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Efficacy, safety, and modulation of immunologic markers by immunotherapy with honeybee venom: Comparison of standardized quality depot versus aqueous extract

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Venom immunotherapy (IT) is a very effective method for the treatment of Hymenoptera venom allergy. We compared safety, efficacy, and modulation of specific immunologic parameters in 70 patients sensitized to Apis mellifera, treated for ≥5 years with standardized quality (SQ) aqueous IT, either with a rush (n = 20) or with a cluster (n = 20) induction protocol, or with an SQ depot extract and a cluster induction protocol (n = 30). We made an open, noncontrolled study. Side effects were monitored and the effects of field stings during the maintenance phase of the treatment and after its interruption were recorded. Skin reactivity to Apis was measured by end point dilution and specific serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) were measured by a solid-phase–based assay. The depot IT was better tolerated than aqueous IT with rush induction. This was caused by mainly the lower frequency in the induction phase of systemic side effects (3.4% versus 36.8% [p < 0.0041] on a "per patient" and 0.1% versus 0.9% [p = 0.0092] on a "per dose "basis, respectively). The cluster protocol with the aqueous extract tended to be better tolerated that the rush protocol. About one-half of patients from each group were re-stung during the study and all suffered only minor discomfort. Reduction of skin reactivity and of serum-specific IgE was significant in the three groups (p < 0.02 in all cases). SQ Depot IT to Apis venom allergy administered with a cluster protocol induces less side effects and is equally effective then IT with SQ aqueous extract administered with a rush protocol.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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