Recombinant Allergens for Therapy and Prevention: Molecular Design and Delivery of Allergy Vaccines

  • Shyam S. Mohapatra
  • Shawna A. Shirley
Part of the Allergy Frontiers book series (ALLERGY, volume 5)

Advances in the knowledge of the cellular and molecular basis of immunity have led to a thorough understanding of the immunologic features that characterize an allergic response. All humans can mount an IgE antibody (Ab) response to a parasite, but some genetically predisposed or atopic individuals mount this response to common antigens to which they are exposed either by inhalation, ingestion or by contact with the skin [1]. These non-parasitic antigens, called allergens, induce persistently elevated levels of specific IgE Ab and stimulate a Type-I immediate hypersensitivity [2, 3]. Common allergens include dust, plant and tree pollens, pet dander and food. Although a specific sample of pollen or house dust contains numerous antigens, only a few of them induce a specific IgE Ab response and are considered allergens. The epitope structure will determine if an antigen is an allergen [2–7].

Some, but not all antigens have epitopes that stimulate a Th2-like response, which induces an IgE Ab response [6]. Several factors contribute to the immune response to the allergens including the amount and the route of antigen exposure [4, 5, 7], the type of antigen-presenting cell [1, 8, 9], and the cytokine milieu. IFN- g will promote a Th1-like immune response, whereas IL-4 will promote a Th2-like response. Other factors to consider are the host immune response genes and environmental cofactors, such as adjuvants. These may bias the immune response to allergens towards a Th2-type response.


Allergy Clin Immunol Cell Epitope Pollen Allergen Allergen Immunotherapy Recombinant Allergen 
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

  • Shyam S. Mohapatra
    • 1
  • Shawna A. Shirley
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Allergy and Immunology, Joy Airway Disease and Nanomedicine Research Center, Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Molecular MedicineUniversity of South Florida, College of Medicine and James A. Haley Veteran's HospitalTampaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular MedicineUniversity of South Florida, College of Medicine and James A. Haley Veteran's HospitalTampaUSA

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