Vaccines offer hope to allergies and asthma in children

Allergies and asthma caused by mites could be controlled in the long term after the application of a 36-month treatment with immunotherapy (allergy shots).

This was suggested by a study in the October issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, published American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

Allergies are a common problem in the world and also in Costa Rica, where it is considered that 65% of the population, especially children, suffer from some type of allergy.

This study was conducted with 84 children who are allergic to dust mites, tiny organisms that are present in environments where people and animals, they feed on skin flakes and dandruff. So it is easier to find in pillows, mattresses and upholstered furniture.

The pulmonologist Rican Lidyana Avila said, children with asthma, a group of them becomes sensitive to allergens, ie waste or feces that produce mites or cockroaches, for example. These allergies should be treated by specialists using immunotherapy programs, said.

According to the allergist David Romero, immunization is “the only treatment to date able to change the natural course of a disease. All other treatments are symptomatic treatments to control it. ”

ACAAI study stated that the duration of treatment may be less than five. “Our research shows that three years is adequate time for the treatment of childhood asthma associated with house dust mites. Another two years provide no clinical benefit, “said Iwona Stelmach, lead author of the study.

The investigation concluded that after that period, asthma in children relented, leading to the reduction and even discontinuation of the drug.

“For a long time it has been observed that the effectiveness of immunotherapy continues long after treatment ends,” said allergist James Sublett, of ACAAI.

James also noted that research is one of the first to investigate the benefits of therapies of varying duration.

The doctor said that in addition to bring benefits to patients, this finding could imply lower costs for health.

The national specialist David Romero agreed that, in general, just over three years to improve the patient’s condition. However, he explained that the therapy can be extended to four or five years, since it is possible that other factors are involved.

Depends if the patient has other associated allergies or even the number of allergens to which the person is sensitized. “If a child is allergic to many things and I give him only for a particular treatment, maybe that makes his allergies generally better, but not so much because there are other factors that have not been addressed,” said Romero.

For that reason, the doctor stressed the importance of going to a specialist to identify, through allergy testing, allergen to which the patient is sensitive.