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Efficacy of immunotherapy to ragweed antigen tested by controlled antigen exposure.

AbstractBACKGROUND:
Immunotherapy is a recognized component in the management of allergic rhinitis. Its efficacy has been evaluated in a number of clinical field trials. These methods of evaluation are limited by control of antigen exposure.
OBJECTIVE:
A study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of immunotherapy in ragweed-induced rhinoconjunctivitis using an environmental exposure unit.
METHODS:
Forty-three subjects were grouped into (1) immunotherapy group: ragweed-allergic subjects on maintenance ragweed immunotherapy for at least 2 years (N = 16), (2) positive control group: ragweed-allergic subjects who had never received immunotherapy (n = 16), and (3) negative control group: ragweed-nonallergic subjects (N = 11). Ragweed specific skin tests and ragweed IgE levels were obtained prior to exposure. The study was done in a room where levels of 2,500 to 3,000 grains m3 of ragweed were maintained over three hours. Symptoms were recorded every 15 minutes.
RESULTS:
Nasal symptoms in the immunotherapy group were significantly less than in the positive control group after 45 minutes (P = .025). Significant differences were not observed for ocular symptoms. Combined nasal and ocular scores were 50% less in the immunotherapy group than in the positive control group by 75 minutes (P = .039). Ragweed-specific skin tests and IgE were significantly less in the immunotherapy group than in the positive control group. Rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms in the negative control group were absent throughout.
CONCLUSIONS:
Controlled ragweed pollen exposure in this setting demonstrated that ragweed immunotherapy significantly reduced symptoms of ragweed-allergic rhinitis but had no significant effect on ocular symptoms. This system presents opportunities for additional studies on immunotherapy for allergic respiratory conditions.
AuthorsJ P Donovan, D L Buckeridge, M P Briscoe, R H Clark, J H Day
JournalAnnals of allergy, asthma & immunology : official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol) Vol. 77 Issue 1 Pg. 74-80 (Jul 1996) ISSN: 1081-1206 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID8705641 (Publication Type: Clinical Trial, Controlled Clinical Trial, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Allergens
  • Plant Proteins
Topics
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Allergens (administration & dosage, adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Environment, Controlled
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Active
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Proteins (administration & dosage, adverse effects, therapeutic use)
  • Pollen (immunology)
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal (immunology, therapy)

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