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

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.
A study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of immunotherapy in ragweed-induced rhinoconjunctivitis using an environmental exposure unit.
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.
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.
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
  • 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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