Publications by authors named "Andrea Di Rienzo Businco"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

"Whole" vs. "fragmented" approach to EAACI pollen season definitions: A multicenter study in six Southern European cities.

Allergy 2020 07 11;75(7):1659-1671. Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Allergy and Immunology, Koç University Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.

Background: The adequate definition of pollen seasons is essential to facilitate a correct diagnosis, treatment choice, and outcome assessment in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis. A position paper by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) proposed season definitions for Northern and Middle Europe.

Objective: To test the pollen season definitions proposed by EAACI in six Mediterranean cities for seven pollen taxa.

Methods: As part of the @IT.2020 multi-center study, pollen counts for Poaceae, Oleaceae, Fagales, Cupressaceae, Urticaceae (Parietaria spp.), and Compositae (Ambrosia spp., Artemisia spp.) were collected from January 1 to December 31, 2018. Based on these data, pollen seasons were identified according to EAACI criteria. A unified monitoring period for patients in AIT trials was created and assessed for feasibility.

Results: The analysis revealed a great heterogeneity between the different locations in terms of pattern and length of the examined pollen seasons. Further, we found a fragmentation of pollen seasons in several segments (max. 8) separated by periods of low pollen counts (intercurrent periods). Potential monitoring periods included often many recording days with low pollen exposure (max. 341 days).

Conclusion: The Mediterranean climate leads to challenging pollen exposure times. Monitoring periods for AIT trials based on existing definitions may include many intermittent days with low pollen concentrations. Therefore, it is necessary to find an adapted pollen season definition as individual solution for each pollen and geographical area.
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July 2020

IgE antibody repertoire in nasal secretions of children and adults with seasonal allergic rhinitis: A molecular analysis.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2020 04 22;31(3):273-280. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Department of Pediatric Pneumology, Immunology and Intensive Care Medicine, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Background: There is growing interest both in testing IgE in nasal secretions (NS) and in molecular diagnosis of seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR). Yet, the reliability of nasal IgE detection with the newest molecular assays has never been assessed in a large cohort of pollen allergic patients.

Objective: To investigate with microarray technology and compare the repertoires of specific IgE (sIgE) antibodies in NS and sera of a large population of children and adults with SAR.

Methods: Nasal secretions were collected with an absorbent device (Merocel 2000 , Medtronic) and a minimal dilution procedure from 90 children and 71 adults with SAR. Total IgE (tIgE) (ImmunoCAP, Thermo Fisher Scientific (TFS)) and sIgE antibodies against 112 allergen molecules (ISAC-112, TFS) were measured in NS and serum.

Results: Nasal sIgE was detectable in 68.3% of the patients. The detected nasal sIgE antibodies recognized airborne (88%), vegetable (10%), and animal food or other (<1%) allergen molecules. The prevalence and average levels of sIgE in NS and serum were highly interrelated at population level. A positive nasal sIgE antibody to a given molecule predicted the detection of the same antibody in the patient's serum with a specificity of 99.7% and a sensitivity of 40%.

Conclusions: The concentration of sIgE is much lower in nasal secretions than in the serum. sIgE assays with very high analytical sensitivity and sampling methods with minimal dilution will be therefore needed to validate nasal secretions as alternative to serum in testing the sIgE repertoire.
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April 2020

Early molecular biomarkers predicting the evolution of allergic rhinitis and its comorbidities: A longitudinal multicenter study of a patient cohort.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2019 05 3;30(3):325-334. Epub 2019 Apr 3.

Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Immunology, Charite Medical University, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Pollen-related seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (SAR) is a very frequent pediatric disease in Westernized countries. Risk factors and disease phenotypes have been thoroughly examined in several cross-sectional studies. By contrast, only a few studies have examined disease evolution in patient cohorts. We investigated predictive biomarkers of disease evolution in a large cohort of children with SAR.

Methods: During 2015-2017 (follow-up), we re-examined 401 patients from those enrolled in 2009-2011 (baseline) by the "Panallergens in Pediatrics" study, a large multicenter survey of Italian children with SAR. Information on clinical history (standard questionnaire, AllergyCARD®; TPS, Italy) and skin prick tests for inhalant and foods extracts (ALK-Abelló, Hørsholm, Denmark) was acquired as at baseline visit. Evolution in clinical and sensitization data of patients was analyzed over time, as well as their association with the main baseline characteristics and atopy risk factors.

