This review highlights some of the research advances in anaphylaxis; hypersensitivity reactions to foods, drugs, and insects; and allergic skin diseases that were reported in the Journal in 2012. Studies support an increase in peanut allergy prevalence in children and exposure to the antibacterial agent triclosan and having filaggrin (FLG) loss-of-function mutations as risk factors for food sensitization. The role of specific foods in causing eosinophilic esophagitis is elucidated by several studies, and microRNA analysis is identified as a possible noninvasive disease biomarker. Studies on food allergy diagnosis emphasize the utility of component testing and the possibility of improved diagnosis through stepped approaches, epitope-binding analysis, and bioinformatics. Treatment studies of food allergy show promise for oral immunotherapy, but tolerance induction remains elusive, and additional therapies are under study. Studies on anaphylaxis suggest an important role for platelet-activating factor and its relationship to the need for prompt treatment with epinephrine. Insights on the pathophysiology and diagnosis of non-IgE-mediated drug allergy are offered, with novel data regarding the interaction of drugs with HLA molecules. Numerous studies support influenza vaccination of persons with egg allergy using modest precautions. Evidence continues to mount that there is cross-talk between skin barrier defects and immune responses in patients with atopic dermatitis. Augmentation of the skin barrier with reduction in skin inflammatory responses will likely lead to the most effective intervention in patients with this common skin disease.
Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.