Institute of Allergy

Israel

Institute of Allergy

Israel
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News Article | May 16, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Summer is approaching, and for many allergy sufferers this means it is time to start fearing bee stings. "Allergic reactions to insect venoms are potentially life-threatening, and constitute one of the most severe hypersensitivity reactions," explains PD Dr. Simon Blank, research group leader at the Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM), a joint undertaking by the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the TUM. This is where allergen-specific immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, can help. The treatment involves injecting very small doses of the venom under the patient's skin. The idea is to force the body to become accustomed to the poison and consequently to put an end to the immune system's excessive reaction. According to Blank and his team, however, it may be necessary to improve the procedure. "We now know that bee venom is a cocktail of many different substances. In particular, there are five components that are especially relevant for allergy sufferers," Blank explains. "In our current investigation of commercial preparations, however, we were able to show that these so-called major allergens are not present everywhere at sufficient levels, and some allergens are seriously underrepresented!" While some preparations contained uniform levels of all venom components, in others up to three of the five allergens were present at levels that were too low, according to the authors. The scientists cannot concretely state exactly what this means for the therapeutic success. "So far, studies have not been able to prove how significant this is for the treatment. Because more than six percent of the patients are sensitized only against these three allergens, however, their underrepresentation could affect the treatment success, at least for these patients." Consequently, if patients react to specific allergens in bee venom but these are possibly not found in the preparations at sufficient levels, the question that must be asked is what good does immunotherapy against bee stings do for the individual. ZAUM Director Prof. Dr. Carsten Schmidt-Weber sees it like this: "The vast majority of patients benefit from such a treatment. A desirable objective that results from this work, however, would be for patients to receive a customized treatment in the future. This would be a preparation with exactly the allergens to which the particular patient actually reacts." Due to costs and the relatively small number of patients, however, such developments are still a long way off. For their analysis, the researchers first produced antibodies against the five individual bee venom allergens in order to be able to detect these substances. Specifically, this involved proteins Api m 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10. The abbreviation Api m comes from the Latin term for the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Its venom is correspondingly called apitoxin. The researchers then tested the content of these components in four different preparations for allergen immunotherapy, while also examining different batches. Some preparations contained sufficient levels of all allergens, but some did not. Specific studies are needed to provide findings regarding the effects on the treatment. Recently, however, a different study (Frick et al., JACI 2016) was able to show that sensitization principally with respect to Api m 10 constitutes an increased risk for the failure of the immunotherapy. The study did not examine if this is associated with a low content of Api m 10 in the preparations. Blank, S. et al. (2017): Component-resolved evaluation of the content of major allergens in therapeutic extracts for specific immunotherapy of honeybee venom allergy. Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, DOI: 10.1080/21645515.2017.1323603 The Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich and has about 2,300 staff members. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. The Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM) in Munich is a joint undertaking by the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM). This cooperation, which is the only one of its kind in the German research landscape, is dedicated to interdisciplinary basic research and forms a link between clinicians at the hospital and clinical research staff at the university. Thanks to this approach, findings about the mechanisms that lie behind allergies are translated into preventive and therapeutic measures. The development of effective, individually tailored treatments enables better care to be provided for allergy-sufferers. Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe's leading research universities, with more than 500 professors, around 10,000 academic and non-academic staff, and 40,000 students. Its focus areas are the engineering sciences, natural sciences, life sciences and medicine, com-bined with economic and social sciences. TUM acts as an entrepreneurial university that promotes talents and creates value for society. In that it profits from having strong partners in science and industry. It is represented worldwide with a campus in Singapore as well as offices in Beijing, Brussels, Cairo, Mumbai, San Francisco, and São Paulo. Nobel Prize winners and inventors such as Rudolf Diesel, Carl von Linde, and Rudolf Mößbauer have done research at TUM. In 2006 and 2012 it won recognition as a German "Excellence University." In international rankings, TUM regularly places among the best universities in Germany. The Institute of Allergy Research (IAF) investigates the molecular mechanisms behind the development of allergies, which are on the rise around the world. Through intensive cooperation among scientists and clinicians on individual approaches to prevention, the IAF is working to halt this epidemiological spread. In the therapeutic area, the institute's scientists want to develop new approaches specifically targeted at the patients. The IAF works with the Technische Universität München in the joint Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM) facility. The IAF is also a member of the Cluster Allergy and Immunity (CAI) and the German Center for Lung Research (DZL). PD Dr. Simon Blank, Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Allergy Research & Center of Allergy and Environment, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg - Tel. +49 89 4140 2625 - E-mail: simon.blank@helmholtz-muenchen.de


