Brain activation after nasal histamine provocation in house dust mite allergic rhinitis patientsCallebaut I1, Steelant B1, Backaert W1, Peeters R2-3, Sunaert S2-3, Van Oudenhove L4-5*, Hellings PW1*1Allergy and Clinical Immunology Research Group, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium2Department of Imaging & Pathology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium3Department of Radiology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium4Laboratory for Brain-Gut Axis Studies (LaBGAS), Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders (TARGID), Department of Chronic Diseases, Metabolism, and Ageing (CHROMETA), University of Leuven, Belgium5Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory (CANlab), Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA*Joined senior authorshipTo the editor . The nasal mucosa is armed with a complex nervous system of sensory, sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves, allowing swift defensive responses to physical and chemical stimuli. In allergic rhinitis (AR) patients, nasal allergen deposition leads to mast cell activation with release of allergic mediators such as histamine. Apart from its direct effects on the surrounding tissue, histamine also activates sensory nerve endings giving rise to symptoms like sneezing, rhinorrhoea, and/or congestion(1). Activated nasal sensory nerves transmit action potentials to their cell bodies in the trigeminal ganglion and further to the midbrain where secondary synapses lead to the generation of central reflex signals. Despite activation of neural pathways in AR(2), it is not known which particular regions in the brain are activated by different nasal stimuli. Clinical studies using Positron Emission Tomography scans indicate that there is no isolated itch center in the brain but that different cortical centers are involved in the processing of itch(3, 4). Activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), the supplementary motor area (SMA), and the inferior paretial lobe partly explains the connection between itching and the related reflex of scratching(4). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the activation of the superior temporal gyrus, insula and nucleus caudate following painful intranasal trigeminal stimulation has been shown(5). When asthmatic patients are challenged with metacholine or allergens, activity in ACC and insula was associated with markers of bronchial inflammation and obstruction(6).To fill the abovementioned knowledge gap, a prospective, single-blind, cross-over study was designed to investigate brain responses to nasal histamine provocation in healthy volunteers and AR patients.Eight house dust mite (HDM) AR patients and 7 non-allergic healthy controls (HC) were recruited at the outpatient clinic for Otorhinolaryngology of University Hospitals Leuven. HDM allergy was confirmed by a skin prick test. Relevant nasal anatomic abnormalities or rhinosinusitis were ruled out by nasal endoscopy. Non-allergic HC showed a negative skin prick test for all the tested allergens, showed no nasal symptoms and had normal nasal endoscopy. Patients of <18 and >50 years of age, having used nasal or oral steroid treatment <6weeks prior to the study or nasal or oral antihistamine treatment <4weeks prior to the study were excluded, as well as those with past or ongoing immunotherapy for HDM, asthma, smoking and clinical signs of rhinosinusitis or anatomic nasal deformities. Informed consent was signed by all participants. The study was approved by the local medical ethics committee of the University Hospitals Leuven (B322201215751).All HC and AR patients underwent a nasal provocation by means of a canulla placed under the nose with either nebulized sham solution (saline) or with histamine for 5 minutes while in supine position in the MR scanner on 2 separate days with a minimum of 1 week in between, and in a single-blinded and random order. An aerosol of 10 ml histamine HCl (16 mg/ml) or 10 ml saline was delivered via the canulla by means of air (8 bar) after 10 minutes of baseline scanning in a pharmacological (ph)MRI design. This concentration of histamine was chosen as optimal dose after a pilot study in 3 HCs, 1 birch and grass pollen AR patient and 1 HDM AR patient where the dose of histamine resulted in a reduction of 20% in the Peak Nasal Inspiratory Flow (PNIF). Moreover, patients did not had the urge to sneeze at this concentration, as was the case for the dose of 32 mg/ml.PNIF values were used for measuring nasal flow at baseline and after the nasal provocation at the end of the phMRI scan, as recommended(7). The