Background: Although ibuprofen and other arylpropionic acid derivatives (APs) are among the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) most consumed worldwide at all age ranges, little is known about hypersensitivity to this group of drugs. Our aim was to characterise in detail patients reporting hypersensitivity reactions induced by APs. Methods: We prospectively evaluated patients with symptoms suggestive of hypersensitivity to APs and analysed their clinical characteristics, the reported reactions, and the diagnosis approach. Results: A total of 662 patients confirmed as hypersensitive to APs were included: 489 as cross-reactive (CR) hypersensitivity type (73.86%) and 173 as selective responders (26.13%) (SR). The percentage of subjects reporting reactions induced by ibuprofen and dexketoprofen was higher in CRs (p=0.005 and p=0.01, respectively), whereas reactions induced by naproxen and ketoprofen were more frequent in SRs (p=0.0002 and p=0.00001, respectively). The most frequent symptoms induced by ibuprofen, dexketoprofen, and naproxen were isolated angioedema and urticaria combined or not with angioedema in both NIUA and SNIUAA. NPT-LASA was positive in 156 cases (77.14% of NERD and 68.18% of blended) and DPT to ASA was needed in 246 (50.3%) CR patients. In 28 SR cases (25 SNIUAA and 3 SNIDR), DPT with the culprit AP was required. Conclusions: Skin is the most common organ involved in hypersensitivity to APs, in both CR and SR, with ibuprofen and dexketoprofen inducing most frequently CRs, and naproxen and ketoprofen SRs. More studies are needed to clarify the underlying mechanism in DHR induced by APs.
Drug hypersensitivity reactions (DHRs) represent a global threat to healthcare systems due to their incidence, with a significant increase over last years1. DHR figures are overestimated in the general population since less than 40% of cases initially labelled as allergic can be confirmed as such when evaluated in an allergy unit2. Achieving an accurate diagnosis is complex and time consuming; besides, tests must be tailored to specific clinical manifestations and underlying mechanisms and will depend on the culprit drugs. Diagnosis often requires performing drug provocation tests (DPTs), which are especially problematic for severe reactions, making management of these patients challenging and expensive for the health care system.Clinically, DHRs are classified into immediate and non-immediate, based on the time interval between drug exposure and onset of the symptoms3. The most severe immediate reaction is anaphylaxis. This issue of the journal has been dedicated o drug hypersensitivity, which is becoming a major public health issue during the last decade, especially with the introduction of biologicals to medicine. Bilo et al. 4 evaluated the anaphylaxis mortality rate in Italy from 2004 to 2016 and found an average mortality rate for definite anaphylaxis (ICD-10 code) of 0.51 per million population per year, mostly due to the use of medications (73.7%), although in 98% of the cases culprit drugs were not identified. Regarding non-immediate reactions, one of the most challenging diagnoses is drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), which is sometimes difficult, at an early stage, due to overlapping clinical symptoms with maculopapular exanthema (MPE). Pedruzzi et al. 5 identified 7 microRNAs (miRNAs) that correctly classified DRESS or MPE patients and were associated with keratinocyte differentiation/skin inflammation, type I IFN pathway viral replication, ATP-binding cassette transporters, and T lymphocyte polarisation, being all of them potential biomarkers. Non-immunologically mediated adverse reactions, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are reported by Fuhrmannet al. 6 in association with systemic H1-antihistamines administration in school-age children, especially the 1st generation agents.The mechanism underlying DHR and the reason why patients treated with the same drug develop a tolerance response or an immediate or non-immediate DHR is not completely understood (Figure 1). Therefore, the prediction of who may experience a DHR, and if so, in what form, remains clinically obscure for most drugs. Goh SJR et al. 7 elegantly analyse this complexity, using non-immediate reactions to penicillins as a model. They focus on the understanding of the role of nature of the lesional T cells, the characterisation of drug-responsive T cells isolated from patient blood, and the potential mechanisms by which penicillins enter the antigen-processing and presentation pathway to stimulate these deleterious responses.Regarding specific drugs involved in allergy, betalactam antibiotics (BL) are the most frequent culprit, being many reactions mediated by IgE. This type of reaction varies among patients, with some reacting only to one BL and others to several of them; it tends to change over time and differs between European countries, depending on BL consumption. Nowadays, amoxicillin (AX), alone or in combination with the β-lactamase inhibitor clavulanic acid (CLV), is the most often prescribed BL worldwide (Figure 2) and the most common elicitor of reactions in both children and adults. It is unclear why patients after the administration of AX-CLV develop selective hypersensitivity to AX, while tolerating CLV and vice-versa. Ariza et al. 8 generated drug-specific T-cell clones from AX- or CLV-selective immediate hypersensitivity patients and found that both AX- and CLV-specific clones were generated irrespective of whether AX or CLV was the culprit, although a higher secretion of Th2 cytokines (IL-13 and IL-5) was detected when clones were activated with the culprit BL compared with clones stimulated with the tolerated BL, in which higher secretion of Th1 cytokines (IFN-γ) was observed. Regarding selective non-immediate reactions to CLV, Copaescu A et al. 9 report on a cohort of patients with a history of non-immediate reaction to