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Turner P.J.,Imperial College London | Turner P.J.,University of Sydney | Kumar K.,Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust | Fox A.T.,Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust | Fox A.T.,and Asthma Center in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology | Year: 2014

Background: Most children with egg allergy tolerate egg in baked foods, such as cake, but tolerance cannot be predicted with conventional allergy testing. We hypothesized that the skin prick test (SPT) wheal to unprocessed raw egg might predict tolerance of baked egg at formal oral food challenge (OFC). Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review to assess the utility of SPT wheal to egg extract (EE), raw egg (RE), and the ratio of EE:RE in predicting outcome of baked-egg OFC in children presenting to our tertiary referral centers with a physician diagnosis of egg allergy and following complete egg avoidance in their diet, between 2009 and 2013. OFC were performed following a standardized protocol using baked egg in cake, to a total dose equivalent to 3g egg protein. Results: Data were analyzed from 186 completed challenges: OFC was positive in 64 (34%) children and negative in 122 (66%). Six children experienced anaphylaxis at OFC. Children tolerant to baked egg were more likely to have a lower SPT to egg extract/raw egg and EE:RE (median 0.56) than their allergic counterparts (0.70, p < 0.05). However, ROC curve analysis demonstrated poor predictivity of challenge outcome, with AUC for SPT to egg extract, raw egg and EE:ER equal to 0.71, 0.63 and 0.60, respectively. Conclusion: EE:RE was not helpful in predicting outcome of baked-egg OFC. Indeed, SPT to egg extract was slightly better at predicting outcome than either SPT to raw egg or EE:RE. Unfortunately, tolerance to baked egg can only be predicted from previous history or through controlled exposure. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source


George P.M.,Imperial College London | Badiger R.,Imperial College London | Shao D.,Imperial College London | Edwards M.R.,Imperial College London | And 5 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2012

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare but fatal condition in which raised pulmonary vascular resistance leads to right heart failure and death. Endothelin-1 is a potent endogenous vasoconstrictor, which is considered to be central to many of the events that lead to PAH, and is an important therapeutic target in the treatment of the condition. In many cases of PAH, the aetiology is unknown but inflammation is increasingly thought to play an important role and viruses have been implicated in the development of disease. The Toll Like Receptors (TLRs) play a key role in innate immune responses by initiating specific anti-bacterial and anti-viral defences in recognition of signature molecular motifs on the surface of invading pathogens. In this study, we set out to examine the expression of bacterial and viral TLRs in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells and to establish whether their activation could be relevant to PAH. We found that the viral TLR3 and bacterial TLRs 4 and 6 were most abundantly expressed in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Using specific TLR ligands, we found that activation of TLRs 3 and 4 resulted in IL-8 release by human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells but that only TLR3 stimulation resulted in IP10 and endothelin-1 release. These data suggest that human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells express significant levels of viral TLR3 and respond to its activation by releasing endothelin-1. This may have importance in understanding the association between viruses and the development of PAH. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source


Hoffmann H.J.,University of Aarhus | Santos A.F.,Kings College London | Santos A.F.,and Asthma Center in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma | Santos A.F.,University of Coimbra | And 14 more authors.
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

The basophil activation test (BAT) has become a pervasive test for allergic response through the development of flow cytometry, discovery of activation markers such as CD63 and unique markers identifying basophil granulocytes. Basophil activation test measures basophil response to allergen cross-linking IgE on between 150 and 2000 basophil granulocytes in <0.1 ml fresh blood. Dichotomous activation is assessed as the fraction of reacting basophils. In addition to clinical history, skin prick test, and specific IgE determination, BAT can be a part of the diagnostic evaluation of patients with food-, insect venom-, and drug allergy and chronic urticaria. It may be helpful in determining the clinically relevant allergen. Basophil sensitivity may be used to monitor patients on allergen immunotherapy, anti-IgE treatment or in the natural resolution of allergy. Basophil activation test may use fewer resources and be more reproducible than challenge testing. As it is less stressful for the patient and avoids severe allergic reactions, BAT ought to precede challenge testing. An important next step is to standardize BAT and make it available in diagnostic laboratories. The nature of basophil activation as an ex vivo challenge makes it a multifaceted and promising tool for the allergist. In this EAACI task force position paper, we provide an overview of the practical and technical details as well as the clinical utility of BAT in diagnosis and management of allergic diseases. © 2015 John Wiley and Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Source


