Mind the gaps: Clinical trial concepts to address unanswered questions in aeroallergen immunotherapy-An NIAID/AHRQ Workshop

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 May;143(5):1711-1726. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.01.032. Epub 2019 Feb 5.


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases organized a workshop to develop trial concepts that could improve the use and effectiveness of aeroallergen immunotherapy (AAIT). Expert groups were formed to accomplish the following tasks: (1) propose a study design to compare the effectiveness and safety of subcutaneous versus sublingual AAIT; (2) propose a study design to compare the effectiveness and safety of AAIT by using 1 or a few allergens versus all or most allergens to which a patient is sensitized; (3) propose a study design to determine whether AAIT can alter the progression of childhood allergic airways disease; and (4) propose a study design to determine the optimal dose and duration of AAIT to achieve maximal effectiveness with acceptable safety. Study designs were presented by the workgroups, extensively discussed at the workshop, and revised for this report. The proposed trials would be of long duration and require large highly characterized patient populations. Scientific caveats and feasibility matters are discussed. These concepts are intended to help the development of clinical trials that can address some of the major questions related to the practice of AAIT for the management and prevention of allergic airways disease.

Keywords: Aeroallergen; allergic rhinitis; asthma; immunotherapy; multi-allergen; prevention; rhinoconjunctivitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Sublingual
  • Air Pollutants / immunology
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Consensus Development Conferences, NIH as Topic
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / methods*
  • Education
  • Expert Testimony
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (U.S.)
  • Research Design
  • United States


  • Air Pollutants
  • Allergens