Immunotherapy and asthma in children

Maria A. Tosca, Amelia Licari, Roberta Olcese, Gianluigi Marseglia, Oliviero Sacco, Giorgio Ciprandi

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey


Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is still the only disease-modifying treatment strategy for IgE-mediated allergic diseases, with consolidated evidence both in adults and children. AIT is effective in determining clinical improvement of allergic rhinitis and asthma, such as reduced symptoms,medication use, and improvement of quality of life, with a long-lasting effect after cessation of treatment. Results from recent clinical studies have implemented the evidence of effectiveness and safety of allergen immunotherapy for the treatment of allergic asthma, so that the current asthma guidelines now recommend sublingual immunotherapy as an add-on therapy for asthma in adults and adolescents with house dust mite allergy, allergic rhinitis, and exacerbations despite low-to-moderate dose ICS, with forced expiratory volume in 1 secondmore than 70%predicted. AITmay also reduce the risk of progression from allergic rhinitis to asthma in children and prevent the onset of new sensitizations, thus representing a potentially preventive method of treatment. The aim of this review is to present an updated overview of the clinical indications of AIT, with particular reference to pediatric asthma, of the mechanisms of clinical and immunological tolerance to allergens, and of the potential biomarkers predicting clinical response.

Original languageEnglish
Article number231
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - Aug 21 2018


  • Allergen immunotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma
  • Subcutaneous immunotherapy
  • Sublingual immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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