best value out of three consecutive measurements with a variability of <10% was recorded. Changes in PNIF from baseline to post-provocation were compared between conditons (histamine & saline) as well as between groups (patients & controls) using marginal linear mixed models.phMRI data were preprocessed and analyzed as described previously(8, 9). The effect of interest for the present study was the group (patient versus controls)-by-substance (histamine versus saline)-by-time interaction effect, comparing the time-course of the brain response to histamine vs saline provocation between AR patients and controls. A whole-brain voxel-wise FWE-corrected threshold of p<0.05 was used combined with an extent threshold of k=10 voxels (corresponding to pFWE<0.001 at cluster level).In total, 8 HDM AR patients (5 females and 3 males) and 7 HC (5 females and 2 males) were recruited with a mean age of 22.5 ± 0.72 and 23.8 ± 1.11 years respectively. One female HDM AR and two female HC were excluded due to excessive head movement during MR scanning.After nasal provocation with saline, no significant decrease in PNIF was found compared to baseline in both groups (AR: 135 ± 61.82 l/min vs 137.5 ± 44.88 l/min, p=0.74; HC: 120 ± 36.74 vs 129 ± 31.30, p=0.46). Nasal provocation with histamine induced a significant decrease in PNIF in both HDM AR patients (158.8 ± 71.55 l/min vs 112.5 ± 83.67, p=0.0053) as well as in the HC (134.2 ± 27.64 l/min vs 85.83 ± 40.55, p=0.002).The analysis on PNIF values showed a significant condition-by-time (pre- to post-provocation) interaction effect (F(1,11)=28.8, p=0.0002), driven by a significant decrease in PNIF after histamine (-47.30±8.87, pHolm=0.0004), but not after saline (-5.81±5.96, pHolm=0.35) in the entire sample. No significant group-by-condition-by-time interaction effect was found (F(1,11)=0.09, p=0.78) indicating that the decrease from baseline after histamine compared to saline did not differ between patients and controls, with a significant decrease from baseline after histamine but not saline in both groups (p=0.002 and p=0.015, respectively).Brain regions showing a differential response to histamine versus saline in AR patients versus HCs included bilateral mid-/posterior insula, right anterior insula, bilateral postcentral/superior temporal gyrus/rolandic operculum (including secondary somatosensory cortex), bilateral putamen, left cerebellum (crus 1 & 2), right mid-occipital gyrus, bilateral medial orbital gyrus/gyrus rectus, and right middle/superior frontal gyrus (ventrolateral prefrontal cortex) (Table 1,Figure 1). Most of these differential responses were due to a stronger activation in controls vs AR patients, except for the right anterior insula, right middle occipital gyrus, right middle/superior frontal gyrus, and left cerebellum, where a stronger activation was observed in AR patients.
In December 2019, China reported the first cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This disease, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has developed into a pandemic. To date it has resulted in ~5.6 million confirmed cases and caused 353,334 related deaths worldwide. Unequivocally, the COVID-19 pandemic is the gravest health and socio-economic crisis of our time. In this context, numerous questions have emerged in demand of basic scientific information and evidence-based medical advice on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Although the majority of the patients show a very mild, self-limiting viral respiratory disease, many clinical manifestations in severe patients are unique to COVID-19, such as severe lymphopenia and eosinopenia, extensive pneumonia, a “cytokine storm” leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome, endothelitis, thrombo-embolic complications and multiorgan failure. The epidemiologic features of COVID-19 are distinctive and have changed throughout the pandemic. Vaccine and drug development studies and clinical trials are rapidly growing at an unprecedented speed. However, basic and clinical research on COVID-19-related topics should be based on more coordinated high-quality studies. This paper answers pressing questions, formulated by young clinicians and scientists, on SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 and allergy, focusing on the following topics: virology, immunology, diagnosis, management of patients with allergic disease and asthma, treatment, clinical trials, drug discovery, vaccine development and epidemiology. Over 140 questions were answered by experts in the field providing a comprehensive and practical overview of COVID-19 and allergic disease.