Results: The average age of participants was 10.4 ± 3.4 years at baseline and 16.2 ± 3.6 years at follow-up. SAR persisted in 93.3% of patients at follow-up and became more frequently associated with asthma (from 36.7% at baseline to 48.6% at follow-up) and oral allergy syndrome (OAS, from 23.4% to 37.7%). Compared to baseline, the prevalence of skin sensitization to some pollens (Phleum pratense, Corylus avellana, Platanus acerifolia, Artemisia vulgaris) and vegetables (hazelnut, wheat, and apple) significantly decreased at follow-up. Earlier onset of SAR and polysensitization at baseline were associated with incident asthma at follow-up. The presence at baseline of serum IgE to the following allergen molecules was identified as biomarkers of clinical evolution: (a) Phl p 1, for persistence of SAR; (b) Phl p 5, for persistence of both rhinitis and asthma; (c) Pru p 3, for new onset of asthma; (d) Bet v 1, for persistence of OAS.

Conclusions: Seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis is clinically heterogeneous in its evolution from childhood to adolescence. The detection of serum IgE to specific molecules (Phl p 1, Phl p 5, Bet v 1, Pru p 3) may be useful as biomarkers to predict SAR persistence and future onset of comorbidities, such as asthma and/or OAS.
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May 2019

Steroid-Eluting Ethmoidal Stent Versus Antero-Posterior Ethmoidectomy: Comparison Of Efficacy And Safety In Allergic Patients.

Otolaryngol Pol 2016 Apr;70(2):6-12

Paediatric Allergology Unit, S. Pertini Hospital, Rome Italy.

Background: Allergic and chronic rhinosinusitis is a disabling pathological condition with an 8% prevalence in the European population and 5% in the Italian one. The ethmoidal sinus is the first one involved in the inflammation. The typical surgical procedure to manage ethmoidal sinusitis is an endoscopic antero-posterior ethmoidectomy. Recently introduced on the European market balloon called Relieva Stratus MicroFlow Spacer can be inserted within the ethmoid, with a local slow release of a steroid drug. This study had the aim to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the steroid-eluting ethmoidal stent in the management of allergic chronic rhinosinusitis in comparison with the traditional endoscopic ethmoidectomy. Methodos: 70 allergic patients who presented chronic rhinosinusitis were randomly divided into 2 groups and receive respectively the steroid-eluting ethmoidal stent or endoscopic ethmoidectomy.

Results: The most significant observation coming from the comparative analysis of the results is the substantial equivalence of the treatment with the steroid-eluting ethmoidal stent (SEES) compared with endoscopic ethmoidectomy in the management of ethmoid chronic rhinosinusitis with the exception of a reduction of overall discomfort and nasal secretion and better functional results at rhinomanometry in the steroid-eluting ethmoidal stent group.

Conclusion: in our experience, the SEES was efficacious in the treatment of allergic patients with ethmoidal CRS when conventional medical treatment had failed, or when wishing to avoid the classic endoscopic ethmoidectomy (EE). However, further long-term studies will be performed in order to confirm the safety and stability, over time, of the results obtained.
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April 2016

Asthma Control Test and Bronchial Challenge with Exercise in Pediatric Asthma.

Front Pediatr 2016 8;4:16. Epub 2016 Mar 8.

Pediatrics Department, Catholic University of Rome , Rome , Italy.

Background: Poor asthma control can lead to exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), but the relationship between subjective disease control and EIB is unclear. No studies have compared asthma control test (ACT) scores of children with those of their parents regarding EIB. We assessed whether ACT scores predict the occurrence of EIB in two age groups. We also evaluated ACT scores and objective measures as explanatory variables for airway response to exercise.

Methods: Patients (71, aged <12 years; 93, aged ≥12 years) and their parents completed an ACT questionnaire separately. Current therapy, skin prick testing, and spirometry at baseline and after exercise were assessed. EIB was defined as a fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) of at least 12% from baseline. Sensitivity and specificity for cut-off values of ACT scores predictive of EIB were plotted, and the area under curve (AUC) was described.

