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Allergol Int. 2016 Jul;65(3):243-52. doi: 10.1016/j.alit.2016.04.011. Epub 2016 Jun 6.

Endotypes of allergic diseases and asthma: An important step in building blocks for the future of precision medicine.

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Faculty of Medicine, Transylvania University, Brasov, Romania. Electronic address:
Swiss Institute for Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), University of Zurich, Davos, Switzerland; Christine K├╝hne-Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE), Davos, Switzerland.


Discoveries from basic science research in the last decade have brought significant progress in knowledge of pathophysiologic processes of allergic diseases, with a compelling impact on understanding of the natural history, risk prediction, treatment selection or mechanism-specific prevention strategies. The view of the pathophysiology of allergic diseases developed from a mechanistic approach, with a focus on symptoms and organ function, to the recognition of a complex network of immunological pathways. Several subtypes of inflammation and complex immune-regulatory networks and the reasons for their failure are now described, that open the way for the development of new diagnostic tools and innovative targeted-treatments. An endotype is a subtype of a disease condition, which is defined by a distinct pathophysiological mechanism, whereas a disease phenotype defines any observable characteristic of a disease without any implication of a mechanism. Another key word linked to disease endotyping is biomarker that is measured and evaluated to examine any biological or pathogenic processes, including response to a therapeutic intervention. These three keywords will be discussed more and more in the future with the upcoming efforts to revolutionize patient care in the direction of precision medicine and precision health. The understanding of disease endotypes based on pathophysiological principles and their validation across clinically meaningful outcomes in asthma, allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis, atopic dermatitis and food allergy will be crucial for the success of precision medicine as a new approach to patient management.


Allergic diseases; Asthma; Biomarkers; Endotypes; Precision medicine

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