Allergy Immunotherapy

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Allergy immunotherapy (AIT), also referred to as allergen desensitization or hypo-sensitization was first introduced by Leonard Noon and John Freeman in 1911, they proposed that people with hay fever were sensitive to grass pollen toxins. Noon is credited for developing a process involved in the extraction of timothy pollen in distilled water and then boiling it to create an extract. This extract was then injected in increasing doses to alleviate symptoms in patients. This concept is widely in use today with a modified approach. Currently, the term immunotherapy is used to describe all methods to overcome abnormal immune responses with induction of clonal deletion, anergy, immune tolerance, and immune deviation. However, the term desensitization is "a method, to develop a temporary state of tolerance to an agent responsible for an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction." Furthermore, immunotherapy is a disease-modifying treatment and the effects can last longer even after stopping the treatment, which then provides prophylactic effects.

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