Results: Atopy and current therapy were similarly frequent. EIB was observed in 23.9% of children aged <12 years and in 33.3% of children aged ≥12 years. EIB occurrence in subjects previously scored as having full control (25), partial control (20-24), and no control (<20) varied according to the age group and responders. Percentages of EIB cases increased as ACT scores decreased in children aged ≥12 years alone (child ACT scores, 25: 21.9%, 20-24: 31.1%, <20: 62.5%, p = 0.017). Plots for ACT scores as predictors of EIB yielded low non-significant AUC values in children aged <12 years; in contrast, moderate AUC values emerged in children aged ≥12 years (child: 0.67, p = 0.007; parent: 0.69, p = 0.002). Sensitivity of ACT scores below 20 as a predictor of EIB was low in older children (child: 32.3%, parent: 22.6%), whereas specificity was high (child: 90.3%, parent: 93.5%). Multiple regression analysis with percent fall in FEV1 as dependent variable included FEV1/FVC%, ACT child score, and gender in the prediction model (r = 0.42, p = 0.000).

Conclusion: ACT scores are a more effective means of excluding than confirming EIB in asthmatic patients aged ≥12 years; their predictive value decreases in younger patients. ACT scores together with lung function may help to predict airway response to exercise. New tools for pediatric asthma assessment may optimize this association.
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March 2016

Prevalence and Clinical Relevance of IgE Sensitization to Profilin in Childhood: A Multicenter Study.

Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2015 3;168(1):25-31. Epub 2015 Nov 3.

Allergology Service, San Carlo Clinic, Paderno Dugnano, Italy.

Background: Little is known about the prevalence and clinical relevance of hypersensitivity to the plant panallergen profilin in children.

Objectives: The present study aimed to investigate prevalence, risk factors and clinical relevance of profilin sensitization in a large cohort of Italian children of different ages living in different geographic areas.

Methods: Children with pollen allergy enrolled by 16 pediatric outpatient clinics sited in three main geographic areas of Italy were studied. SPT were carried out with commercial pollen extracts and a commercial purified date palm pollen profilin. IgE specific for allergenic pollen molecules, Phl p 12 (grass profilin) and Pru p 3 (peach lipid transfer protein) were tested by ImmunoCAP FEIA.

Results: IgE to Phl p 12 (≥0.35 kU/l) was observed in 296 of the 1,271 participants (23%), including 17 of the 108 (16%) preschool children. Profilin SPT was positive (≥3 mm) in 320/1,271 (25%) participants. The two diagnostic methods were concordant in 1,151 (91%, p < 0.0001) cases. Phl p 12 IgE prevalence declined from northern to southern Italy and was directly associated with IgE to Phl p 1 and/or Phl p 5 and Ole e 1. Among children with IgE to Phl p 12, OAS was provoked by kiwi, melon, watermelon, banana, apricot and cucumber.

Conclusions: Profilin sensitization is very frequent among pollen-allergic children, occurs at a very young age and contributes to the development of childhood OAS with a typical pattern of offending foods. Pediatricians should always consider IgE sensitization to profilin while examining pollen-allergic children, even if they are at preschool age.
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February 2016

A web-based tool for improving adherence to sublingual immunotherapy.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2014 Oct 29;25(6):611-2. Epub 2014 Aug 29.

Pediatric Department and Pediatric Allergy Unit, "Sandro Pertini" Hospital, Rome, Italy.

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October 2014

The effect of component-resolved diagnosis on specific immunotherapy prescription in children with hay fever.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2014 Jul 1;134(1):75-81. Epub 2014 May 1.

Pediatric Unit, Crotone, Italy.

Background: Sensitization to profilins and other cross-reacting molecules might hinder proper specific immunotherapy (SIT) prescription in polysensitized patients with pollen-related allergic rhinitis (AR). In these patients, component-resolved diagnosis (CRD) might modify SIT prescription by improving the identification of the disease-eliciting pollen sources.

Objectives: We sought to measure the effect of CRD on SIT prescription in children with pollen-related AR.

Methods: Children (n = 651) with moderate-to-severe pollen-related AR were recruited between May 2009 and June 2011 in 16 Italian outpatient clinics. Skin prick test (SPT) reactivity to grass, cypress, olive, mugwort, pellitory, and/or Betulaceae pollen was considered clinically relevant if symptoms occurred during the corresponding peak pollen season. IgE sensitization to Phl p 1, Phl p 5, Bet v 1, Cup a 1, Art v 1, Ole e 1, Par j 2, and Phl p 12 (profilin) was measured by using ImmunoCAP. SIT prescription was modeled on SPT responses first and then remodeled considering also CRD according to GA(2)LEN-European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology guidelines and the opinions of 14 pediatric allergists.

