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Adv Immunol. 2018;138:195-256. doi: 10.1016/bs.ai.2018.03.002. Epub 2018 Apr 26.

Molecular Aspects of Allergens and Allergy.

Author information

1
Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; NRC Institute of Immunology FMBA of Russia, Moscow, Russia. Electronic address: rudolf.valenta@meduniwien.ac.at.
2
Laboratory of Immunopathology, Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow, Russia.
3
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
4
Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
5
Department of Medicine Solna, Immunology and Allergy Unit, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
6
Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; International Network of Universities for Molecular Allergology and Immunology, Vienna, Austria.
7
NRC Institute of Immunology FMBA of Russia, Moscow, Russia.
8
Department of Internal Medicine I, Division of Hematology & Hemostaseology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
9
Institute of Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-associated allergy is the most common immune disorder. More than 30% of the population suffer from symptoms of allergy which are often severe, disabling, and life threatening such as asthma and anaphylaxis. Population-based birth cohort studies show that up to 60% of the world population exhibit IgE sensitization to allergens, of which most are protein antigens. Thirty years ago the first allergen-encoding cDNAs have been isolated. In the meantime, the structures of most of the allergens relevant for disease in humans have been solved. Here we provide an update regarding what has been learned through the use of defined allergen molecules (i.e., molecular allergology) and about mechanisms of allergic disease in humans. We focus on new insights gained regarding the process of sensitization to allergens, allergen-specific secondary immune responses, and mechanisms underlying allergic inflammation and discuss open questions. We then show how molecular forms of diagnosis and specific immunotherapy are currently revolutionizing diagnosis and treatment of allergic patients and how allergen-specific approaches may be used for the preventive eradication of allergy.

KEYWORDS:

Allergen; Allergy; Immunoglobulin E; Molecular allergology; Recombinant allergen

PMID:
29731005
DOI:
10.1016/bs.ai.2018.03.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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