Mechanisms underlying allergy vaccination with recombinant hypoallergenic allergen derivatives

Birgit Linhart, Rudolf Valenta

Vaccine. 2012 June 19; 30(29): 4328–4335.

Hundred years ago therapeutic vaccination with allergen-containing extracts has been introduced as a clinically effective, disease-modifying, allergen-specific and long-lasting form of therapy for allergy, a hypersensitivity disease affecting more than 25% of the population. Today, the structures of most of the disease-causing allergens have been elucidated and recombinant hypoallergenic allergen derivatives with reduced allergenic activity have been engineered to reduce side effects during allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT). These recombinant hypoallergens have been characterized in vitro, in experimental animal models and in clinical trials in allergic patients. This review provides a summary of the molecular, immunological and preclinical evaluation criteria applied for this new generation of allergy vaccines. Furthermore, we summarize the mechanisms underlying SIT with recombinant hypoallergens which are thought to be responsible for their therapeutic effect.

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