The 2018 Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

The annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology was held from Nov. 15 to 19 in Seattle and attracted approximately 3,500 participants from around the world, including allergy and immunology specialists as well as other health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in the prevention and treatment of asthma, food and medication allergies, immune dysfunction, and sleep apnea.

In one study, Alex Cooper, of Seattle Children’s Hospital, and colleagues found that EpiPen devices left in freezing temperatures for 24 hours were at low risk for malfunction.

“EpiPen devices that were frozen for 24 hours then thawed fired a similar amount of epinephrine solution as devices that were stored within manufacturer-recommended temperature ranges. Additionally, the internal mechanisms of the frozen devices remained undamaged, indicating that freezing temperatures were not detrimental to structure or firing mechanisms of the EpiPen once the device was thawed,” Cooper said. “While freezing an EpiPen is not recommended, one excursion to low or even freezing temperatures is unlikely to impair device function once the device returns to room temperature.”

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In another study, Anil Nanda, M.D., of the Asthma and Allergy Center in Lewisville, Texas, and colleagues found that allergy shots improved symptoms associated with atopic dermatitis (eczema) presented in a 48-year-old male patient.

As part of the case study, the investigators noted that the patient had suffered with atopic dermatitis since childhood. In performing skin testing, the researchers found that the patient was allergic to dust mites, weeds, trees, grasses, mold, and cats and dogs. The patient was treated with allergy shots, and one year after the injections, the patient presented with significant improvement in his symptoms and no longer required the use of high-dose steroids.

“The key point is that despite multiple treatments for atopic dermatitis, some patients still have symptoms and issues with this condition. Some patients do have side effects to the available topical treatments and may not be eligible for other therapies such as biological,” Nanda said. “Allergen immunotherapy can improve the symptoms of atopic dermatitis in some patients. Additional larger studies are needed.”

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Eliane Abou-Jaoude, M.D., of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and colleagues found that cleaning a child’s pacifier by sucking on it before giving it back to the child was associated with an altered total immunoglobulin E (IgE) trajectory over the first 18 months of life.

The investigators also found that pacifier cleaning by hot water sterilization or hand washing did not impact IgE production. The association between parental pacifier sucking and a suppressed IgE trajectory was detectable beginning around 10 months of age and persisted through 18 months.

“Although these results do not establish a cause-and-effect relationship, these results support the concept that transfer of parental microbiota to children may suppress IgE production, a biomarker linked to the development of childhood allergic disorders,” Abou-Jaoude said. “This was not a cause-and-effect study, so we cannot state that if you clean your child’s pacifier by sucking on the pacifier that the child will have low IgE levels and not develop allergies. We are not telling parents to change pacifier cleaning methods. We can say that the microbes a child is exposed to in infancy can affect the development of the immune system.”

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ACAAI: Oral Immunotherapy Is Protective in Peanut Allergy

MONDAY, Nov. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Patients with peanut allergy who received oral immunotherapy, compared with those who received placebo, were able to ingest higher doses of peanut protein without dose-limiting symptoms, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 15 to 19 in Seattle.

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ACAAI: Hospital Stay, Caregiver Knowledge of Asthma Linked

FRIDAY, Nov. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For children hospitalized with asthma exacerbations, caregiver knowledge predicts length of stay, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 15 to 19 in Seattle.

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ACAAI: Almost 2 Percent of Children Have Milk Allergy

FRIDAY, Nov. 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Almost 2 percent of children in the United States have a milk allergy, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 15 to 19 in Seattle.

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