Office-based eligibility for biologics and probiotic therapy for chronic urticaria

July 3, 2017

The July issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has a variety of features that should be interesting for our readers. I would like to call attention to two specific ones that I encourage you to read.

The first, authored by Enrico Heffler, MD, PhD and colleagues, sought to determine whether a point-of-service device that can provide a blood eosinophil count was accurate enough compared to a standard laboratory-based analyzer. The data suggest that the correlation between the two methodologies was very high. This could provide immediate, office based eligibility for the use of certain biologicals in patients with severe asthma requiring a qualifying blood eosinophil level.

Another “don’t miss” article is from Shahram Shahabi, MD, PhD and his group in Bologna, Italy, who did a small study of feces from 20 chronic urticaria (CU) patients compared to age and gender matched controls examining the gut micro biome. They found the CU patients tended to have fewer bacteria from three probiotic species compared to the normal controls. This is the first reported differences in gut microbiome of CU patients and offers the possibility of a treatment option for at least some of these patents using probiotic therapy.

As always, we welcome your comments, criticisms and suggestions about how we can make your Annals better meet your needs and wants as your go to allergy journal. Please contact me with your thoughts and comments.

Gailen D. Marshall, Jr., MD, PhD, FACAAI