Research Topic

Allergen Immunotherapy for Airborne and Food Allergens: Efficacy and Immunological Mechanisms

About this Research Topic

Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is a disease-modifying treatment for IgE-mediated diseases induced by aeroallergens and food allergens. The efficacy of AIT for airborne allergens is somewhat different from food allergens. The management of allergy induced by aeroallergens involves (i) allergen avoidance; (ii) the use of antihistamines and (iii) nasal corticosteroids. Those who do not respond to pharmacotherapy are than eligible to receive AIT. Long-term administration of AIT results in the modulation of innate and adaptive immune responses and the induction of tolerance. The disease-modifying effect is both antigen-specific and antigen-driven. Clinical improvement is accompanied by decreases in effector cells in target organs including mast cells, basophils, eosinophils and type 2 innate lymphoid cells. AIT also results in the suppression of Th2 immunity which occurs as a consequence of either deletion and/or anergy of antigen-specific Th2 cells, the induction of antigen-specific T regulatory cells and/or immune deviation in favor of Th1 responses. Moreover, AIT is associated with the induction of B regulatory cells that produce of blocking IgG antibodies that can inhibit IgE-dependent activation mediated via both FcεRI (mast cells and basophils) and FcεRII (facilitated antigen presentation) mediated pro-allergic responses.

The management of food allergy is rather challenging as there is no cure and avoidance is not always possible. AIT administered orally (OIT) has proven useful in desensitizing food-allergic patients. Unlike AIT that confers long-term clinical benefit, OIT only confers short term changes in the threshold of allergen concentration that can be tolerated. Although safe, novel approaches that utilize biologicals can be given in conjunction with AIT or OIT. For example, anti-IgE in conjunction with AIT/OIT allows the safe up-dosing the treatment and prevent severe adverse reactions. The immunological and molecular mechanisms underpinning efficacy and long-term disease-modifying properties of AIT and short-term for OIT remains to be investigated.

In this Research Topic, we aim to provide an overview of the efficacy, safety and underpinning mechanisms of AIT and OIT. We welcome the submission of Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Original Research, and Clinical Trial articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

1. Efficacy and safety of subcutaneous and sublingual immunotherapy to aeroallergens.
2. Outcome measures for Allergen Immunotherapy – an objective approach.
3. Epigenetic landscape of regulatory T/ B cell in allergy and immunotherapy.
4. Innate immune cells in allergy to aeroallergens and food allergens.
5. Biomarkers of AIT and OIT.
6. Novel therapeutic approaches to treat allergy to airborne and food allergy.
7. From pre-clinical studies to Phase III studies: What are the challenges?


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is a disease-modifying treatment for IgE-mediated diseases induced by aeroallergens and food allergens. The efficacy of AIT for airborne allergens is somewhat different from food allergens. The management of allergy induced by aeroallergens involves (i) allergen avoidance; (ii) the use of antihistamines and (iii) nasal corticosteroids. Those who do not respond to pharmacotherapy are than eligible to receive AIT. Long-term administration of AIT results in the modulation of innate and adaptive immune responses and the induction of tolerance. The disease-modifying effect is both antigen-specific and antigen-driven. Clinical improvement is accompanied by decreases in effector cells in target organs including mast cells, basophils, eosinophils and type 2 innate lymphoid cells. AIT also results in the suppression of Th2 immunity which occurs as a consequence of either deletion and/or anergy of antigen-specific Th2 cells, the induction of antigen-specific T regulatory cells and/or immune deviation in favor of Th1 responses. Moreover, AIT is associated with the induction of B regulatory cells that produce of blocking IgG antibodies that can inhibit IgE-dependent activation mediated via both FcεRI (mast cells and basophils) and FcεRII (facilitated antigen presentation) mediated pro-allergic responses.

The management of food allergy is rather challenging as there is no cure and avoidance is not always possible. AIT administered orally (OIT) has proven useful in desensitizing food-allergic patients. Unlike AIT that confers long-term clinical benefit, OIT only confers short term changes in the threshold of allergen concentration that can be tolerated. Although safe, novel approaches that utilize biologicals can be given in conjunction with AIT or OIT. For example, anti-IgE in conjunction with AIT/OIT allows the safe up-dosing the treatment and prevent severe adverse reactions. The immunological and molecular mechanisms underpinning efficacy and long-term disease-modifying properties of AIT and short-term for OIT remains to be investigated.

In this Research Topic, we aim to provide an overview of the efficacy, safety and underpinning mechanisms of AIT and OIT. We welcome the submission of Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Original Research, and Clinical Trial articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following topics:

1. Efficacy and safety of subcutaneous and sublingual immunotherapy to aeroallergens.
2. Outcome measures for Allergen Immunotherapy – an objective approach.
3. Epigenetic landscape of regulatory T/ B cell in allergy and immunotherapy.
4. Innate immune cells in allergy to aeroallergens and food allergens.
5. Biomarkers of AIT and OIT.
6. Novel therapeutic approaches to treat allergy to airborne and food allergy.
7. From pre-clinical studies to Phase III studies: What are the challenges?


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

13 March 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

13 March 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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