About this Research Topic
The widespread occurrence of allergic diseases has become a major public health problem in the Western world. Allergies are now the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the United States, with an economic burden in excess of $18 billion in terms of health care costs. In particular, the past few decades have been marked by an exponential increase in the development of IgE-mediated allergic conditions such as asthma (7.8%), atopic dermatitis (3-20% in children) and food allergy (8-10%). Antigen-induced allergic diseases constitute unwanted and unnecessary inflammatory responses to otherwise harmless antigens. Recent advances in basic research have led to the discovery and characterization of many novel cell types, molecular pathways and genetic /epigenetic mechanisms that have greatly enhanced our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis and regulation of allergic inflammation.
It is becoming evident that the development of allergic inflammation can no longer be understood within the narrow spectrum of IgE-mediated reactions or Th1/Th2 dichotomy. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that active immune mechanisms exist to prevent, or minimize, reactivity to endogenous and exogenous self-antigens. Accordingly, asthma and other atopic disorders may be attributed to failure of these active tolerance mechanisms. The balance between tolerance and inflammation involves a complex interplay between various cell types (both immune and non-immune), different molecular pathways, as well as various environmental and epigenetic factors. The culmination of several years of research aimed at understanding these variables has resulted in the elucidation of several new therapeutic targets and fast-track approval of drugs such as dupilumab and omalizumab. Even more drugs that target putative mechanistic pathways involved in allergy are currently undergoing clinical trials. Despite this, much still remains to be understood in terms of a unifying approach towards understanding the basis of allergic disease.
The goal of this Research Topic is to increase our understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of allergic diseases in light of recent advances in the field, and with a specific emphasis on molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating immunity, genetics, and the environment. In particular, we welcome articles that shed novel light on how various immune, genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development, prevention and treatment of allergic diseases. We welcome the submission of Original Research, Reviews, Mini-Review, Case Studies and Clinical Trial articles that address the following topics:
1. Molecular and cellular dynamics regulating atopic versus non-atopic allergic diseases.
2. Processes and mechanisms underlying allergic sensitization.
3. Contributions of immune cells and their mediators in allergic inflammation.
4. Tolerogenic mechanisms in allergy including the role of regulatory cells and maternal risk transmission.
5. The role of genetic factors in allergic disease including epigenetic modifications.
6. Impact of environmental factors such as infection and air pollutants on allergic disease.
7. The elucidation of novel targets or drugs aimed at therapy for allergic diseases.
Keywords: Allergy, Allergic Inflammation, IgE
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