Levy I.,Infectious Disease Unit | Mor Z.,Public Health Services | Anis E.,Public Health Services | Maayan S.,Hadassah Medical Center | And 9 more authors.
Clinical Infectious Diseases | Year: 2011

(See the editorial commentary by Mayer and Mimiaga, on pages 1371-1373.)Background.Centralized data collection and analytic tools facilitate tracing HIV transmission trends at the patient-population level with increasing resolution, complementing behavioral studies while avoiding sampling biases. By several measures, the rate of HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Israel increased in the past several years more rapidly than was expected. We describe features of the data that connect this increase to behavioral changes. Methods .We retrospectively analyzed data from the national HIV reference laboratory and the national HIV and sexually transmitted infections registries. We examined changes in selected epidemiologic and clinical parameters and in the pattern of drug-resistant virus transmission among MSM in Israel. In particular, virus isolates from 296 MSM (23.8% of all MSM who received a diagnosis) were genotyped, drug-resistance conferring mutations were characterized, and phylogenetic trees were constructed. Results .Compared with earlier years, during 2007-2009 MSM were more often infected with drug-resistant virus before treatment initiation, were coinfected with syphilis, and received a diagnosis during acute retroviral syndrome. Phylogenetic analysis suggested frequent transmission of drug-resistant HIV by drug-treated individuals to >1 partner. Secondary transmission of resistant virus by drug-naive patients is also consistent with the phylogenetic patterns. In addition, non-B HIV subtypes began to appear among MSM. Conclusion s.Together, our findings suggest that the sexual behavior of MSM, both HIV-infected and uninfected, has become riskier, contributing to the number of those seeking early clarification of status, to syphilis comorbidity, and to the spread of drug resistance. These findings call for action by public health planners and community-based organizations aimed at increasing awareness of the risks, bringing a change in attitude and establishing safe sex norms. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.


News Article | August 22, 2016
Site: cen.acs.org

The 2014 outbreak of Ebola virus, which caused more than 11,000 deaths in West Africa, has been brought to heel, but the need for effective Ebola treatments remains urgent. The drugmaker Gilead Sciences just launched a mid-stage study of GS-5734, an antiviral, that, if proven effective, could be a crucial weapon against future flare-ups of Ebola. The Phase II clinical trial in Liberia will test whether the Gilead compound can clear viral RNA that has hunkered down in areas of the body—the eyes, testes, and spinal column, for example—that immune cells have trouble reaching. In rare cases, that reservoir of genetic material causes the Ebola virus to come roaring back months after a person is believed to be cured. It also can be passed on to sexual partners. The National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, a sponsor of the trial, will recruit 60 to 120 men who are already enrolled in a study of the long-term health of Ebola survivors. The volunteers will be given either GS-5734 or a placebo once daily for five days and then monitored over the next six months to measure the compound’s effect on the viral load. GS-5734 is a monophosphoramidate prodrug of an adenosine analog that was discovered through a collaboration among Gilead, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Discovered in 2014, the compound already has been shown to wipe out signs of the virus in monkeys. It also has been tested for safety in healthy humans. Gilead previously stated that the combination of the Phase II study, monkey data, and healthy human data could be enough to ask for U.S. regulatory approval for GS-5734. Given the urgency with which GS-5734 is moving forward, Gilead has made a major investment in manufacturing. According to Tomas Cihlar, vice president of biology, the company has made enough of the drug to treat 1,000 people infected with Ebola for up to two weeks and is in the process of making thousands more doses. GS-5734 also has shown activity against the Zika virus, but it is far more effective against Ebola, Cihlar notes. As such, Gilead is currently screening its library of antivirals for potential Zika treatments.


