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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2006 Sep;17(6):408-15.

Clinical and immunologic effects of sublingual immunotherapy in asthmatic children sensitized to mites: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study.

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Department of Pediatrics, Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.


Immunotherapy through oral routes is thought to be a valuable therapeutic option for asthma. The clinical and immunologic effects of sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in children with asthma caused by mites were evaluated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study for 6 months. Patients (aged 6-12 yr) with mild-to-moderate asthma, with single sensitization to mite allergen, received either SLIT or placebo with a standardized Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (D.p.)/D. farinae (D.f.) 50/50 extract. The cumulative dose was around 41824 IR, equivalent to 1.7 mg of D.p. and 3.0 mg of D.f. allergen. Symptom and medication scores were assessed throughout the study. Serum total immunoglobulin (Ig)E, eosinophil count, eosinophil cationic protein, specific IgE, specific IgG4, and skin sensitivity were evaluated before starting the treatment and after the treatment period. Twenty patients completed the study. At the beginning of the treatment, no differences were observed between the groups for symptom and medication scores, skin sensitivity, or immunologic parameters. After 6 months of treatment, there was a significant difference in nighttime asthma symptom scores and specific IgG4 (p < 0.05) in the SLIT group compared with the placebo group. Daytime symptom and medication scores, total IgE, eosinophil count, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and mean evening peak expiratory flow rate reached significant differences in the SLIT group during the treatment period (p < 0.05). No severe adverse effects were reported. Our results revealed that treatment for 6 months with SLIT is clinically effective in decreasing asthmatic symptoms and medication use in children with mild-to-moderate asthma because of mite sensitivity. The clinical usefulness of this form of immunotherapy and the mechanism underlying its immunologic effects deserve further studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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