GA²LEN welcomed in EU Council conclusions on prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic respiratory diseases in children

5th GA²LEN Global Urticaria Forum
01.-02.12.2020


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The prevalence of allergic diseases continues to grow with one child in three now affected

Today, more than 40% of Europe’s citizens suffer from at least one form of allergy

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+++Breaking News: Important publications on COVID-19

The COVID-19 epidemic is multifactorial but diet has not been sufficiently considered in severity. Geographic differences in COVID-19 mortality suggest the importance of diet. Clinical studies in three patients have contributed to developing a proof-of-concept for the hypothesis that combined Nrf2-TRPA1 foods may be beneficial for some COVID-19 symptoms.

  1. Rapid TRP (transient receptor potential) desensitization in COVID-19: fact or fancy?
  2. A common denominator in all conditions associated with COVID-19 appears to be the oxidative stress storm. Antioxidant nutrients may be of importance in COVID-19 through Nrf2 activation. TRP (Transient Receptor Potential) desensitization has been suggested in 6 COVID-19 patients since broccoli capsules (potent Nrf2 and weak TRPA1 agonist) reduced cough and nasal obstruction within 10-20 minutes. A series of cough induced challenges were carried out in one COVI-19 patient. Curcuma and black pepper, ginger or green tea all improved cough and nasal obstruction in less than 2 minutes.

    Jean Bousquet, Wienczyslawa Czarlewski, Torsten Zuberbier, Joaquim Mullol, Hubert Blain, Anna Bedbrook, Piotr Kuna, Josep M Anto

  3. Oral capsaicin induces a very fast improvement in COVID-19 symptoms suggesting TRPV1 channel desensitization
  4. TRPA1 and COVID 141020

    Potential control of COVID-19 symptoms by Nrf2-interacting nutrients with TRPA1 (transient receptor potential ankyrin 1) agonist activity

    Jean Bousquet, Wienczyslawa Czarlewski, Torsten Zuberbier, Joaquim Mullol, Hubert Blain, Raphael de la Torre Anna Bedbrook, Alessandro Fiocchi, Tari Haahtela, Ludger Klimek, Piotr Kuna, Nikolaos Papadopoulos, Aziz Sheikh, Arunas Valiulis, Josep M Anto

  5. COVID-19: Why Germany’s case fatality rate seems so low
  6. Covid-diet CTA
  7. Association fermented foods
  8. Cabbage and fermented vegetables: From death rate heterogeneity in
    countries to candidates for mitigation strategies of severe COVID‐19
  9. Nrf2 nutrients

    Nrf2-TPRA1 interacting nutrients, insulin resistance and COVID-19: Time for research to develop mitigation strategies

    Jean Bousquet (1-3), Jean-Paul Cristol (4), Wienczyslawa Czarlewski (5-6), Josep M Anto (7-10), Adrian Martineau (11), Tari Haahtela (12), Susana C Fonseca (13), Guido Iaccarino (14), Hubert Blain (15), Alessandro Fiocchi (16), G Walter Canonica (17), Joao A Fonseca (18), Alain Vidal (19), Hak-Jong Choi (20), Hyun Ju Kim (21), Vincent Le Moing (22), Jacques Reynes (22), Aziz Sheikh (23), Cezmi A Akdis (24), Torsten Zuberbier(1), and the ARIA group

  10. Clinical case

    Efficacy of broccoli and glucoraphanin in COVID-19: From hypothesis to proof-of-concept with three experimental cases

    Jean Bousquet 1-2, Vincent Le Moing 3, Hubert Blain 4, Wienczyslawa Czarlewski 5,6, Torsten Zuberbier 1, Raphael de la Torre8,9,10, Nieves Pizarro Lozano9, Jacques Reynes 3, Anna Bedbrook 2,6, Jean-Paul Cristol 7, Alvaro A. Cruz13, Alessandro Fiocchi 14, Tari Haahtela 15, Guido Iaccarino16, Ludger Klimek 17, Piotr Kuna 18, Eric Melèn 19, Joaquim Mullol 20, Boleslaw Samolinski 21, Arunas Valiulis 22, Josep M Anto 9-12

Is diet partly responsible for differences in COVID-19 death rates between and within countries

(1MB)The full paper "Is diet partly responsible for differences in COVID-19 death rates between and within countries? "is available here. Bousquet et al. Clin Transl. Allergy (2020) 10:16 https://doi.org/10.1186/s13601-020-00323-0

5th GA²LEN Global Urticaria Forum

We are pleased to invite you to participate in this year‘s GA²LEN Global Urticaria Forum. Join us in Berlin on 1-2 December 2020! Please find more details here. Don't miss out!