Shahar E.,Bone and Mineral Metabolism Unit | Shahar E.,Institute of Allergy | Shahar E.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Segal E.,Bone and Mineral Metabolism Unit | And 9 more authors.
Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2013

Background: Decreased bone mineral density (BMD) was reported in HIV infected patients. Mechanisms leading to this decrease are poorly understood. Aims: To assess factors relating to BMD in young HIV infected Israeli women of Ethiopian and Caucasian origin. Patients and methods: 75 young HIV infected women aged 34.5 ± 8.5 followed up at the Institute of Allergy, Clinical Immunology & AIDS filled a questionnaire about sun exposure, daily calcium intake and dress habits. Data about HIV status and treatment regimens were collected from the patients' charts. Serum hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels, bone turnover markers and bone densitometry were evaluated. Results: 28 (65%) of Ethiopians and 2 (6.25%) of Caucasians had 25(OH)D serum levels <10 ng/ml (vitamin D deficiency), p = 0.001. 21 (67.7%) Ethiopians and 16 (39%) Caucasians avoided sun exposure, p = 0.019. Mean daily calcium intake was 491 ± 268.6 mg and 279 ± 252.6 mg, respectively, p = 0.001. Z scores < -1 found at Lumbar spine in 26 (89.7%), at Femoral neck in 20 (69%) at Total hip in 17 (58.6%) of vitamin D deficient patients compared to 20 (48.8%), 17 (41.5%), 9 (22%), in patients with 25(OH)D > 10 ng/ml, p < 0.01, <0.03, <0.001, respectively.Significantly more Ethiopian than Caucasian women covered their face (32.3% and 9.5%, p = 0.003) and hands (58.1% and 30.9%, p = 0.03). There was no difference in bone turnover markers levels. Conclusion: Poorer vitamin D status was observed in Ethiopian women might be one of the important factors related to lower BMD in this group. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism.


Dalal I.,Tel Aviv University | Dalal I.,Institute of Allergy | Goldberg M.,Institute of Allergy | Katz Y.,Institute of Allergy
Current Allergy and Asthma Reports | Year: 2012

The number of reports regarding sesame seed food allergy (SFA) has increased significantly worldwide over the past two decades, either due to a genuine increase in SFA or merely an increase in its awareness. Its prevalence is difficult to estimate due to the lack of well designed prospective population-based studies. Based on the available data, we estimate that SFA affects 0.1-0.2%of the population, in areas where the food is available. Albeit this prevalence appears to be relatively low, it is approximately one-half of that of persistent cow's milk allergy. While only one fatality has been reported, the significant number of SFA patients presenting as anaphylaxis indicates the potential risk. Many reports based the diagnosis of SFA on sensitization criteria alone, particularly amongst atopic dermatitis patients. Elimination of sesame from the diet of these children utilizing such criteria is not justified, and may even increase the risk for developing SFA. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.


Goldberg M.R.,Institute of Allergy | Nachshon L.,Institute of Allergy | Appel M.Y.,Institute of Allergy | Elizur A.,Institute of Allergy | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2015

Background Patients with IgE-mediated cow's milk allergy who are nonreactive to baked milk (BM) can be desensitized with BM to promote tolerance to unheated milk (UM). Objective We sought to test whether patients who are BM reactive can progress in BM oral immunotherapy (OIT) and become desensitized to UM as well. Methods Fifteen patients (>4 years) who previously failed to complete our milk OIT program were enrolled into the BM OIT protocol. A dose of BM (180°C for 30 minutes) which was less than the eliciting dose was increased 50% monthly while under medical supervision until the primary outcome dose of 1.3 g/d BM protein was achieved. Basophil reactivity and milk protein-specific IgE binding were analyzed at the first round of BM OIT therapy (T0) and at 12 months of BM treatment. Results In terms of the primary outcome, only 3 (21%) of 14 patients tolerated the 1.3 g/d BM dose. Although some patients initially progressed in BM OIT, 8 of 11 failed because of IgE-mediated reactions. Three did not complete the program because of non-IgE-mediated factors. An increase in challenge threshold to UM was noted in patients continuing until 12 months (P =.003), including those among whom reactions precluded continuation in the program. Patients (n = 3) who successfully reached maintenance had decreased milk-specific IgE reactivity. Furthermore, the mean difference at T0 between induced HM and UM percentages of CD203c expression was significantly lower in patients who successfully completed BM OIT than in those who did not (-11% vs 4.4%, P =.0002), which is consistent with their decreased clinical reactivity to BM. Conclusions Although use of hypoallergenic BM in OIT is a promising therapy, care must be taken before its administration in BM-reactive patients because of the risk for anaphylaxis and only limited increase in challenge threshold attained. © 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.


