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Vaccine. 2012 Jun 19;30(29):4328-35. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.11.011. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Mechanisms underlying allergy vaccination with recombinant hypoallergenic allergen derivatives.

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Division of Immunopathology, Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Center of Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


Hundred years ago therapeutic vaccination with allergen-containing extracts has been introduced as a clinically effective, disease-modifying, allergen-specific and long-lasting form of therapy for allergy, a hypersensitivity disease affecting more than 25% of the population. Today, the structures of most of the disease-causing allergens have been elucidated and recombinant hypoallergenic allergen derivatives with reduced allergenic activity have been engineered to reduce side effects during allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT). These recombinant hypoallergens have been characterized in vitro, in experimental animal models and in clinical trials in allergic patients. This review provides a summary of the molecular, immunological and preclinical evaluation criteria applied for this new generation of allergy vaccines. Furthermore, we summarize the mechanisms underlying SIT with recombinant hypoallergens which are thought to be responsible for their therapeutic effect.

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