Intralymphatic immunotherapy with one or two allergens renders similar clinical response in patients with allergic rhinitis due to birch and grass pollen.
Summary: This study evaluated intralymphatic immunotherapy (involves the injection of allergen extract directly into the lymph node) with one or two allergens in patients with allergic rhinitis (allergic response to specific allergens) due to birch and grass pollen.
Conclusion: Intralymphatic immunotherapy (involves the injection of allergen extract directly into the lymph node) with one or two allergens in patients with grass and birch pollen allergy was safe, effective, and may be associated with bystander immune modulatory responses.
Introduction: There is a need for a fast, efficient and safe way to induce tolerance in patients with severe allergic rhinitis. Intralymphatic immune therapy has been shown to be effective.
Methods: Patients with severe birch and timothy allergy were randomized and received three doses of 0.1 ml of birch and 5-grass allergen extracts (10,000 SQ units/ml, ALK-Abelló), or birch and placebo or 5-grass and placebo by ultrasound-guided injections into inguinal lymph nodes at monthly intervals. Rhinoconjunctivitis total symptom score, medication score and rhinoconjunctivitis quality of life questionnaire were evaluated before treatment and after each birch and grass pollen season during three subsequent years. Circulating proportions of T helper subsets and allergen-induced cytokine and chemokine production were analysed by flow cytometry and Luminex.
Results: The three groups reported fewer symptoms, lower use of medication and improved quality of life during the birch and grass pollen seasons each year after treatment at an almost similar rate independently of treatment with one or two allergens. Mild local pain was the most common adverse event. IgE levels to birch decreased, whereas birch-induced IL-10 secretion increased in all three groups. IgG4 levels to birch and timothy and skin prick test reactivity remained mainly unchanged. Conjunctival challenge tests with timothy extract showed a higher threshold for allergen. In all three groups, regulatory T cell frequencies were increased 3 years after treatment.
Conclusions: Intralymphatic immunotherapy with one or two allergens in patients with grass and birch pollen allergy was safe, effective and may be associated with bystander immune modulatory responses. Clinical trial registration: EudraCT (2013-004726-28).