothers and in 45.5% of children to 5 years. Frequencies of outcomes at 8 years were: wheeze (6.6%), asthma between 5 and 8 years (7.9%), SPT (14.7%), airways reactivity (10%), and elevated FeNO (10.3%) and nasal eosinophilia (9.2%). Any maternal geohelminth was associated with reduced prevalence of SPT (OR 0.72). Childhood T. trichiura infections were associated with reduced wheeze (OR 0.57) but greater parasite burdens with A. lumbricoides were associated with increased wheeze (OR 2.83) and asthma (OR 2.60). Associations between maternal geohelminths and wheeze/asthma were modified by atopy. Parasite-specific effects on wheeze/asthma and airways reactivity and inflammation were observed in non-atopic children. Conclusions: Our data provide novel evidence for persistent effects of in utero geohelminth exposures on childhood atopy but highlight the complex nature of the relationship between geohelminths and the airways. Registered as an observational study (ISRCTN41239086).
Background: Few and small studies have described the management of immunomodulant/immunosuppressive therapies or phototherapy in atopic dermatitis (AD) patients during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods: A national registry, named DA-COVID-19 and involving 35 Italian dermatology units, was established in order to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the management of adult AD patients treated with systemic immunomodulant/immunosuppressive medications or phototherapy. Demographic and clinical data were obtained at different timepoints by teledermatology during COVID-19 pandemic, when regular visits were not allowed due to sanitary restrictions. Disease severity was assessed by both physician- and patient-reported assessment scores evaluating itch intensity, sleep disturbances, and AD severity. Results: A total of 1831 patients were included, with 1580/1831 (86.3%) continuing therapy during pandemic. Most patients were treated with dupilumab (86.1%, 1576/1831) that was interrupted in only 9.9% (156/1576) of cases, while systemic immunosuppressive compounds were more frequently withdrawn. Treatment interruption was due to decision of the patient, general practitioner or dermatologist in 39.9% (114/286), 5.6% (16/286), and 30.1% (86/286) of cases, respectively. Fear of increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection (24.8%, 71/286) was one of the main causes of interruption. Sixteen patients (0.9%) resulted positive to SARS-CoV-2 infection, 3 of them (0.2%) were hospitalized but no cases of COVID-related death occurred. Conclusions: Most AD patients continued systemic treatments during COVID pandemic and lockdown period, without high impact on disease control, particularly dupilumab-treated patients.
Interleukin-31 has been implicated in the pathophysiology of multiple atopic disorders such as atopic dermatitis (AD), rhinitis and airway hyperreactivity. In AD, IL-31 has been identified as one of the main ‘drivers’ of its cardinal symptom pruritus. Here, we aim to summarize the mechanisms by which IL-31 modulates inflammatory and allergic diseases. TH2 cells play a central role in AD and release high levels of TH2-produced cytokines including IL-31, thereby mediating inflammatory responses, initiating immunoregulatory circuits, and stimulating itch and neuronal outgrowth through activation of the heterodimer receptor IL-31 receptor alpha (IL31RA)/Oncostatin M receptor β. IL31RA expression is found on human and murine dorsal root ganglia neurons, epithelial cells including keratinocytes as well as various innate immune cells. IL-31 is a critical cytokine involved in neuro-immune communication, which opens new avenues for cytokine modulation in neuroinflammatory diseases including AD/pruritus, as validated by recent clinical trials using an anti-IL-31 antibody. Accordingly, inhibition of IL-31 downstream signaling may be a beneficial approach for various inflammatory diseases including prurigo nodularis. For example, whether downstream JAK inhibitors directly block IL-31-mediated-signaling needs to be clarified. Targeting the IL-31/IL31RA/OSMRβ axis appears to be a promising approach for inflammatory, neuroinflammatory and pruritic disorders in the future.
