About this Research Topic
It is difficult to disentangle the courses of asthma and allergies in childhood as there are common risk factors, including genetic background, and immunologic pathways which lead to a common wheezing syndrome. The parallelism of both conditions is such that certain experts do not consider proper asthma but allergic asthma. However, asthma phenotypes in children are more diverse and the importance of allergic disease in each of them varies. This Research Topic focuses on different areas such as epidemiology; genetics; pathophysiology; diagnosis; prediction and prevention; and management where the allergic condition is important for childhood asthma either as parallel entity or as a way to better phenotyping and thus managing asthma. The section on Epidemiology covers risk factors which could be associated both to asthma and allergies and focuses on the most relevant of them, trying to disentangle whether those factors are independently associated to both conditions or are mediated by each other and to what direction. The section on Genetic covers the role of allergy in gene-environmental interactions and also to what extent epigenetic changes are associated to asthma and are mediated or not by allergy. Common pathophysiology pathways of asthma and allergy are also covered in a specific section, also with the aim of underlying those which might be driving to one or the other condition. A diagnosis section is mainly devoted to biomarkers, both in blood and in breath condensate, which might distinguish between atopic and non-atopic asthma and even to predict asthma in the still non-symptomatic child. Prediction and prevention of allergy and asthma, and atopic and non-atopic asthma, is addressed in a specific section. The role of several interventions which have received much attention recently, such as PUFAs, vitamin D or probiotics are included here. To end, the “anti-allergic” treatments such as subcutaneous and sublingual immunotherapy; anti-IL5; and anti-IgE; and their role in asthma are analysed in the last section of this Research Topic.
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