This review highlights some of the research advances in allergic skin disease, anaphylaxis, and hypersensitivity reactions to foods, drugs, and insects that were reported primarily in the Journal in 2007. Advances in diagnosis include possible biomarkers for anaphylaxis, improved understanding of the relevance of food-specific serum IgE tests, identification of possibly discriminatory T-cell responses for drug allergy, and an elucidation of irritant responses for vaccine allergy diagnostic skin tests. Mechanistic studies are discerning T-cell and cytokine responses central to eosinophilic gastroenteropathies and food allergy, including the identification of multiple potential therapeutic targets. Regarding treatment, clinical studies of oral immunotherapy and allergen vaccination strategies show promise, whereas several clinical studies raise questions about whether oral allergen avoidance reduces atopic risks and whether probiotics can prevent or treat atopic disease. The importance of skin barrier dysfunction has been highlighted in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD), particularly as it relates to allergen sensitization and eczema severity. Research has also continued to identify immunologic defects that contribute to the propensity of patients with AD to have viral and bacterial infections. New therapeutic approaches to AD, urticaria, and angioedema have been reported, including use of sublingual immunotherapy, anti-IgE, and a kallikrein inhibitor.

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