Santos A.F.,St. Thomas Hospital | Santos A.F.,and Asthma Center in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma | Santos A.F.,University of Coimbra | James L.K.,and Asthma Center in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma | And 19 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

Background Most children with detectable peanut-specific IgE (P-sIgE) are not allergic to peanut. We addressed 2 non-mutually exclusive hypotheses for the discrepancy between allergy and sensitization: (1) differences in P-sIgE levels between children with peanut allergy (PA) and peanut-sensitized but tolerant (PS) children and (2) the presence of an IgE inhibitor, such as peanut-specific IgG4 (P-sIgG4), in PS patients. Methods Two hundred twenty-eight children (108 patients with PA, 77 PS patients, and 43 nonsensitized nonallergic subjects) were studied. Levels of specific IgE and IgG4 to peanut and its components were determined. IgE-stripped basophils or a mast cell line were used in passive sensitization activation and inhibition assays. Plasma of PS subjects and patients submitted to peanut oral immunotherapy (POIT) were depleted of IgG4 and retested in inhibition assays. Results Basophils and mast cells sensitized with plasma from patients with PA but not PS patients showed dose-dependent activation in response to peanut. Levels of sIgE to peanut and its components could only partially explain differences in clinical reactivity between patients with PA and PS patients. P-sIgG4 levels (P =.023) and P-sIgG4/P-sIgE (P <.001), Ara h 1-sIgG4/Ara h 1-sIgE (P =.050), Ara h 2-sIgG4/Ara h 2-sIgE (P =.004), and Ara h 3-sIgG4/Ara h 3-sIgE (P =.016) ratios were greater in PS children compared with those in children with PA. Peanut-induced activation was inhibited in the presence of plasma from PS children with detectable P-sIgG4 levels and POIT but not from nonsensitized nonallergic children. Depletion of IgG4 from plasma of children with PS (and POIT) sensitized to Ara h 1 to Ara h 3 partially restored peanut-induced mast cell activation (P =.007). Conclusions Differences in sIgE levels and allergen specificity could not justify the clinical phenotype in all children with PA and PS children. Blocking IgG4 antibodies provide an additional explanation for the absence of clinical reactivity in PS patients sensitized to major peanut allergens. © 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Source


Santos A.F.,St thomasHospital | Santos A.F.,and Asthma Center in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma | Santos A.F.,University of Coimbra | Du Toit G.,St thomasHospital | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

Background The management of peanut allergy relies on allergen avoidance and epinephrine autoinjector for rescue treatment in patients at risk of anaphylaxis. Biomarkers of severity and threshold of allergic reactions to peanut could significantly improve the care for patients with peanut allergy.Objective We sought to assess the utility of the basophil activation test (BAT) to predict the severity and threshold of reactivity to peanut during oral food challenges (OFCs).Methods The severity of the allergic reaction and the threshold dose during OFCs to peanut were determined. Skin prick tests, measurements of specific IgE to peanut and its components, and BATs to peanut were performed on the day of the challenge.Results Of the 124 children submitted to OFCs to peanut, 52 (median age, 5 years) reacted with clinical symptoms that ranged from mild oral symptoms to anaphylaxis. Severe reactions occurred in 41% of cases, and 57% reacted to 0.1 g or less of peanut protein. The ratio of the percentage of CD63+ basophils after stimulation with peanut and after stimulation with anti-IgE (CD63 peanut/anti-IgE) was independently associated with severity (P =.001), whereas the basophil allergen threshold sensitivity CD-sens (1/EC50 × 100, where EC50 is half maximal effective concentration) value was independently associated with the threshold (P =.020) of allergic reactions to peanut during OFCs. Patients with CD63 peanut/anti-IgE levels of 1.3 or greater had an increased risk of severe reactions (relative risk, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.8-6.2). Patients with a CD-sens value of 84 or greater had an increased risk of reacting to 0.1 g or less of peanut protein (relative risk, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3-2.8).Conclusions Basophil reactivity is associated with severity and basophil sensitivity is associated with the threshold of allergic reactions to peanut. CD63 peanut/anti-IgE and CD-sens values can be used to estimate the severity and threshold of allergic reactions during OFCs. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Source

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