Medical Algorithm: Early Introduction of Food Allergens in High Risk PopulationsHelen R Fisher,1,2 Gideon Lack,1,2,3 Graham Roberts,4,5,6 Henry T Bahnson,7 George Du Toit.1,2,31Paediatric Allergy Group, Department of Women and Children’s Heath, School of Life Course Sciences, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom2Paediatric Allergy Group, Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology, School of Immunology and Microbial Sciences, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom.3Children’s Allergy Service, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.4The David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre, St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, UK.5NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK.6Faculty of Medicine, Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Human Development in Health Academic Units, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.7Immune Tolerance Network, Benaroya Research Institute, Seattle, WashingtonCorresponding Authour:Professor George Du ToitPaediatric AllergyBlock B, South WingSt Thomas’ HospitalLondonSE1 7EHTel: 0207 188 9784Email: [email protected] Count: 602Tables: 0Figures: 1Oral Tolerance Induction (OTI) is the only RCT-proven effective intervention for preventing childhood food allergy.(1) OTI to peanut is effective in a general population, with the greatest effect, 81% RRR, noted in the high-risk population.(2) OTI also reduced egg allergy in the general population.(1) Many governmental and allergy societies now recommend introducing peanut in infancy and some suggest other foods, such as well-cooked egg, are also introduced. Choosing which infants should undergo OTI, at what age, to which foods, and under which circumstances is critical for successful OTI prevention in populations where food allergy is a public health concern.Infants with eczema are at increased risk of food allergy but infants from the general population are also at risk and contribute most cases at a population level. Risk of food sensitisation or food allergy increase with age; OTI is most likely to be successful when started in early infancy. Oral tolerance induction from 4 months of age, when completed using standard foods, is safe for nutrition, growth and general child health outcomes (3). Commencing multiple food OTI at 4 months of age, has no detrimental effect on established breastfeeding.(4) All children should adopt a diverse weaning diet, including allergenic foods such as well-cooked egg and peanut, as soon as weaning commences. High risk children should not delay weaning but start weaning and actively include peanut and well-cooked egg, as soon as developmentally ready; usually at about 4 months of age (Fig 1).A 2g/week dosing regime of peanut and well-cooked egg in early infancy is more effective in inducing oral tolerance than later introduction.(5) A lower dosing regime has not been shown to be effective in preventing allergy but, importantly, does not increase allergy risk above that of children who introduce allergenic foods in later infancy.(4) There are limited data regarding the efficacy of OTI to other allergenic foods, or the dose required.(1) All infants should aim to consume about 2g of peanut protein and well-cooked egg per week; parents of high-risk infants should give these amounts more diligently. Given the benefit observed for peanut and egg, it is reasonable for all weaning infants to additionally incorporate 2g of other common and nutritious food allergens; cow’s milk (e.g. as yoghurt), wheat, fish and sesame.Whether children should undergo allergy testing and/or have their first feed of peanut under medical supervision is contested. This cautious approach, potentially requiring large numbers of children to access specialist allergy care, must be balanced against the risks of severe allergic reaction, particularly as most allergic reactions occur on first oral exposure. RCTs of OTI using whole foods had no cases of anaphylaxis on first exposure (4, 6) although anaphylaxis has occurred to OTI using pasteurised whole egg powder.(7) Children with no personal food allergy risk factors do not require testing prior to, or medical supervision during, their first consumption of peanut or well-cooked egg. Children with moderate to severe eczema, or with an existing food allergy should undergo allergy testing +/- OFC at a specialist allergy centre(8), if doing so would not cause undue delay to OTI. It is likely that rapid access to allergy services will be further compromised as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. It may however be that access to SpIgE is available through GP or paediatrician which, if ≥0.35KiU/L, will require referral for OFC. If negative (<0.35KiU/L) the food may be introduced at home following precautionary measures for the first feed: child is well; parent is aware of the signs of IgE mediated reaction has, access to medical support if required and age-appropriate form of the food is given incrementally (Figure 1).
Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients need additional support while they experience the challenges associated with their age. They need specific training to learn the knowledge and skills required to confidently self-manage their allergies and/or asthma. Transitional care is a complex process which should address the psychological, medical, educational and vocational needs of AYA in the developmentally appropriate way. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has developed a clinical practice guideline to provide evidence-based recommendations for healthcare professionals to support the transitional care of AYA with allergy and/or asthma. This guideline was developed by a multi-disciplinary working panel of experts and patient representatives based on two recent systematic reviews. It sets out a series of general recommendations on operating a clinical service for AYA, which include: (i) starting transition early (11-13 years), (ii) using a structured, multidisciplinary approach, (iii) ensuring AYA fully understand their condition and have resources they can access, (iv) active monitoring of adherence and (v) discussing any implications for further education and work. Specific allergy and asthma transition recommendations include (i) simplifying medication regimes and using reminders; (ii) focusing on areas where AYA are not confident and involving peers in training AYA patients; (iii) identifying and managing psychological and socioeconomic issues impacting disease control and quality of life; (iv) enrolling the family in assisting AYA to undertake self-management and (v) encouraging AYA to let their friends know about their allergies and asthma. These recommendations may need to be adapted to fit into national healthcare systems.