Background: Diagnostic tests for allergy rely on detecting allergen-specific IgE. Component-resolved diagnostics incorporate multiple defined allergen components to improve the quality of diagnosis and patient care. Objective: To develop a new approach for determining sensitization to specific allergen components that utilizes fluorescent protein tetramers for direct staining of IgE on blood basophils by flow cytometry. Methods: Recombinant forms of Lol_p_1 and Lol_p_5 proteins from ryegrass pollen (RGP) and Api_m_1 from honeybee venom (BV) were produced, biotinylated and tetramerized with streptavidin-fluorophore conjugates. Blood samples from 50 RGP-allergic, 41 BV-allergic and 26 controls were incubated with fluorescent protein tetramers for flow cytometric evaluation of basophil allergen binding and activation. Results: Allergen tetramers bound to and activated basophils from relevant allergic patients but not controls. Direct fluorescence staining of Api_m_1 and Lol_p_1 tetramers had greater positive predictive values than basophil activation for BV and RGP allergy, respectively, as defined with receiver operator characteristics (ROC) curves. Staining intensities of allergen tetramers correlated with allergen-specific IgE levels in serum. Inclusion of multiple allergens coupled with distinct fluorochromes in a single tube assay enabled rapid detection of sensitization to both Lol_p_1 and Lol_p_5 in RGP-allergic patients and discriminated between controls, BV-allergic and RGP-allergic patients. Conclusion: Our novel flow cytometric assay, termed CytoBas, enables rapid and reliable detection of clinically relevant allergic sensitization. The intensity of fluorescent allergen tetramer staining of basophils has a high positive predictive value for disease and the assay can be multiplexed for a component-resolved and differential diagnostic test for allergy.
Background: There is controversy whether taking β-blockers or ACE inhibitors (ACEI) is a risk factor for more severe systemic insect sting reactions (SSR) and whether it increases the number or severity of adverse events (AE) during venom immunotherapy (VIT). Methods: In this open, prospective, observational, multicenter trial, we recruited patients with a history of a SSR and indication for VIT. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate whether patients taking β-blockers or ACEI show more systemic AE during VIT compared to patients without such treatment. Results: In total, 1,425 patients were enrolled and VIT was performed in 1,342 patients. Of all patients included, 388 (27.2%) took antihypertensive (AHT) drugs (10.4% took β-blockers, 11.9% ACEI, 5.0% β-blockers and ACEI). Only 5.6% of patients under AHT treatment experienced systemic AE during VIT as compared with 7.4% of patients without these drugs (OR: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.43–1.22, p=0.25). The severity of the initial sting reaction was not affected by the intake of β-blockers or ACEI (OR: 1.14, 95% CI: 0.89–1.46, p=0.29). In total, 210 (17.7%) patients were re-stung during VIT and 191 (91.0%) tolerated the sting without systemic symptoms. Of the 19 patients with VIT treatment failure, 4 took β-blockers, none an ACEI. Conclusions: This trial provides robust evidence that taking β-blockers or ACEI does neither increase the frequency of systemic AE during VIT nor aggravate SSR. Moreover, results suggest that these drugs do not impair effectiveness of VIT. (Funded by Medical University of Graz, Austria; Clinicaltrials.gov number, NCT04269629)
Background: The interplay between COVID-19 pandemic and asthma in children is still unclear. We evaluated the impact of COVID-19 on childhood asthma outcomes. Methods: The PeARL multinational cohort included 1,054 children with asthma and 505 non-asthmatic children aged between 4-18 years from 25 pediatric departments, from 15 countries globally. We compared the frequency of acute respiratory and febrile presentations during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic between groups and with data available from the previous year. In children with asthma, we also compared current and historical disease control. Results: During the pandemic, children with asthma experienced fewer upper respiratory tract infections, episodes of pyrexia, emergency visits, hospital admissions, asthma attacks and hospitalizations due to asthma, in comparison to the preceding year. Sixty-six percent of asthmatic children had improved asthma control while in 33% the improvement exceeded the minimal clinically important difference. Pre-bronchodilatation FEV1 and peak expiratory flow rate were improved during the pandemic. When compared to non-asthmatic controls, children with asthma were not at increased risk of LRTIs, episodes of pyrexia, emergency visits or hospitalizations during the pandemic. However, an increased risk of URTIs emerged. Conclusion: Childhood asthma outcomes, including control, were improved during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, probably because of reduced exposure to asthma triggers and increased treatment adherence. The decreased frequency of acute episodes does not support the notion that childhood asthma may be a risk factor for COVID-19. Furthermore, the potential for improving childhood asthma outcomes through environmental control becomes apparent.