Novel ways for immune intervention in immunotherapy: mucosal allergy vaccines

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2006 May;26(2):283-306, vii-viii. doi: 10.1016/j.iac.2006.02.009.


Allergen-specific immunotherapy is currently the only curative treatment for allergy. Subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) has been successfully used to treat patients who are allergic to insect venom, house dust mites, or tree or grass pollens. In the context of potentially severe, albeit infrequent, side effects associated with SCIT, mucosal routes of administration are being investigated to conduct allergenic desensitization. This article reviews recent developments in the field of nasal, oral, and sublingual immunotherapy as they relate to safety, clinical efficacy, and immune mechanisms of action. Implications for the design and development of improved allergy vaccines that could be used through such nonparenteral routes are discussed. Specifically, allergen presentation platforms and adjuvants facilitating the targeting of immune cells at mucosal surfaces to promote tolerance induction are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Sublingual
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Mucous Membrane / drug effects
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage*


  • Allergens
  • Vaccines