CLV, who demonstrated a delayed intradermal skin test response to CLV, 17% were allergic to both CLV and ampicillin, and 83% were selective reactors with good tolerance to AX. IFN-γ release enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) was performed giving a sensitivity of 33%. Other drugs such as sulphonamides, either antibiotic or non-antibiotics are important triggers of non-immediate DHRs. Vilchez-Sanchez et al. 10 showed that lymphocyte transformation tests (LTT) can help avoid the performance of DPT with a sensitivity of 75%, a specificity of 100%, and negative and positive predictive values of 72.7% and 100%, respectively.There has been a great expansion in the use of biological agents (mainly monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)), and they have greatly improved the treatment landscape of hemato-oncologic, autoimmune, inflammatory and rheumatologic diseases. In parallel, the incidence rate of reported DHRs associated with these products has increased considerably within the last years, ranging from mild to life-threatening. Yang BC et al. 11 recommend risk stratification as the first step for managing patients with DHRs to these drugs. In cases with negative skin test and mild reactions, DPT is an option, and in moderate or severe reactions, desensitisation becomes the preferred approach. In cases with positive skin test, desensitisation is the recommended course of action, especially when there is no alternative medication. Desensitisation is also widely used in the management of immediate hypersensitivity reactions to chemotherapy agents, such as platinums. There is suspicion about the presence of a longer memory of tolerance in subsequent desensitisation protocols partially resembling the regulatory tolerance mechanisms induced by allergen immunotherapy. Tüzer et al. 12 demonstrate the possible role of IL-10 in desensitisation with platinums, as they found a dynamic change in serum IL-10 levels observed as an increase during desensitisation and a decrease in between the protocols.Finally, a wide spectrum of drugs has been considered for treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and all of them can potentially induce DHRs. Gelincik A et al .13 reviewed DHRs in COVID-19 times to these drugs, with knowledge mainly coming from previous clinical experience in patients not infected with COVID-19. As in other viral infections, skin symptoms, including exanthemas, may appear during the evolution of the disease, leading to differential diagnosis with DHRs. Whether COVID-19 can aggravate T–cell mediated DHRs reactions as some viruses is at present unknown.We can conclude that new drugs are continuously introduced into the markets and confirmed as inducers of hypersensitivity reactions. We still do not completely understand the mechanisms underlying many of these reactions and further studies for improving diagnostic and management are needed even in classic and well-studied drugs as BLs.Abbreviations: AX: Amoxicillin; CLV: Clavulanic acid; COVID-19: Coronavirus disease 2019; DHR: Drug hypersensitivity reactions; DPT: Drug provocation tests; DRESS: Drug reaction with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms; ELISpot: enzyme-linked immunospot; LTT: Lymphocyte transformation tests; MPE: Maculopapular exanthema.
Background: Allergy is witnessing major advances, in particular with the advent of biological therapies for treating allergic diseases. Given the novelty of these therapeutics, we aimed to explore by a worldwide survey, the prescription and the management of hypersensitivity reactions (HR) of biological agents (BA) in Allergy. Method: We built up an anonymous online questionnaire, sent out by mail and social media and circulated for 40 days. Results: 348 responses were from 59 countries, with a majority from Europe (62.6%). 97% of responders practiced allergy and 48.5%, exclusively so. Allergy was mentioned as a full specialty in 69.5 % of cases. 71% of responders confirmed the right of prescription of BA for allergists in their country and 78.4 % prescribed BA in their clinical practice. Europe included almost all the allergists who did not have the right of prescribing BA (95.5%), specifically France (91%). The most prescribed BA were Anti IgE (78.1%) and anti IL5 (43.9%). The most declared HR to BA were local reactions (74.1%) followed by anaphylaxis like symptoms (6.8%) and delayed exanthemas (5.1%). Desensitization was considered in 18.9% of cases. These HR were reported in 48.8% of cases. Conclusion: Although BA are now a pillar in the treatment of allergic diseases and allergists are familiar with management of HR associated with BA, their prescription is not authorized for allergists in all countries. BA showed to be generally safe but HR, which may be severe, could occur with a lack of consensus on the management.
Immediate and non-immediate hypersensitivity reactions to iodinated contrast media (ICM) have been reported to occur in a frequency of about 0.5-3% of patients receiving non-ionic ICM. The diagnosis and management of these patients is controversial among guidelines published by various national and international scientific societies, with recommendations ranging from avoidance or premedication to drug provocation test. This position paper aims to give recommendations for the management of patients with ICM hypersensitivity reactions and analyze controversies in this area. Skin tests are recommended as the initial step for diagnosing patients with immediate and non-immediate hypersensitivity reactions; besides, they may also help guide on tolerability of alternatives. Drug provocation test is the gold-standard; although, as it is a risky procedure, the decision for performing it needs to be taken based on a risk-benefit analysis. Another source of controversy is the role of in vitro tests for diagnosis and pretreatment for preventing reactions.
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.