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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009 Feb;123(2):328-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2008.12.1113.

Advances in basic and clinical immunology in 2008.

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Department of Pediatrics, Allergy and Immunology Section, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex, USA.


We reviewed selected reports in the field of basic and clinical immunology published in 2008. Research progress in the immunologic mechanisms of allergic disease included the modulation of T(H)2 responses by specific transcription factors and receptors associated with the innate immunity, underscoring the importance of the interactions between adaptive and innate immune mechanisms. Investigations of the pathophysiology of hereditary angioedema included a variety of host factors with roles in bradykinin metabolism and vasomotor activity, explaining the variable severity of the clinical presentation. The research focus in HIV infection has shifted from control of disease progression to the barriers for viral eradication, and the search for vaccine designs that provide immunity in the short window between infection and establishment of viral reservoirs. HIV-infected individuals who receive antiviral treatment develop a high incidence of asthma, resembling the inflammatory processes associated with immunoreconstitution. The correlation of molecular diagnosis and clinical presentation was analyzed in 4 relatively rare primary immunodeficiencies: hyper-IgE syndrome; immune dysfunction, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked disease; cartilage-hair hypoplasia; and nuclear factor-kappaB essential modulator deficiency. Studies of patients with partial DiGeorge syndrome and chronic granulomatous disease unveiled subclinical deficiencies that might have an impact in their care. Long-term outcomes from patients with severe combined immunodeficiency who received bone marrow transplants were considered successful compared with the alternative of no intervention. However, the occurrence of adverse events reinforces the need for coordinate efforts to develop optimal protocols for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for severe immune defects.

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