The purpose of the research proposed in this application is to generate knowledge that might lead to new therapeutic strategies to treat PN allergy. Allergic reactions in food allergy are largely mediated by an immunoglobulin called IgE. This IgE binds to a specific receptor that is present on the surface of cells distributed throughout the body, called mast cells, and other cells in the circulation, called basophils. When a person who is allergic, that is has IgE bound to these cells,is exposed to allergen, activation of the IgE-IgE receptor complex results in immediate mast cell
degranulation and release of vasoactive mediators that elicit local or systemic effects. It thus stands to reason that strategies to prevent the formation of IgE are likely to have a profound impact on the pathophysiology of food allergy.
9th Annual Allergy/Asthma Information Association and CAAIF Ontario Award for Food Allergy Research
Asthma, the third-most common chronic disease in Canada, affects nearly 3 million Canadians. 5-10% of this population has the more severe form of the disease and constitutes more than 80% of the total associated expenditure. There is a need to better understand severe asthma and other chronic lung diseases, investigate underlying reasons that lead to such attacks, reduce oral corticosteroid use and improve the clinical management. This study proposes a novel hypothesis that can explain the observed increase in the inflammatory component in severe diseased airways, thereby allowing us to identify and formulate a better therapeutic plan for managing such patients.
Recently, Dr. Mukherjee under the supervision of Professor Nair have identified a sub-set of severe asthmatics with poor response to oral glucocorticosteroids (prednisone) to have autoantibodies in their sputum (and not blood). These patients vastly contribute to the socio-economic burden. In fact, the burden might increase because these autoantibodies might render the new ‘expensive’ monoclonal antibody treatments to be less effective/ineffective. Dr Mukherjee's research will therefore focus on how these antibodies develop in asthma, why they develop, and how we can stop them from contributing to disease.
CAAIF/AllerGen NCE Inc. Research Fellowship Award in Clinical Immunology and Allergy
DR. MANALI MUKHERJEE
Immune memory precedes IgE-ediated reactivity in food allergy
This research explores the concept that a first exposure to a food allergen under sensitizing conditions already establishes allergen-specific lifelong memory. This memory can be reactivated upon subsequent exposures to the food leading to clinical reactions. The proposed experiments are designed to investigate which cell types hold such memory and how can it be reactivated. The research will be carried out in a murine experimental model that mimics many aspects of peanut allergy and anaphylaxis in humans
CAAIF Research Grant
DR. MANEL JORDANA
Profiling of Are h1-specific CD4+ T cell gene expression associated with protection against peanut-induced anaphylactic shock
Peanut allergy is a growing problem that can have disastrous consequences. Peanuts are the cause of the majority of food-induced anaphylactic fatalities and the number of children allergic to them has doubled in the past 10 years. It affects 1% of the Canadian population. Currently there is no treatment that offers long-term protection or cure. Our lab has developed an innovative treatment that targets a particular type of white blood cells (the CD4+ T cells) and that has been proven effective in treating other types of allergies in early clinical trials. We believe that the same kind of approach can cure peanut allergies. To test our idea, since clinical trials in patients are potentially very dangerous, we developed a mouse model in which mice experience an anaphylactic shock when exposed to peanuts. Our treatment was able to protect the mice from the shock. These results are very encouraging, but we still need to better understand how the treatment works before being able to transfer it in humans. Our proposed work will look at the genes that are turned on and those that are turned off by the treatment. This will tell us not only how the vaccine works, but also provide important clues as to how peanut allergy/anaphylaxis develop. Ultimately, this improved understanding will lead to a more rational and effective treatment for peanut allergy.
CAAIF Research Grant
DR. MARK LARCHE
The impact of a structured education session on pediatric atopic dermatitis severity and family quality of life
The goal of the study is to see if an eczema information session improves children's eczema. We will recruit parents of children referred to paediatric allergy with moderate or sever eczema. A control group will receive the usual care including patient handouts and information discussed by the physician. The study group will be invited to attend an information session on eczema delivered by nurser educators and physicians. Parents will view an instructional video showing how to apply moisturizers and prescription topical medications. The efficacy of the program will be accessed by comparing results of an objective physician score and a questionnaire filled out by parents both before and after the intervention.