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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2013 Nov;111(5):415-419.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2013.08.011. Epub 2013 Sep 10.

Allergy training and immunotherapy in Latin America: results of a regional overview.

Author information

1
Research Center for Respiratory Medicine (CIMER), Catholic University, Fundación LIBRA, Córdoba, Argentina.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

One main practice gap in allergology that has been detected in several regions of the world is the application of specific immunotherapy (SIT). The prescription and practice of SIT should characterize allergologic specialists, but there are regional discrepancies in such practice. A detailed knowledge of the regulatory and legislation aspects and drawbacks would help improve and harmonize SIT practice.

OBJECTIVE:

To describe in Latin America the level of allergy training and the characteristics of the use of SIT, including the medical and legal aspects.

METHODS:

Three sources were used: a 24-item questionnaire sent to 22 allergologic leaders in 11 Latin American countries, 2 face-to-face meetings, and information from health authorities involved in the approval of medical substances.

RESULTS:

In 56% of countries, the specialty of allergology is a third-level care specialty and/or a subspecialty. Two countries have a special training program for pediatric allergists. Passing a board examination is mandatory in 3 countries, and recertification every 2 to 5 years occurs without examination. Sublingual and subcutaneous SITs are available in all Latin American countries. No legislation restricts SIT prescription and it can be performed by nonspecialists in 7 of 11 countries. In 90% of countries, allergists use allergen extracts from the United States (subcutaneous immunotherapy) and Europe (sublingual and subcutaneous immunotherapies), and 50% also manufacture extracts locally. Only 1 country has legal requirements for the quality of raw materials.

CONCLUSION:

The present analysis helps to identify gaps in the field of allergologic training and SIT in Latin America, many of them amendable.

PMID:
24125151
DOI:
10.1016/j.anai.2013.08.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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