Background: Multiplex tests allow for measurement of allergen-specific IgE responses to multiple allergen extracts and components and have several advantages for large cohort studies. Due to significant methodological differences, test systems are difficult to integrate in meta-analyses/systematic reviews since there is a lack of datasets with direct comparison. We aimed to create models for statistical integration of allergen-specific IgE to peanut/tree nut allergens from three IgE-test platforms. Methods: Plasma from Canadian and Austrian children with peanut/tree nut sensitization and a cohort of sensitized, high-risk, pre-school asthmatics (total n=166) were measured with three R&D multiplex IgE test platforms: Allergy Explorer, ALEX (Macro Array Dx), MeDALL-chip (Mechanisms of Development of Allergy) (Thermo Fisher), and EUROLINE (EUROIMMUN). Skin prick test (n=51) and ImmunoCAP (n=62) results for extracts were available in a subset. Regression models (Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines, local polynomial regression) were applied if >30% of samples were positive to the allergen. Intra-test correlations between PR-10 and nsLTP allergens were assessed. Results: Using two regression methods, we demonstrated the ability to model allergen-specific relationships with acceptable measures of fit (r2=94-56%) for peanut and tree nut sIgE testing at the extract and component-level, in order from highest to lowest: Ara h 2, Ara h 6, Jug r 1, Ana o 3, Ara h 1, Jug r 2, Cor a 9. Conclusion: Our models support the notion that conversion is reasonably possible between sIgE multiplex platforms for allergen extracts and components and may provide options to aggregate data for future meta-analysis.
The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) provides a common language for use worldwide as a diagnostic and classification tool for epidemiology, clinical purposes and health management. Since its first edition, the ICD has maintained a framework distributing conditions according to topography, with the result that some complex conditions, such as allergies and hypersensitivity disorders (A/H) including anaphylaxis, have been poorly represented. The change in hierarchy in ICD-11 permitted the construction of the pioneer section addressed to A/H, which may result in more accurate mortality and morbidity statistics, including more accurate accounting for mortality due to anaphylaxis, strengthen classification, terminology and definitions. The ICD-11 was presented and adopted by the 72nd World Health Assembly in May 2019 and the implementation is ongoing worldwide. We here present the outcomes from an online survey undertaken to reach out the allergy community worldwide in order to peer review the terminology, classification and definitions of A/H introduced into ICD-11 and to support their global implementation. Data are presented here for 406 respondents from 74 countries. All of the sub-sections of the new A/H section of the ICD-11 had been considered with good accuracy by the majority of respondents. We believe that, in addition to help during the implementation phase, all the comments provided will help to improve the A/H classification and to increase awareness by different disciplines of what actions are needed to ensure more accurate epidemiological data and better clinical management of A/H patients.
Medical algorithm: Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis in Early Childhood (part II)Sherief R. Janmohamed MD PhD1, Johannes Ring MD2, Lawrence F. Eichenfield MD3, Jan Gutermuth MD11Department of Dermatology, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel (UZ Brussel), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Jette, Brussels, Belgium2Department of Dermatology and Allergology Biederstein, Technical University Munich, München, Germany3Departments of Dermatology and Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego CA, USA
Our understanding of IgE-mediated drug allergy relies on the hapten concept, which is well established in inducing reactions of the immune system to small molecules like drugs. The role of hapten-carrier adducts in re-challenge reactions leading to mast cell degranulation and anaphylaxis is unclear. Based on clinical observations, the speed of adduct formation, skin and in-vitro tests to inert drug molecules, a different explanation of IgE-mediated reactions to drugs is proposed: These are a) A natural role of reduced mast cell (MC) reactivity in developing IgE-mediated reactions to drugs. This MC-unresponsiveness is antigen-specific and covers the serum drug concentrations, but allows reactivity to locally higher concentrations. b) Some non-covalent drug-protein complexes rely on rather affine bindings and have a similar appearance as covalent hapten-carrier adducts. Such drug-protein complexes represent so-called “fake antigens”, as they are unable to induce immunity, but may react with and crosslink preformed drug-specific IgE. As they are formed very rapidly and in high concentrations, they may cause fulminant MC degranulation and anaphylaxis. c) The generation of covalent hapten-protein adducts requires hours, either because the formation of covalent bonds requires time or because first a metabolic step for forming a reactive metabolite is required. This slow process of stable adduct formation has the advantage that it may give time to desensitize mast cells, even in already sensitized individuals. The consequences of this new interpretation of IgE mediated reactions to drugs are potentially wide-reaching for IgE-mediated drug allergy but also allergy in general.
