Open Access Highly Accessed Position article and guidelines

Research needs in allergy: an EAACI position paper, in collaboration with EFA

Nikolaos G Papadopoulos1*, Ioana Agache2, Sevim Bavbek3, Beatrice M Bilo4, Fulvio Braido5, Victoria Cardona6, Adnan Custovic7, Jan deMonchy8, Pascal Demoly9, Philippe Eigenmann10, Jacques Gayraud11, Clive Grattan12, Enrico Heffler13, Peter W Hellings14, Marek Jutel15, Edward Knol16, Jan Lötvall17, Antonella Muraro18, Lars K Poulsen19, Graham Roberts20, Peter Schmid-Grendelmeier21, Chrysanthi Skevaki1, Massimo Triggiani22, Ronald vanRee23, Thomas Werfel24, Breda Flood25, Susanna Palkonen25, Roberta Savli25, Pia Allegri26, Isabella Annesi-Maesano27, Francesco Annunziato28, Dario Antolin-Amerigo29, Christian Apfelbacher30, Miguel Blanca31, Ewa Bogacka32, Patrizia Bonadonna33, Matteo Bonini34, Onur Boyman21, Knut Brockow35, Peter Burney36, Jeroen Buters37, Indre Butiene38, Moises Calderon39, Lars Olaf Cardell40, Jean-Christoph Caubet41, Sevcan Celenk42, Ewa Cichocka-Jarosz43, Cemal Cingi44, Mariana Couto45, Nicolette deJong46, Stefano Del Giacco47, Nikolaos Douladiris1, Filippo Fassio48, Jean-Luc Fauquert49, Javier Fernandez50, Montserrat Fernandez Rivas51, Marta Ferrer52, Carsten Flohr53, James Gardner54, Jon Genuneit55, Philippe Gevaert56, Anna Groblewska57, Eckard Hamelmann58, Hans Jürgen Hoffmann59, Karin Hoffmann-Sommergruber60, Lilit Hovhannisyan61, Valérie Hox14, Frode L Jahnsen62, Ömer Kalayci63, Ayse Füsun Kalpaklioglu64, Jörg Kleine-Tebbe64, George Konstantinou65, Marcin Kurowski66, Susanne Lau67, Roger Lauener68, Antti Lauerma69, Kirsty Logan70, Antoine Magnan71, Joanna Makowska72, Heidi Makrinioti36, Paraskevi Mangina1, Felicia Manole73, Adriano Mari74, Angel Mazon75, Clare Mills76, ErvinÇ Mingomataj77, Bodo Niggemann78, Gunnar Nilsson79, Markus Ollert80, Liam O'Mahony81, Serena O'Neil17, Gianni Pala82, Alberto Papi83, Gianni Passalacqua84, Michael Perkin71, Oliver Pfaar85, Constantinos Pitsios86, Santiago Quirce87, Ulrike Raap24, Monika Raulf-Heimsoth88, Claudio Rhyner83, Paula Robson-Ansley89, Rodrigo Rodrigues Alves90, Zeljka Roje91, Carmen Rondon92, Odilija Rudzeviciene93, Franziska Ruëff94, Maia Rukhadze95, Gabriele Rumi96, Cansin Sackesen97, Alexandra F Santos9899, Annalisa Santucci100, Christian Scharf101, Carsten Schmidt-Weber102, Benno Schnyder103, Jürgen Schwarze104, Gianenrico Senna105, Svetlana Sergejeva106, Sven Seys107, Andrea Siracusa108, Isabel Skypala39, Milena Sokolowska109, Francois Spertini110, Radoslaw Spiewak111, Aline Sprikkelman112, Gunter Sturm113, Ines Swoboda60, Ingrid Terreehorst114, Elina Toskala115, Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann35, Carina Venter116, Berber Vlieg-Boerstra11246, Paul Whitacker117, Margitta Worm118, Paraskevi Xepapadaki1 and Cezmi A Akdis81

Author Affiliations

1 Allergy Department, 2nd Pediatric Clinic, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

2 Transylvania University, Brasov, Romania

3 Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey

4 University Hospital Ospedali Riuniti, Ancona, Italy

5 Allergy & Respiratory Diseases Clinic – DIMI, University of Genoa, IRCCS AOU San Martino-IST, Genoa, Italy

6 Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain

7 University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

8 University Hospital Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

9 University Hospital of Montpellier, Montpellier, France

10 Children's Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland

11 Polyclinique de l’Ormeau, Tarbes, France

12 Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, Norwich, United Kingdom