Legends of allergology/immunology: Jean Julien Raoul Bousquet; a Chemist, a Pharmacist, a Biologist, a Physician and - above all - an innovative Scientist

Anna Bedbrook1 and Torsten Zuberbier2
1 MACVIA-France, Montpellier, France
2 Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Department of Dermatology and Allergy

Having been given the opportunity to write this article about Jean Bousquet is certainly an honour and writing the “legend” of Jean Bousquet is an absolute pleasure. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a “legend” is a very old story, or a set of stories from ancient times. All of the stories, sometimes fictitious, tell of a famous event or person. Already here, a short remark may be appropriate: Jean - born in 1946 - has surely everything that is needed to become a legend. However, he is certainly not ancient, given that he is so extremely alert and up to date.

“Up to date” may in fact potentially be regarded as an insult by Jean, as we must admit that he is always at least ten years ahead of the times. I myself, Torsten Zuberbier, have been working with Jean for the past 15 years in the leadership of GA2LEN and must confess that at numerous (if not multiple) times, he has surprised me with his ever-new ideas and suggestions.

I, Anna Bedbrook, have been working very closely alongside Jean for twenty years. I arrived on the scene just as ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma) was emerging and my mission began by revising the English of the very first ARIA publication. Since then, I have never looked back and seem to have miraculously managed to keep up over the years with Jean’s extremely rapid pace, always endeavouring to accomplish the challenging mission of living up to his high expectations. Thanks to Jean, I have become a self-confident and strong person who thoroughly enjoys working on his exciting and creative projects.

Looking at Jean’s competences and his C.V., it can be noted that he possesses driving licences A and B, whatever that might mean… But what we do know is that he drives swiftly, carefully, with joy and (of course) in style - in a fancy German manufactured car whose brand we will not mention. This car is of course allergy friendly and certified by the ECARF Foundation which Jean also supports. The curious reader may guess the make.

The most remarkable ability about his driving skills is however not his capability of steering the car, with which most of us have no problem, but that he happens to know the manual off by heart. In fact, he probably doesn’t even need to read it as he is likely to already know every single feature before even touching the manual. Jean has not only a photographic memory but also loves and captures all details of a situation at first glance. This clearly brings us to his scientific achievements.

Jean is certainly the only physician to our knowledge who has completed 4 different university degrees, becoming a chemist at the age of 21, a pharmacist at 22, a biologist at 24 and a medical doctor at 29. His capacity of high productivity and diversity of projects conducted simultaneously was demonstrated when he obtained PhD and MD degrees in the same week - one in pharmacy "Immunology of the pleural fluid" and one in medicine "Allergic risk and its prevention" - whilst at the same time organising an international meeting on allergen standardization!

Of course, he also carries academic degrees in the other disciplines. How can anyone accomplish this??? Jean certainly has the very good luck of being equipped with such a fantastic memory, but this is only useful in combination with the important trait of his disciplined character which can be a slight challenge for the rest of the world, as he expects others to be equally as quick and disciplined!

For those who know Jean, it is easy to imagine that he is right when he tells us that at school, his teachers didn’t like him very much, that he was a bit of an annoying pest. Well, for those of you who have school-aged children at home who by chance also possess similar genius-like tendencies, maybe it would be a good idea to tell them not to correct their teacher in every lesson, or maybe only once in a while. We believe that Jean was never given this advice! At school, Jean’s admirable capacity in science was not only based on his photographic memory but also on his speed of reading, easily comparable to the xerox machines of his time. To be noted that Jean taught himself to read at the age of 6 by studying cars in the street and working out the make and model of each vehicle. We can easily imagine that in his youth, the Encyclopedia “Britannica” soon became boring. Luckily for Jean, today, he is able to read Wikipedia at bedtime wherever he may be on the planet. In fact, should you accompany Jean anywhere in the world, you don't need to use Wikipedia yourself, as he is an actual walking encyclopedia. He can tell you everything there is to know about the monuments you visit (history, date of construction, height, width, etc.) as well as the artists whose masterpieces you admire (the techniques used in each painting, the date of birth/death of the artist). He is a museum guide’s nightmare, catching him/her out on incorrect dates or facts. To be noted that he can also name and provide detailed information on most every car, motorbike and sailing boat within sight.

