Heimo Breiteneder

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Modern healthcare requires a proactive and individualized response to diseases, combining precision diagnosis and personalized treatment. Accordingly, the approach to patients with allergic diseases encompasses novel developments in the area of personalized medicine, disease phenotyping and endotyping and the development and application of reliable biomarkers. A detailed clinical history and physical examination followed by the detection of IgE immunoreactivity against specific allergens still represents the state of the art. However, nowadays, further emphasis focuses on the optimization of diagnostic and therapeutic standards and a large number of studies have been investigating the biomarkers of allergic diseases, including asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, food allergy, urticaria and anaphylaxis. Various biomarkers have been developed by omics technologies, some of which lead to a better classification of the distinct phenotypes or endotypes. The introduction of biologicals to clinical practice increases the need for biomarkers for patient selection, prediction of outcomes and monitoring, to allow for an adequate choice of the duration of these costly and long-lasting therapies. Escalating healthcare costs together with questions on the efficacy of the current management of allergic diseases requires further development of a biomarker-driven approach. Here, we review biomarkers in diagnosis and treatment of asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, viral infections, chronic rhinosinusitis, food allergy, drug hypersensitivity and allergen-immunotherapy with a special emphasis on specific IgE, microbiome and epithelial barrier. In addition, EAACI guidelines on biologicals are discussed within the perspective of biomarkers.

Lacin Cevhertas

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The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) provides a common language for use worldwide as a diagnostic and classification tool for epidemiology, clinical purposes and health management. Since its first edition, the ICD has maintained a framework distributing conditions according to topography, with the result that some complex conditions, such as allergies and hypersensitivity disorders (A/H) including anaphylaxis, have been poorly represented. The change in hierarchy in ICD-11 permitted the construction of the pioneer section addressed to A/H, which may result in more accurate mortality and morbidity statistics, including more accurate accounting for mortality due to anaphylaxis, strengthen classification, terminology and definitions. The ICD-11 was presented and adopted by the 72nd World Health Assembly in May 2019 and the implementation is ongoing worldwide. We here present the outcomes from an online survey undertaken to reach out the allergy community worldwide in order to peer review the terminology, classification and definitions of A/H introduced into ICD-11 and to support their global implementation. Data are presented here for 406 respondents from 74 countries. All of the sub-sections of the new A/H section of the ICD-11 had been considered with good accuracy by the majority of respondents. We believe that, in addition to help during the implementation phase, all the comments provided will help to improve the A/H classification and to increase awareness by different disciplines of what actions are needed to ensure more accurate epidemiological data and better clinical management of A/H patients.


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In December 2019, China reported the first cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This disease, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has developed into a pandemic. To date it has resulted in ~5.6 million confirmed cases and caused 353,334 related deaths worldwide. Unequivocally, the COVID-19 pandemic is the gravest health and socio-economic crisis of our time. In this context, numerous questions have emerged in demand of basic scientific information and evidence-based medical advice on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Although the majority of the patients show a very mild, self-limiting viral respiratory disease, many clinical manifestations in severe patients are unique to COVID-19, such as severe lymphopenia and eosinopenia, extensive pneumonia, a “cytokine storm” leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome, endothelitis, thrombo-embolic complications and multiorgan failure. The epidemiologic features of COVID-19 are distinctive and have changed throughout the pandemic. Vaccine and drug development studies and clinical trials are rapidly growing at an unprecedented speed. However, basic and clinical research on COVID-19-related topics should be based on more coordinated high-quality studies. This paper answers pressing questions, formulated by young clinicians and scientists, on SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 and allergy, focusing on the following topics: virology, immunology, diagnosis, management of patients with allergic disease and asthma, treatment, clinical trials, drug discovery, vaccine development and epidemiology. Over 140 questions were answered by experts in the field providing a comprehensive and practical overview of COVID-19 and allergic disease.


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Since the first description of anaphylaxis in 1902, its clinical importance as an emergency condition has been recognized worldwide. Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening systemic hypersensitivity reaction characterized by rapid onset and the potential to endanger life through respiratory or circulatory compromise. It is usually, although not always, associated with skin and mucosal changes. Although the academic/scientific communities have advocated to promote greater awareness and protocols for management of anaphylaxis based on best evidence, there are few efforts documenting feedback as to the success of these efforts. In this document, we review the key unmet needs related to the diagnosis and management of anaphylaxis, propose a public health initiative for prevention measures and a timetable action plan which intends to strengthen the collaboration among health professionals and especially primary care physicians dealing with anaphylaxis that can encourage enhanced quality of care of patients with anaphylaxis. More than calling for harmonized action for best management of anaphylaxis to prevent undue morbidity and mortality, the Montpellier World Health Organization Collaborating Centre here proposes an action plan as a baseline for a global initiative against anaphylaxis. We strongly believe these collaborative efforts are a strong public health and societal priority that is consistent with the overarching goals of providing optimal care of allergic patients and best practices of allergology.