13 Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche, University of Torino, Torino, Italy

14 University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

15 Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland

16 University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

17 Krefting Research Centre, Gothenburg, Sweden

18 Department of Pediatrics, University of Padua, Padova, Italy

19 Copenhagen University Hospital at Gentofte, Gentofte, Denmark

20 University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine, Southampton, United Kingdom

21 University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

22 University of Salerno, Fisciano, Salerno, Italy

23 Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

24 Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

25 European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients‘ Associations (EFA), Brussels, Belgium

26 Uveitis Center, Ophthamology epmn, Rapallo Hospital, Genova, Italy

27 Epidemiology of Allergic and Respiratory Disease, UMR-S 707 INSERM and UPMC Paris Sorbonnes, Paris, France

28 University of Florence, Florence, Italy

29 Hospital Universitario Príncipe de Asturias, Madrid, Spain

30 University of Regensburg, Germany / Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, United Kingdom

31 Research Laboratory, Carlos Hava Hospital, Malaga, Spain

32 Department of Internal Diseases, Geriatrics and Allergology, University of Medicine, Wroclaw, Poland

33 Allergy Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata, Padova, Italy

34 Department of Internal Medicine, Lung Function Unit, "Sapienza", University of Rome, Rome, Italy

35 Department of Dermatology, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany

36 Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom

37 CK-CARE, ZAUM – Center of Allergy & Environment, Helmholtz Zentrum München/Technische Universität, Munich, Munich, Germany

38 Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

39 Royal Brompton Hospital, London, United Kingdom

40 Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden

41 University Hospitals of Geneva, Medical School of the University of Geneva, Department of Child and Adolescent Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland

42 Uludag University, Bursa, Turkey

43 Chair and Department of Pediatrics, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland

44 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Eskisehir, Turkey

45 Centro Hospitalar São João EPE, Porto, Portugal

46 ErasmusMC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

47 Department of Medical Sciences “M. Aresu”, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy

48 Careggi Hospital, Florence, Italy

49 Pédiatre A, CHRU Clermont Ferrand, Clermont Ferrand, France

50 UMH University, Alicante, Spain

51 Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain

52 Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

53 St Thomas' Hospital & King's College London, London, UK

54 Royal Free Hospital, London, United Kingdom

55 Institute of Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany

56 University Hospital Ghent, Ghent, Belgium

57 Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital - Research Institute, Department of Opthalmology, Lodz, Poland

58 Klinik für Kinder und Jugendmedizin, St. Josef Hospital Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany

59 Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark

60 Medical University Vienna, Wien, Austria

61 Institute of Molecular Biology, Yerevan, Armenia

62 Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway

63 Pediatric Allergy and Asthma Unit, Ihsan Dogramaci Children’s Hospital, Hacettepe Univirsity School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

64 Allergie- & Asthma-Zentrum Berlin Westend, Berlin, Germany

65 Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 424 General Military Training Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

66 Department of Immunology, Rheumatology and Allergy, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

67 Charité C. Virchow University Children`s Hospital, Berlin, Germany

68 Hochgebirgsklinik, Davos-Wolfgang, Davos, Switzerland

69 Skin and Allergy Hospital, Helsinki, Finland

70 King's College London, London, United Kingdom

71 L'Institut du Thorax, Nantes, France

72 Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Lodz, Poland

73 Faculty of Medicine, ENT Department, University of Oradea, Oradea, Romania

74 Center for Molecular Allergology, IDI-IRCCS, Rome, Italy

75 Unit of Pediatric allergy and Pneumology, Children’s Hospital La Fe, Valencia, Spain

76 Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre, Manchester, United Kingdom

77 Department of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Mother Theresa School of Medicine, Tirana, Albania

78 German Red Cross Hospital Westend, Berlin, Germany

79 Centre for Allergy Research at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

80 Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany

81 Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), University of Zurich, Christine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE), Davos, Switzerland

82 Allergy and Immunology Unit, Fondazione ‘Salvatore Maugeri’, Pavia, Italy

83 University of Ferrara at St. Anna Hospital, Ferrara, Italy

84 Internal Medicine Pad Maragliano, Genoa, Italy

85 Center for Rhinology and Allergology Wiesbaden, University Hospital Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany

