New Nomenclature and Clinical Aspects of Allergic Diseases

  • S.G.O. Johansson
Part of the Allergy Frontiers book series (ALLERGY, volume 2)

The discovery of IgE and its role in allergic inflammation opened new doors to the understanding of allergy. However, it also became obvious that the current terminology for allergic disorders was most confusing. It had developed during the 100 years since the first case of allergy was reported but its development was influenced by the different clinical specialities involved and their traditions. The European Association of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, EAACI, and the World Allergy Organization, WAO, nominated multi-national and multi-speciality committees for nomenclature revision and since some 5 years we now trying to implement the new terminology.

Hypersensitivity describes objectively reproducible symptoms or signs initiated by exposure to a defined stimulus at a dose tolerated by normal persons. If the reactions are mediated by an immunological mechanism it should be called allergy. Allergic asthma and allergic rhino-conjunctivitis are mostly mediated by IgE antibodies and this is often the case also for atopic eczema and allergic anaphylaxis. Atopic individuals have a genetic constitution promoting IgE-sensitization. Other allergies, e.g. allergic contact dermatitis is lymphocyte mediated and IgG antibodies to e.g. dextran can build immune complexes that activates complement.

Allergy is an increasing, global problem. We must use one and the same nomenclature in order to be able to collaborate on scientific understanding, improved diagnosis and treatment and optimal patient care.


Atopic Eczema Allergic Rhinitis Allergic Disease Contact Dermatitis Allergic Contact Dermatitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • S.G.O. Johansson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Allergy UnitKarolinska University HospitalStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Immunology and Transfusion MedicineKarolinska University HospitalStockholmSweden

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