Immunotherapy with a standardized Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus extract. VI. Specific immunotherapy prevents the onset of new sensitizations in children

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Apr;99(4):450-3. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(97)70069-1.


Background: The natural history of allergic sensitization is complex and poorly understood. A prospective nonrandomized study was carried out in a population of asthmatic children younger than 6 years of age whose only allergic sensitivity was to house dust mites (HDMs).

Objectives: The study was designed to determine whether specific immunotherapy (SIT) with standardized allergen extracts could prevent the development of new sensitizations over a 3-year follow-up survey.

Methods: We studied 22 children monosensitized to HDM who were receiving SIT with standardized allergen extracts and 22 other age-matched control subjects who were monosensitized to HDM. The initial investigation included a full clinical history, skin tests with a panel of standardized allergens, and the measurement of allergen-specific IgE, depending on the results of skin tests. Children were followed up on an annual basis for 3 years, and the development of new sensitizations in each group was recorded.

Results: Ten of 22 children monosensitized to HDM who were receiving SIT did not have new sensitivities compared with zero of 22 children in the control group (p = 0.001, chi square test).

Conclusions: This study suggests that SIT in children monosensitized to HDM alters the natural course of allergy in preventing the development of new sensitizations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens / administration & dosage*
  • Antigens, Dermatophagoides
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / methods*
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Glycoproteins / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Immunization*
  • Male
  • Mites / immunology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skin Tests
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Antigens
  • Antigens, Dermatophagoides
  • Glycoproteins