86 Dietetics and Nutritional Science Dept, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece

87 Hospital La Paz Institute for Health Research, Madrid, Spain

88 Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Allergology/Immunology; Ruhr-University, Bochum, Germany

89 School of Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

90 Hospital Divino Espirito Santo de Ponta Delgada, Ponta Delgada, Portugal

91 ENT Department, University Hospital Split, Split, Croatia

92 Hospital Civil, Malaga, Spain

93 Nr. 101 - Odilija Rudzeviciene, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

94 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

95 Center of Allergy & Immunology, Tbilisi, Georgia

96 Complesso Integrato Columbus, Rome, Italy

97 Department of Pediatric Allergy, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

98 Department of Pediatric Allergy, King's College London, MRC & Asthma UK Centre for the Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, London, United Kingdom

99 Immunoallergology Department, Coimbra University Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal

100 Rimini Infermi Hospital, Rimini, Italy

101 Greifswald University Medical School, Greifswald, Germany

102 Klinikum rechts der Isar der TU München, ZAUM, Munich, Germany

103 Clinic for Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology/Allergology, University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland, Bern, Switzerland

104 University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

105 Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Verona, Italy

106 Institute of Technology, Tartu University, Tartu, Estonia

107 Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

108 Occupational Medicine, Terni Hospital, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy

109 National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA

110 Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland

111 Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

112 Emma Children's Hospital Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

113 Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria

114 Department of ENT and Pediatrics, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

115 Dept. of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA

116 The David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre, Isle of Wight, England, United Kingdom

117 St James’s Hospital, England, United Kingdom

118 Charité - Universitaetsmedizin Dpt. of Dermatology, Berlin, Germany

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Clinical and Translational Allergy 2012, 2:21  doi:10.1186/2045-7022-2-21

Published: 2 November 2012

Abstract

In less than half a century, allergy, originally perceived as a rare disease, has become a major public health threat, today affecting the lives of more than 60 million people in Europe, and probably close to one billion worldwide, thereby heavily impacting the budgets of public health systems. More disturbingly, its prevalence and impact are on the rise, a development that has been associated with environmental and lifestyle changes accompanying the continuous process of urbanization and globalization. Therefore, there is an urgent need to prioritize and concert research efforts in the field of allergy, in order to achieve sustainable results on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this most prevalent chronic disease of the 21st century.

The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is the leading professional organization in the field of allergy, promoting excellence in clinical care, education, training and basic and translational research, all with the ultimate goal of improving the health of allergic patients. The European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA) is a non-profit network of allergy, asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) patients’ organizations. In support of their missions, the present EAACI Position Paper, in collaboration with EFA, highlights the most important research needs in the field of allergy to serve as key recommendations for future research funding at the national and European levels.

Although allergies may involve almost every organ of the body and an array of diverse external factors act as triggers, there are several common themes that need to be prioritized in research efforts. As in many other chronic diseases, effective prevention, curative treatment and accurate, rapid diagnosis represent major unmet needs. Detailed phenotyping/endotyping stands out as widely required in order to arrange or re-categorize clinical syndromes into more coherent, uniform and treatment-responsive groups. Research efforts to unveil the basic pathophysiologic pathways and mechanisms, thus leading to the comprehension and resolution of the pathophysiologic complexity of allergies will allow for the design of novel patient-oriented diagnostic and treatment protocols. Several allergic diseases require well-controlled epidemiological description and surveillance, using disease registries, pharmacoeconomic evaluation, as well as large biobanks. Additionally, there is a need for extensive studies to bring promising new biotechnological innovations, such as biological agents, vaccines of modified allergen molecules and engineered components for allergy diagnosis, closer to clinical practice. Finally, particular attention should be paid to the difficult-to-manage, precarious and costly severe disease forms and/or exacerbations. Nonetheless, currently arising treatments, mainly in the fields of immunotherapy and biologicals, hold great promise for targeted and causal management of allergic conditions. Active involvement of all stakeholders, including Patient Organizations and policy makers are necessary to achieve the aims emphasized herein.

Keywords:
Allergy; Allergic diseases; Policy; Research needs; Research funding; Europe