The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has made widespread impact recently. We aim to investigate the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 children with different severities and allergic status. Pediatric COVID-19 patients tended to have a mild clinical course. Patients with pneumonia had higher proportion of fever and cough and increased inflammatory biomarkers than those without pneumonia. There was no difference between allergic and non-allergic COVID-19 children in aspects of incidence, clinical features, laboratory and immunological findings. Allergy was not a risk factor for developing and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection and hardly influenced the disease course of COVID-19 in children.
Background: Although the importance of ectopic lymphoid tissues (eLTs) in the pathophysiology of nasal polyps (NPs) is increasingly appreciated, the mechanisms underlying their formation remain unclear. Objective: To study the role of IL-17A, CXCL13 and lymphotoxin (LT) in eLT formation in NPs. Methods: The expression of CXCL13 and LT as well as their receptors, and the phenotypes of stromal cells in NPs were studied by ﬂow cytometry, immunostaining, and RT-PCR. Purified nasal stromal cells and polyp B cells were cultured and a murine model with nasal type 17 inflammation was established for the mechanistic study. Results: Excessive CXCL13 production was found in NPs and correlated with enhanced IL-17A expression. Stromal cells, with an expansion of CD31-Pdpn+ ﬁbroblastic reticular cell (FRC) type, were the major source of CXCL13 in NPs without eLTs. IL-17A induced FRC expansion and CXCL13 production in nasal stromal cells. In contrast, B cells were the main source of CXCL13 and LTα1β2 in NPs with eLTs. CXCL13 upregulated LTα1β2 expression on polyp B cells, which in turn promoted CXCL13 production from polyp B cells and nasal stromal cells. LTα1β2 induced expansion of FRCs and CD31+Pdpn+ lymphoid endothelial cells, corresponding to the phenotypic characteristic of stromal cells in NPs with eLTs. IL-17A gene knockout, and CXCL13 and LTβR blockage diminished nasal eLT formation in the murine model. Conclusion: We identified an important role of IL-17A-induced stromal cell remodeling in the initiation, and crosstalk between B and stromal cells via CXCL13 and LTα1β2 in the enlargement of eLTs in NPs.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory tract infection caused by a novel human coronavirus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, leads to a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from asymptomatic cases to patients with mild and severe symptoms, with or without pneumonia. Given the huge influence caused by the overwhelming COVID-19 pandemic affecting over three million people worldwide, a wide spectrum of drugs is considered for the treatment in the concept of repurposing and off-label use. There is no knowledge about the diagnosis and clinical management of the drug hypersensitivity reactions that can potentially occur during the disease. This review brings together all the published information about the diagnosis and management of drug hypersensitivity reactions due to current and candidate off-label drugs and highlights relevant recommendations. Furthermore, it gathers all the dermatologic manifestations reported during the disease for guiding the clinicians to establish a better differential diagnosis of drug hypersensitivity reactions in the course of the disease.