As Jean himself states, one of his favourite hobbies is Astronomy. However, we must clarify that this activity involves internet research and not paradoxically a telescope. He is not attracted to the stars in the sky but to those in the Michelin Guide. He seems to know most of the names of these top restaurants as well as the city of their location. To conclude, when travelling with Jean, you can be sure that you will not need to look up the best museum, the current exhibition or the most prestigious restaurant in town.

Jean’s personality has been the foundation of his journey to becoming a legend in allergy and immunology. Along the way, he became a respiratory specialist in 1979 and then started his career.

In the 1980s, Jean was already an impressive specialist when it came to bibliography - which he studied in great detail in the weekly "Current Contents". With the help of his dear wife, Hélène, he requested reprints, read them all… and memorized them!!! (Fig. 1)

At medical conferences, if you ever have any doubts whatsoever regarding bibliography, just ask Jean and he will give you not only the list of authors, but also the name of the journal and, as a bonus, the page numbers! And he still laughs when he does so. (Fig. 2)

At the end of 1989, he began to set up a research laboratory at the Aiguelongue Hospital (Montpellier), with the help of French and English researchers.

The construction of the new Arnaud de Villeneuve Hospital (Montpellier) marked the start of his activity in basic research. His enthusiasm and self-confidence enabled him to attract an important number of researchers in order to apply to INSERM for recognition of his already-accomplished work.

In 1992, the request to establish a recognized laboratory was accepted by the national authorities. The CJF 92-10 was created and renewed 2 years later.

Jean's activity was never ending: travelling throughout Europe and the USA to give presentations in congresses and meetings as well as writing articles (with his researchers) in the office situated on the ground floor of his home. Despite the fact that the new hospital was only a 5-minute walk from his home, he had no time to waste and often drove there.

He also managed to find time to play tennis with one of his close Italian "fellows" who he regularly exhausted.

In order to fully understand the functioning of the INSERM committees, he applied to join Committee 5 (Heart – Lung) and was elected. His enthusiasm attracted new French and Dutch researchers, allowing him to apply for the establishment of a research unit. Unit 454 was established in 1996. This unit was renewed in 2000 and 2004, and closed in 2008. He then decided that it was time to move on to a new area of work.

Apart from doing his own research, he soon discovered that the greatest achievements could be accomplished by creating large networks and initiatives starting with GINA, the Global INitiative for Asthma, which he chaired from 1998 to 1999. He soon then discovered that allergy in general was a rather trivialized area and that linking allergic rhinitis with asthma would gain the attention of the health politicians and WHO. In this sense, he founded his greatest baby - ARIA - the most frequently worldwide-read guideline in asthma and, more than that, a network of renowned researchers spanning the globe. Many of these prestigious people from around the world became his close, foreign “family”.

He then became director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for asthma and rhinitis in Montpellier in 2001 with affiliates in 64 countries. Subsequently, he set up the WHO Global Alliance against chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD) initiative which he chaired between 2005 and 2013 before handing the work over to successors.

Another very important political and scientific achievement was GA2LEN (the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network) which was created and funded by the European Union. Jean was one of GA2LEN’s driving forces together with Paul van Cauwenberge. Jean has been on the board as Vice-President from the very beginning and, in his own creative way, has always added new ways of thinking and new research topics, even EU Grants such as MeDALL (Mechanisms of the Development of ALLergy).

ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma) began in 1999 after Jean discovered that there was a definite link between allergic rhinitis and asthma. He was the first person in the world to discover also the political potential of this and thus to get WHO - via the “seriously-regarded” disease asthma - interested in allergy.

ARIA was therefore initiated during a WHO workshop and was first published in 2001. Its main aim was to provide a guideline for the diagnosis and management of allergic rhinitis and asthma. It was further developed by the WHO Collaborative Centre. In 2008, ARIA was updated and then, in its 2010 revision, it became the first chronic respiratory disease guideline to adopt the GRADE (Grading of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach, an advanced evidence evaluation methodology. ARIA now has a 600-member working group in 80 countries and in more than 40 different languages. Determined to keep up with the times, Jean’s ARIA created MASK (Mobile Airways Sentinel networK) with a working group of 250 members. MASK uses mobile technology to develop care pathways for the management of rhinitis and asthma. It has been officially recognized by DG Santé as a Good Practice on the digital transformation of health and care in rhinitis and asthma. MASK has developed a smartphone App for Android and Apple (MASK-air) that has been launched in 24 countries and 18 languages (Fig. 3). MASK-air enables its users to keep a daily record of their allergic rhinitis and asthma symptoms as well as their medication use.

