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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2005 Sep;138(1):88-96. Epub 2005 Aug 25.

Importance of databases in experimental and clinical allergology.

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Allergy Data Laboratories s.c., Via Malipiero 28, IT-04100 Latina, Italy.


Information technology (IT) is leading us to reconsider some of the approaches we have been using in both basic research and clinical work in allergology. Resources mainly coming from the advent of the Internet are further amplified by the parallel development of other new tools, such as molecular biology and nanotechnology. These three powerful tools are now available and are cross-linked to a certain degree to express their power when applied to biomedical fields. Bioinformatics applied to allergy simplifies our way of handling an increasing wealth of knowledge. This review assesses the current status of allergen databases that are mainly dedicated to sequence homology collection for computational purposes. Whether or not they integrate features that are now typical of IT in other biomedical fields is analyzed as well. The results of these analyses are discussed with a view to the critical need of integrating biochemical data with clinical, epidemiological information and how this goal can be reached by the use of proteomic microarrays for IgE detection. Future directions for a more comprehensive use of allergen databases are proposed.

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