The potential of peptide immunotherapy in allergy and asthma
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Allergic conditions contribute significantly to the burden of chronic disease in the industrialized world. Current treatments offer varying degrees of palliation. The sole proven disease-modifying strategy, specific or whole-allergen immunotherapy, is limited because of the associated risk of systemic adverse effects, such as anaphylaxis. Short, linear allergen-derived peptides, corresponding to T cell epitopes, offer the possibility of a safer approach as they are capable of inducing allergen-specific hyporesponsiveness without cross-linking mast cell-bound IgE. This review evaluates the scientific basis of peptide immunotherapy and clinical experience in allergy up to the present time.
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