Results: No IgE to the respective major allergens was detected in significant proportions of patients with supposed clinically relevant sensitization to mugwort (45/65 [69%]), Betulaceae (146/252 [60%]), pellitory (78/257 [30%]), olive (111/390 [28%]), cypress (28/184 [15%]), and grass (56/568 [10%]). IgE to profilins, polcalcins, or both could justify 173 (37%) of 464 of these SPT reactions. After CRD, the SPT-based decision on SIT prescription or composition was changed in 277 (42%) of 651 or 315 (48%) of 651 children according to the European or American approach, respectively, and in 305 (47%) of 651 children according to the opinion of the 14 local pediatric allergists.

Conclusions: In children with pollen-related AR, applying CRD leads to changes in a large proportion of SIT prescriptions as opposed to relying on clinical history and SPT alone. The hypothesis that CRD-guided prescription improves SIT efficacy deserves to be tested.
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July 2014

Turbinoplasty with quantic molecular resonance in the treatment of persistent moderate-severe allergic rhinitis: Comparative analysis of efficacy.

Am J Rhinol Allergy 2014 Mar-Apr;28(2):164-8

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, S. Spirito Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Background: Allergic rhinitis (AR) presents as the main and most invasive symptom in the blocking of the nose. This condition is almost always related to hypertrophy of the inferior turbinates. When the medical treatments are found to be insufficient to solve the obstructive symptom of the patient, the quality of life is considerably impaired and it is often necessary to submit the patient to a surgical approach. In the present study we aimed to establish the efficacy and safety of a new technique recently introduced for the shrinkage of hypertrophic turbinates using a specific device, based on a new radiofrequency energy that does not produce thermal mucosal damage, viz., quantic molecular resonance (QMR) in a group of patients with persistent moderate-severe allergic rhinitis, in addition to standard medical treatment (nasal steroid and oral antihistamine).

Methods: All patients were randomly assigned to two homogeneous groups (group A, control subjects; group B, treated patients); each group included 145 individuals. During the study, both groups received standard medications (ebastine, 10-mg tablet, and budesonide nasal spray at 100 micrograms/nostril per day) for 90 days. Before the medical treatment, patients in group B underwent inferior endoscopic turbinoplasty using QMR. All of the patients enrolled in this study were submitted to a complete otorhinolaryngologic evaluation with objective clinical examination (basal rhinomanometry, nasal provocation test rhinomanometry, and mucociliary transport time), endoscopy, and questionnaires (22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test and visual analog scale for nasal symptoms).

Results: Greater efficacy has been achieved using a combined approach with the association of medical and QMR treatment, compared with medical treatment alone, in the control of AR associated with hypertrophy of the inferior turbinates, in particular in the reduction of turbinate volume at rhinoendoscopy.

Conclusion: QMR inferior turbinoplasty, in conjunction with medical therapy, improves the nasal flow, without any thermal mucosal damage, more effectively when compared with medical treatment alone in persistent moderate-to-severe AR. In particular, local reactivity, as measured with nasal provocation test, was noticeably reduced.
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April 2015

Pollen-induced allergic rhinitis in 1360 Italian children: comorbidities and determinants of severity.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2013 Dec 17;24(8):742-51. Epub 2013 Nov 17.

Pediatric Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; Pediatric Unit, Department for Mother and Child, Ramazzini Hospital, Carpi, Italy.

Background: Pollen-induced allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (AR) is highly prevalent and rapidly evolving during childhood. General practitioners may not be fully aware of the nature and severity of symptoms experienced by patients and might underestimate the prevalence of moderate or severe disease. Thus, the relevance of early diagnosis and intervention may be overlooked.

Objectives: To investigate the severity of pollen-induced AR and its determinants in Italian children referred to allergy specialists and who had never received specific immunotherapy (SIT).

Methods: Children (age 4-18 yr) affected by pollen-induced AR who had never undergone SIT were recruited between May 2009 and June 2011 in 16 pediatric outpatient clinics in 14 Italian cities. Recruited children's parents answered standardized questionnaires on atopic diseases (International Study of Allergy and Asthma in Childhood, Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma, Global Initiative for Asthma). The children underwent skin-prick test (SPT) with several airborne allergens and six food allergens. Information on socio-demographic factors, parental history of allergic diseases, education, perinatal events, breastfeeding, nutrition and environmental exposure in early life was collected through an informatics platform shared by the whole network of clinical centers (AllergyCARD™).