The App is currently integrating data on pollution, pollens and climate parameters. Artificial intelligence is soon going to reinforce the platform and will contribute to its utmost success in patient well-being. One of the current ARIA phases is “change management for airway diseases”, the aim of which is to provide an active and healthy life to rhinitis and asthma sufferers.

When Jean Bousquet successfully launched the next step in ARIA - the MASK-air App, he entered a new field of work: digital health. Jean soon discovered that pooled data enabled a new understanding and new ways of looking at the same facts from a different angle. The term Anamorphosis in medicine was born and soon thereafter published.

Still, the importance of this initiative goes much deeper than many anticipated and, once again, Jean has been the first in allergy to make a discovery: the potential that digital health offers in future treatment. Novel interactive tools can not only help to ensure the adherence of patients but also to link predictions with pollen flight, allowing proactive suggestions for step-up and step-down in medication.

Another important topic of his recent work is the area of Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) in Horizon 2020 within the programme of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP). Jean has not only managed to enter his own region in France as a reference site - now already highly decorated - but also to establish GA²LEN as a pan-European network, also as a reference site. With this, and within the important field of Active and Healthy Ageing, allergy now has a clear footprint reminding us all that not only the early lifetime events should be considered in research (starting with the birth cohorts) but also that allergies have a relevant impact in older age, e.g. they are responsible for up to 7% of car accidents. In addition, with the lack of cohort studies in the elderly, we also need better data on novel sensitisations beyond the age of retirement and the personal impact of allergies on the lives of the elderly. Gaining this knowledge will truly support research in finding better strategies for helping allergy sufferers to achieve their personal AHA, while Jean himself - now aged 73 - can be quoted that he himself is already a living example of a personal HAHA (HYPER Active and Healthy Ageing).

Last but not least, summarizing Professor Jean Bousquet's steps in becoming a legend in allergy has proven that he truly thinks in universal terms although limited to our planet Earth (where, as pointed out above, he also believes that stars can be found). He was the first ever to link allergy and active and healthy ageing, not only with climate change but with the truly universal term “planetary health” which unites all necessities of our planet, going beyond the wishes of a better nature, a better climate and better wildlife protection.

Planetary health is the understanding of the inter-dependencies of all human and all natural systems, including plants, animals, water, air and the human constructions as well as the health of humans. Ideally, a win-win situation can be created, where interventions are good for humans, human health and the health of the planet. Thus it appears only logical to think ahead - as Jean usually does - and to take a look at allergy in this context. Worldwide, we clearly have a growing number of allergy sufferers, not only in the field of airway allergy with sensitization against trees such as Birch, Japanese Cedar, Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus) (now planted also in Europe) and Olive but also in cross-reactions leading to food allergy against a variety of fruits and vegetables. Planetary health and allergy can both be helped with novel scientific concepts, taking into account the cultivation of plants with low allergenicity as well as good resistance in times of climate change. Within this field, Jean has already formed a new Alliance using the synergistic effects of his various pro bono offices, in this case GA²LEN, with him being vice president, and ECARF, the European allergy foundation, where he serves as a member of the advisory board and French ambassador. More about this topic will certainly soon be published in this journal. The paper has not yet been written but soon will, given that his articles are produced in record time, which is also legendary. To be noted that Jean has published over 1,000 articles throughout his career, the majority of which having been written by himself, and has an extremely impressive Hirsch factor of 158 on Google Scholar. He is the most frequently quoted author in asthma worldwide and cannot be overlooked at any conference, despite a few of his regular quotes: “I’m a crazy guy” - “I’m a simple guy”.

Well, Jean, whatever you think… We think that you are not just “any” guy but a most wonderful and brilliant (no other word to describe you) person and, to be precise, you are already more than a “Legend in Allergy”. You have well and truly earned your place as a “Legend in Medicine”!