Title: Real-life study in non-atopic severe asthma patients achieving disease control by omalizumab treatmentTo the Editor,Severe asthma is defined as asthma requiring treatment with guidelines-suggested medications for Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) steps 4 or 5 or systemic corticosteroids for ≥50% of the previous year to prevent it from becoming ‘uncontrolled’ or which remains ‘uncontrolled’ despite this therapy.1 Up to 34%–50% of severe asthmatic patients have non-atopic (also called non-allergic) asthma. 2 A significant proportion of these patients have severe uncontrolled asthma, which requires high doses of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) or even oral corticosteroids (OCS).2 Until the advent of biologics, treatment options in these patients have been very limited. For many years, both the pathogenesis knowledge and the results of clinical trials supported the view that anti-IgE treatment is specifically effective in allergic asthma. Interestingly, recent molecular and clinical evidence suggests that anti-IgE treatment might also be effective in patients with non-allergic asthma.2 Omalizumab (Xolair®) is an anti-IgE monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to human IgE and prevents the binding of IgE to its receptors. Although omalizumab is indicated in Europe in patients with severe persistent allergic asthma, several case reports and short series have provided data on the value of omalizumab in patients with non-atopic asthma.3,4The observational, multicenter, retrospective, real-life FENOMA study specifically evaluated patients who achieved full asthma control after one year of treatment with omalizumab.5 The study included 345 patients, 80 (23.2%) of whom had non-atopic asthma. The present post-hoc sub-analysis aims to describe the clinical improvement of patients with non-atopic asthma. Socio-demographic and asthma-related characteristics were collected at baseline. Outcomes analyzed at baseline and after one year of treatment were those included in the definition of asthma control by GEMA guidelines.5 Medical records were reviewed between February 2015 and June 2016. For statistical comparisons, the 2-sided Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used. A P-value of <0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. All analyses were performed with the SAS statistical package (version 9.4; SAS Institute, Cary, NC).The primary outcome of this post-hoc sub-analysis was to describe the baseline characteristics and clinical improvement of non-atopic asthma patients who achieved full disease control after one-year of treatment with omalizumab through i) frequency of daytime symptoms, ii) changes in use of ICS or OCS iii) need for rescue therapy, iv) pulmonary function (forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1]), v) number of non-severe exacerbations and vi) use of healthcare resources, i.e. unplanned visits to primary care or specialists and the number of days of school or workplace absenteeism due to asthma worsening. Non-severe asthma exacerbations were defined as those that did not require OCS, emergency assistance or hospitalization. Secondary outcomes include an assessment of the percentage of eosinophil blood count and exhaled nitric oxide fraction (FeNO) before and after treatment.Demographic, clinical characteristics and asthma history (before starting treatment with omalizumab) are shown in Table 1 . Mean (SD) age of patients was 58.7 (12.2) years and 65% were female. Almost all patients had daytime symptoms, 92% of patients needed rescue medication, and the mean (SD) initial dose of omalizumab was 338.7 (153.1) mg.After one year of treatment with omalizumab 50.0% (n=40) of patients had no daytime symptoms, while 37.5% (n=30) and 12.5% (n=10) had symptoms 1 and 2 days per week, respectively. Forty-one (51.2%) of the 54 patients who were receiving OCS at entry, stopped treatment (P<0.0001). Of those continuing on OCS, the average reduction of the daily dose was not statistically significant (P=0.2132). More than half of patients (53.7%, n=43) needed no rescue medication. Median FEV1 increase was 15% and there was a reduction in the number of non-severe asthma exacerbations. After one year of treatment with omalizumab, a great reduction in unplanned visits and absenteeism from school or workplace (P<0.0001; Table 2 ) was observed.Of note, the effectiveness of omalizumab was previously assessed in a Spanish multicenter registry, which evaluated 29 non-atopic severe asthma patients over 2 years.6 However, our series is the most extensive study in patients with non-atopic asthma published to date in Spain, and provides data on full disease control. There have been several potential suggestions to explain the effectiveness of omalizumab in non-atopic patients.7 In a proof-of-concept study in non-atopic asthma patients, treatment with omalizumab resulted – as per in atopic patients – in a significant reduction of high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) expression on blood basophils and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC2), which hampered IgE binding and the subsequent production on proinflammatory mediators.8 Additionally, omalizumab treatment was associated with an increase in FEV1 with a positive trend in some relevant clinical endpoints, such as asthma exacerbations.8 In another proof-of-concept trial, omalizumab therapy (but not placebo) reduced IgE expression and IgE sensitization of target cells within the bronchial mucosa, and increased FEV1 versus baseline despite withdrawal of conventional therapy.9 Interestingly, it has been hypothesized that patients labelled as ‘non-allergic’ might in fact have a localized allergy to an unrecognized allergen, with elevated concentrations of allergen-specific IgE antibodies in the airways.7Our study has several limitations. Its single-arm retrospective nature relies on the accuracy and completeness of the information entered into the clinical records. This has especially affected predictors of response such as FeNO and the level of eosinophils, which were not routinely assessed in the clinical practice at the time of the study. The benefits of omalizumab presented here are those observed in the population of non-atopic patients who achieved disease control after one year of treatment with omalizumab. It is unknown how many other patients classified as non-atopic in the clinical practice did not benefit from this treatment.In summary, in the population of patients with non-atopic severe asthma who achieved full disease control after one year of treatment with omalizumab, the clinical and pulmonary benefits were remarkable and similar to those described for atopic patients. A reduction in the use of healthcare resources was also documented. Large randomized controlled trials are warranted to confirm the value of omalizumab in this population of patients.