Elizur A.,Assaf Harofeh Medical Center | Elizur A.,Institute of Allergy | Cohen M.,Assaf Harofeh Medical Center | Goldberg M.R.,Institute of Allergy | And 3 more authors.
Archives of Disease in Childhood | Year: 2013

Background: Although cow's milk allergy (CMA) is one of the most common food allergies, mislabelling non-allergic infants as being allergic to cow's milk is more common. Despite this, characteristics of families and infants with mislabelled CMA are lacking. Methods: Using a prospective population-based study, we identified infants with any possible adverse reaction to cow's milk (n=381) from a cohort of 13 019 infants followed from birth. They had a detailed history taken, skin prick tests and an oral food challenge when indicated. Infants with symptoms for which the causative relationship to cow's milk protein was excluded were compared with infants with IgE-mediated CMA and with a control group, and followed for 2-5 years. Results: Overall, 243 infants (1.87%) with mislabelled CMA were identified. Compared with 66 infants with IgE-mediated CMA, those with mislabelled CMA presented earlier and with symptoms usually involving a single organ system. Doctor-diagnosed atopic dermatitis (AD) was associated with mislabelled CMA (p<0.001), manifested primarily as skin rashes, compared with control infants. Higher maternal and paternal education were also associated with mislabelled CMA (p=0.007 and p=0.035, respectively) and manifested primarily as non-specific symptoms. Conclusions: Mislabelled CMA typically presents within the first 3 months of life involving a single organ. Infant AD and higher parental academic education are associated with mislabelled reactions. Better parental and physician awareness of the importance of objectively diagnosing milk allergy is required to avoid mislabelling of infants as being allergic to cow's milk and to prevent potential nutritional deficiencies.


Shahar E.,Institute of Allergy | Shahar E.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Nassar L.,Institute of Allergy | Kedem E.,Institute of Allergy | And 3 more authors.
Current Drug Safety | Year: 2014

The standard gold care medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are the alpha-1-adrenergic antagonists, they are an effective medications and are generally well tolerated. However, at this time, no data have been published concerning the development of severe rhinorrhea with a great impact on quality of life in patients treated with alpha-1-adrenergic antagonists. We report two men with BPH treated with two different alpha-adrenergic antagonists; alfuzosin and doxazocin. The naranjo quality scale documented a probable adverse drug reaction (score 7) between rhinorrhea and treatmenr with alpha-1-adrenergic antagonists. In conclusion we reported that alpha-1-adrenergic antagonists are able to induce rhinorrhea in patients with BPH. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.


PubMed | Institute of Allergy
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland) | Year: 2013

Decreased bone mineral density (BMD) was reported in HIV infected patients. Mechanisms leading to this decrease are poorly understood.To assess factors relating to BMD in young HIV infected Israeli women of Ethiopian and Caucasian origin.75 young HIV infected women aged 34.5 8.5 followed up at the Institute of Allergy, Clinical Immunology & AIDS filled a questionnaire about sun exposure, daily calcium intake and dress habits. Data about HIV status and treatment regimens were collected from the patients charts. Serum hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels, bone turnover markers and bone densitometry were evaluated.28 (65%) of Ethiopians and 2 (6.25%) of Caucasians had 25(OH)D serum levels <10 ng/ml (vitamin D deficiency), p = 0.001. 21 (67.7%) Ethiopians and 16 (39%) Caucasians avoided sun exposure, p = 0.019. Mean daily calcium intake was 491 268.6 mg and 279 252.6 mg, respectively, p = 0.001. Z scores < -1 found at Lumbar spine in 26 (89.7%), at Femoral neck in 20 (69%) at Total hip in 17 (58.6%) of vitamin D deficient patients compared to 20 (48.8%), 17 (41.5%), 9 (22%), in patients with 25(OH)D > 10 ng/ml, p < 0.01, <0.03, <0.001, respectively. Significantly more Ethiopian than Caucasian women covered their face (32.3% and 9.5%, p = 0.003) and hands (58.1% and 30.9%, p = 0.03). There was no difference in bone turnover markers levels.Poorer vitamin D status was observed in Ethiopian women might be one of the important factors related to lower BMD in this group.

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