    Table 1. Jean’s major contributions:

  1. Confirmed the importance of eosinophils in the pathogenesis of asthma and its severity (1990)
  2. Proposed and confirmed the concept of airways remodeling in asthma (1992)
  3. Showed that rhinitis alters quality of life more than mild to moderate asthma (1992)
  4. Proposed that mono and polysensitization are different diseases (1992)
  5. Allergen immunotherapy guidelines, WHO position paper (1997)
  6. Initiated the Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) guidelines, which reclassified allergic rhinitis according to its persistence and severity (1999)
  7. Initiated the Global Alliance against Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD), WHO (2004)
  8. Proposed the concept of epigenetic mechanisms in asthma (2004)
  9. Proposed and confirmed that allergic rhinitis is not a disease remodeling the airways because of its embryologic origin (2004)
  10. Improved current understanding on the mechanisms implicated in the initiation of allergic diseases (MeDALL, 2011)
  11. Identified a multimorbid polysensitized phenotype and its association with a Type 2 pattern and the severity of allergic diseases (2015)
  12. Developed and implemented mobile technology in rhinitis and asthma: Mobile Airways Sentinel networK (MASK) (2016)
  13. Combined big data, classical epidemiology, bio-informatics and a genomic approach, distangled rhinitis as a single disease and rhinitis and asthma, and showed that rhinitis and conjunctivitis are two different diseases (2020)

Extract from the article in Allergy pub. 15.04.2020 - doi.org/10.1111/all.14321

GA²LEN General Assembly Lisbon 2019

Monday 03.06.2019
Time: 10:00 – 12:00
Location: Auditorium III (FIL)
EAACI Congress 2019 in Lisbon

EAACI GA²LEN Sister Symposium Lisbon 2019

GA²LEN is honoured to be holding yet another EAACI Sister Symposium this year in Lisbon. On Sunday, 02.06.2019 at 13:30 - 15:00 located in Hall 14 (FIL). GA²LEN will hold it's Symposium focussing on Planetary Health, a new aspect in precision medicine. Please do make sure to join us as entrance is free to all.

GA²LEN General Assembly Munich 2018

GA²LEN General Assembly Munich 2018
Date: 28th May 2018
Time: 10:00 – 11:30
Location: EAACI Munich Congress Centre - Room 22

EAACI GA²LEN Sister Symposium Munich 2018

GA²LEN is honoured to be holding yet another EAACI Sister Symposium this year in Munich. On Tuesday, 29.05.2018 - 13:30 - 15:00, GA²LEN will hold it's Symposium focussing on The POLLAR Project, The CURE Project, the EUFOREA Project and the GA²LEN Chamber Project. Please do make sure to join us as entrance is free to all.

The EAACI/GA²LEN/EDF/WAO Guideline for the definition, classification, diagnosis, and management of urticaria: the 2017 revision and update

This evidence and consensus-based guideline was developed following the methods recommended by Cochrane and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) working group. The conference was held on December 1st, 2016. It is a joint initiative of the Dermatology Section of the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), the EU-founded network of excellence, the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA²LEN), the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), and the World Allergy Organization (WAO) with the participation of 48 delegates of 42 national and international societies. This guideline was acknowledged and accepted by the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS). Urticaria is a frequent, mast cell-driven disease, presenting with wheals, angioedema, or both. The lifetime prevalence for acute urticaria is approximately 20%. Chronic spontaneous urticaria and other chronic forms of urticaria are disabling, impair quality of life, and affect performance at work and school. This guideline covers the definition and classification of urticaria, taking into account the recent progress in identifying its causes, eliciting factors and pathomechanisms. In addition, it outlines evidence-based diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for the different subtypes of urticaria.

For a downloadable copy of the Guidelines, please kindly see the PDF here (509 KB)

Thank you to all our GA²LEN Partners and Collaboration Centres

GA²LEN wishes all its Partners and Collaboration Centres throughout the whole network a very Merry Christmas and a successful and fruitful 2017. We would like to thank all our members for their valuable support with collaborations, successful allergy schools, studies and research projects and look forward to continuing this great collaborative spirit in 2017.

GA²LEN at EAACI Vienna 2016

GA²LEN was again highly present this year at EAACI 2016 in Vienna. The GA²LEN Sister Symposium entitled "GA²LEN Research improves precision medicine" was highly attended and explained the 4P's of precison medicine. Nikos Papadopoulos introduced the symposium by asking what are the steps ahead for precision medicine. The 4 P's; Prediction, Prevention, Personalization and Participation talks were given by GA²LEN Network Partner members Prof. Claudio Rhyner, Prof. Jean Bousquet, Prof. Walter Canonica and Prof. Torsten Zuberbier.

