Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is a well-known and well-studied therapeutic strategy for some allergy disorders. Every year, new systematic reviews and meta-analyses provide the most potent source of data to guide decision making about AIT prevention or effectiveness. The study will cover systematic reviews and meta-analyses on AIT in this section (published January 2017 to February 2018). Researchers found four systematic reviews and ten meta-analyses. Subcutaneous and sublingual AIT (SCIT/SLIT) significantly decreased asthma development in children and adolescents with moderate/severe allergic rhinitis, although evidence for a short-term, preventative impact on new allergic sensitizations was inconclusive. SCIT/SLIT significantly improved symptom and medication ratings in respiratory allergy patients compared to placebo or active comparators, with varying effect sizes. Oral immunotherapy for IgE-mediated food allergy provided a significant improvement in desensitisation rates. Data on venom AIT and latex AIT, albeit restricted in quantity and quality, indicate a substantial and distinct positive impact.
While current evidence derived from meta-analyzes and systems reviews support AIT for the validity and applicability of results, particularly as regards individual, real-life settings as a relatively safe and well tolerated alternative to certain allergic diseases, the heterogeneity and some methodological inconsistencies are important.