Results: Among the 1360 recruited patients (68% males, age 10.5 ± 3.4 yr), 695 (51%) had moderate-to-severe AR, 533 (39%) asthma, and 325 (23.9%) oral allergy syndrome (OAS). Reported onset of pollen-induced AR was on average at 5.3 ± 2.8 yr, and its mean duration from onset was 5.2 ± 3.3 yr. Only 6.2% of the patients were pollen-monosensitized, and 84.9% were sensitized to ≥3 pollens. A longer AR duration was significantly associated with moderate-to-severe AR symptoms (p 0.004), asthma (p 0.030), and OAS comorbidities (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: This nationwide study may raise awareness of the severity of pollen-induced AR among Italian children who have never received pollen SIT. The strong association between pollen-induced AR duration and several markers of disease severity needs replication in longitudinal studies, while suggesting that countrywide initiatives for earlier diagnosis and intervention should be planned.
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December 2013

Molecular profiles of IgE to Phleum pratense in children with grass pollen allergy: implications for specific immunotherapy.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2012 Mar 28;129(3):834-839.e8. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

Pediatric Allergology Unit, Sandro Pertini Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Background: The so-called component-resolved immunotherapy of allergies proposes an immunization tailored to the molecular sensitization profiles of individual patients.

Objectives: We sought (1) to investigate the profiles of IgE sensitization to Phleum pratense in children with grass pollen allergy and (2) to define the compatibility of these profiles with a mixture of recombinant allergenic molecules of P pratense previously proposed for specific immunotherapy.

Methods: We examined 200 children (age, 4-18 years; 126 boys) with allergic rhinitis, asthma, or both ascertained through validated questionnaires. Each child underwent skin prick testing (ALK-Abelló) and serum IgE assays (ImmunoCAP, Phadia) with 9 pollen extracts. Sera reacting against P pratense were tested for the individual molecules (rPhl p 1, rPhl p 2, rPhl p 4, nPhl p 4, rPhl p 5b, rPhl p 6, rPhl p 7, rPhl p 11, and Phl p 12). Through a combinatorial approach, the IgE individual sensitization profiles were matched against an experimental allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) preparation containing Phl p 1, Phl p 2, Phl p 5, and Phl p 6.

Results: Among the 176 of 200 children with IgE sensitization to P pratense extract, 39 profiles of sensitization to the 8 allergenic molecules tested (cutoff, 0.35 kU/L) were identified. This high heterogeneity was reduced by considering only 6 or 4 P pratense molecules but not by increasing the cutoff levels of IgE positivity. The molecular profile of the experimental SIT preparation matched that of 7 (4%) of 176 patients only; the remaining 169 patients were classified in 4 mismatch categories: underpowered (29%), overpowered (32%), underpowered/overpowered (32%), and unrelated (3%).

Conclusions: IgE sensitization profiles to P pratense are highly heterogeneous. Molecularly designed SIT preparations tailored to patients' needs should consider this high heterogeneity and be driven by locally performed population studies.
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March 2012

Preventive effects of sublingual immunotherapy in childhood: an open randomized controlled study.

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2008 Aug;101(2):206-11

Pneumology Unit, Cuasso al Monte, Macchi Hospital Foundation, Varese, Italy.

Background: Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) has been proved to be effective in allergic rhinitis and asthma, but there are few data on its preventive effects, especially in children.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical and preventive effects of SLIT in children by assessing onset of persistent asthma and new sensitizations, clinical symptoms, and bronchial hyperreactivity.

Methods: A total of 216 children with allergic rhinitis, with or without intermittent asthma, were evaluated and then randomized to receive drugs alone or drugs plus SLIT openly for 3 years. The clinical score was assessed yearly during allergen exposure. Pulmonary function testing, methacholine challenge, and skin prick testing were performed at the beginning and end of the study.

Results: One hundred forty-four children received SLIT and 72 received drugs only. Dropouts were 9.7% in the SLIT group and 8.3% in the controls. New sensitizations appeared in 34.8% of controls and in 3.1% of SLIT patients (odds ratio, 16.85; 95% confidence interval, 5.73-49.13). Mild persistent asthma was less frequent in SLIT patients (odds ratio, 0.04; 95% confidence interval, 0.01-0.17). There was a significant decrease in clinical scores in the SLIT group vs the control group since the first year. The number of children with a positive methacholine challenge result decreased significantly after 3 years only in the SLIT group. Adherence was 80% or higher in 73.8% of patients. Only 1 patient reported systemic itching.

Conclusions: In everyday clinical practice, SLIT reduced the onset of new sensitizations and mild persistent asthma and decreased bronchial hyperreactivity in children with respiratory allergy.
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August 2008