GA²LEN Participation highlighted the GA²LEN Network and the benefits of participation, including the GA²LEN Chamber.

 

 

 

 

 

GA²LEN supports 2nd World Urticaria Day

“Urticaria under control” is what this year’s Urticaria Day is all about! On October 1st, GA²LEN helps to celebrate the second World Urticaria Day. Go and check out the Urticaria Day 2015 website and help to increase awareness and knowledge on chronic urticaria!

Urticaria day is a great opportunity to raise awareness for urticaria among patients and their families, doctors, politicians, the press and the world.

We want to offer educational opportunities for patients and doctors so that they, in turn, can give better care to urticaria patients. Help us help patients get their urticaria under control by telling others about urticariaday2015. Tell family, friends, colleagues, and doctors. Share information about Urticaria Day 2015 on 1. October 2015 in any way you can!”

GA²LEN Sisiter Symposium at EAACI Barcelona 2015

GA²LEN Symposium: Novel tools to access the burden of allergic disease in clinical trials and for society

Date: 08.06.2015
Time: 15:45 – 17:15
Location: Room 114
Open for everyone

Chair: Nikos Papadopoulos (Greece)
Chair: Carsten Bindslev-Jensen (Denmark)

MeDALL – Insights from European birth cohorts
15:45 – 16:07 Josep M. Antó (Spain)

MeDALL - What epigenetics can teach us in better understanding the prevalence of increase in allergies 16:07 – 16:29 Gerard Koppelman (Netherlands)

PreDicta – Airway allergies: Novel chips for allergens and virus components
16:29 – 16:51 Rudolf Valenta (Austria)

Novel tools to access the burden of allergic disease in clinical trials and for society
16:51 – 17:13 Torsten Zuberbier (Germany)

The EAACI/GA²LEN/EDF/WAO Guideline for the definition, classification, diagnosis, and management of urticaria: the 2013 revision and update

(509 KB)

This Guideline is the result of a systematic literature review using the ‘Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation’ (GRADE) methodology and a structured consensus conference held on 28 and 29 November 2012, in Berlin. It is a joint initiative of the Dermatology Section of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), the EU-funded network of excellence, the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN), the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), and the World Allergy Organization (WAO) with the participation of delegates of 21 national and international societies. Urticaria is a frequent, mast cell-driven disease, presenting with wheals, angioedema, or both. The life-time prevalence for acute urticaria is approximately 20%. Chronic spontaneous urticaria and other chronic forms of urticaria do not only cause a decrease in quality of life, but also affect performance at work and school and, as such, are members of the group of severe allergic diseases. This guideline covers the definition and classification of urticaria, taking into account the recent progress in identifying its causes, eliciting factors and pathomechanisms. In addition, it outlines evidence-based diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for the different subtypes of urticaria. This guideline was acknowledged and accepted by the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS).

The Methods report describes the process of guideline development in detail. It is the result of a systematic literature review using the ‘Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation’ (GRADE) methodology and a structured consensus conference held on 28 and 29 November 2012, in Berlin.
(315KB)

GA²LEN latest Collaboration Centre

GA²LEN is proud to welcome its latest collaboration centre to the Network of Excellence, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù. Located in the Vatican City... Read more

GA²LEN Junior Travel Grant winners - for EAACI Congress in Milan 2013

WINNER: Håvard Ove Skjerven - Håvard graduated as M.D. from the University of Oslo in 2004. Since 2007 he has combined clinical work, student teaching and research within the GA²LEN member Oslo Research group of Asthma and Allergy in Children, the Lung and Environment (ORAACLE). In the last 3 years, he has held the position of assistant Professor.

Håvards main research project is the Bronchiolitis ALL-SE Study, a RCT comparing treatment medication (inhaled racemic adrenaline versus inhaled saline) and strategies (on demand versus fixed schedule treatment) in acute bronchiolitis in infants. The RCT included 404 children from 8 different hospitals, and is newly accepted for publication. The projects further main research questions he is working with are 1) viral epidemiology, and the association with 2)disease severity and 3)treatment effect. Further the association between allergic/atopic disease 18 months after bronchiolitis and 4)disease severity, 5)viral epidemiology and 6)treatment efficacy, all recorded during hospitalization less than 12 months of age. Håvard states that the importance of being a part of this GA²LEN group has been, and will be, invaluable for the projects progress.

