Background: Hymenoptera venom immunotherapy (VIT) is a clinically effective treatment. However, little is known about its long-term clinical efficacy and biological effects. Several mechanisms have been proposed to account for VIT efficacy, including reduction of specific IgE and induction of allergen-specific IgG4, but the overall picture remains elusive. We investigated Vespula VIT clinical efficacy up to 8 years after discontinuation and the kinetics of Vespula-specific IgE and IgG4. Out of 686 consecutive patients we retrospectively selected and analysed a series of 23 patients with Vespula allergy that underwent a 5-year IT course, followed by a prolonged follow-up. Methods: Clinical efficacy of VIT was assessed as number and severity of reactions to Vespula re-stinging events. The presence of Vespula-specific IgE and IgG4was also monitored over time. Results: During the VIT treatment, patients were protected, reporting no reactions or mild reactions in occasion of re-stinging events. This protection was entirely maintained during the follow-up, up to 8 years. Skin reactivity (reflecting mast cell-bound Vespula-specific IgE) and circulating Vespula-specific IgE levels declined substantially during VIT. Notably, this reduction was maintained over time during the follow-up. Moreover, all the patients were analysed for IgG4. A robust induction of Vespula-specific IgG4was observed during the VIT course, with a substantial decline during the follow-up. Conclusions: We conclude that Vespula VIT is a clinically effective treatment, which induces long-term protection after discontinuation. The reduction of specific IgE, assessed by skin tests and RAST, closely matches the VIT- induced protection, while the IgG4induction seems not to be associated with VIT clinical efficacy in the long term.

A 13-year real-life study on efficacy, safety and biological effects of Vespula venom immunotherapy

Caiaffa, Maria Filomena;
2018

Abstract

Background: Hymenoptera venom immunotherapy (VIT) is a clinically effective treatment. However, little is known about its long-term clinical efficacy and biological effects. Several mechanisms have been proposed to account for VIT efficacy, including reduction of specific IgE and induction of allergen-specific IgG4, but the overall picture remains elusive. We investigated Vespula VIT clinical efficacy up to 8 years after discontinuation and the kinetics of Vespula-specific IgE and IgG4. Out of 686 consecutive patients we retrospectively selected and analysed a series of 23 patients with Vespula allergy that underwent a 5-year IT course, followed by a prolonged follow-up. Methods: Clinical efficacy of VIT was assessed as number and severity of reactions to Vespula re-stinging events. The presence of Vespula-specific IgE and IgG4was also monitored over time. Results: During the VIT treatment, patients were protected, reporting no reactions or mild reactions in occasion of re-stinging events. This protection was entirely maintained during the follow-up, up to 8 years. Skin reactivity (reflecting mast cell-bound Vespula-specific IgE) and circulating Vespula-specific IgE levels declined substantially during VIT. Notably, this reduction was maintained over time during the follow-up. Moreover, all the patients were analysed for IgG4. A robust induction of Vespula-specific IgG4was observed during the VIT course, with a substantial decline during the follow-up. Conclusions: We conclude that Vespula VIT is a clinically effective treatment, which induces long-term protection after discontinuation. The reduction of specific IgE, assessed by skin tests and RAST, closely matches the VIT- induced protection, while the IgG4induction seems not to be associated with VIT clinical efficacy in the long term.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11369/364961
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