WINNER: Vanessa Garcia Larsen - Vanessa Garcia Larsen is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Imperial College London where she is actively engaged in the activities related to the GA²LEN Work Package 2.1. Epidemiological and Clinical Studies chaired by Professor Peter Burney.

Her contribution to GA²LEN centres on the study of the role of dietary exposures on outcomes of asthma and allergy. Vanessa was responsible for the development and subsequent use of the GA²LEN Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ), which allowed tehem to collect standardised information on dietary intake in a sample of 3,100 adults. Vanessa is currently working on the analyses of this investigation.

In 2012 Vanessa was the main supervisor of an MSc project at Imperial College London, where she investigated the association between dietary intake of fresh fruits and vegetables in relation to asthma in the GA²LEN study population. An abstract with these results was selected for an oral presentation in the EAACI Congress. This proved to be an excellent opportunity to disseminate the continuous work carried out within GA²LEN.

Vanessa believe the impact of the nutritional component of the GA²LEN Follow-up Survey will continue to increase as we disseminate the findings. There are currently two manuscripts under preparation. The methodological paper on the validation of the GA2LEN FFQ was published in 2011. This has provided the foundation for the use of the FFQ in at least 4 large international studies investigating the role of diet on lung-related and other chronic diseases.

As a nutritional epidemiologist, Vanessa has a strong interest in providing scientific evidence on the role of diet on allergic diseases. Vanessa says that this Travel Grant would allowed her to strenghten the links with other researchers within the GA²LEN Network as well as with our partners in EAACI. Given the international nature of this Congress and its relevance in the field of asthma and allergic diseases, her attendance gave her a unique opportunity to highlight the ongoing work that her Partner instituition is doing within GA²LEN.

Vanessa states that her attendance at EAACI also allowed her to take an active role in the GA²LEN General Assembly meeting, to which she was invited in 2012 to present the rationale and initial results of the GA²LEN Diet Study.

WINNER and best oral presentation award winner: Francisco de Borja Callejas Díaz. Borja is involved in the current GA²LEN projects including translational research in the GA²LEN rhinosinusitis project(former WP 2.7.2). He gave an oral presentation on part of this work and presented in Milan. Borja is also working on the SPT Follow-up study. He has been involved in database collection and processing.

Borja Callejas has a Junior predoctoral position at GA²LEN Partner institution IDIBAPS, Spain. He really hoped that he would be considered for a GA²LEN Travel Grant and we were delighted to make this possible. Borja attended the 2013 EAACI Congress in Milan (Italy). He was awarded the prize for the best oral presentation in the section Markers of chronic rhinosinusitis. His presentation was entitled “Characterization of two epithelial cell air-liquid interface (ALI) culture models for human healthy nasal mucosa and nasal polyps”. Congratulations and excellent work Borja! For a further article on Borjas work visit the IDIBAPS website.

GA²LEN supports the World Allergy Week 2013 - 8th - 14th April 2013

The World Allergy Organization (WAO) will host its Annual World Allergy Week from 8th - 14th April, 2013, together with its 93 national Member Societies, to address the topic of “Food Allergy – A Rising Global Health Problem,” and its growing burden on children. Globally, 220-250 million people may suffer from food allergy [1], and the occurrence of food allergies continues to rise in both developed and developing countries, especially in children. Read more...

GA²LEN at Cyprus EU Presidency high level Health Meeting
"Healthy Ageing across the Lifecycle"

This high level meeting in Cyprus was held at the 'FILOXENIA' Conference Centre in Lefkosia (Nicosia) 05. - 06. September 2012. There was a special focus on the prevention of non-communicable diseases, as well as on health promotion from early childhood, as a prerequisite and integral part of a healthy ageing process across the lifecycle, bearing in mind that 2012 is the European Year of Active and Healthy Ageing. GA²LEN Secretary General, Prof. Torsten Zuberbier gave a presentation entitled “Network in allergy - A surveillance network to improve active and healthy ageing”.

The priorities of the Ministry of Health are health from early childhood, as a prerequisite and integral part of a healthy ageing process. The need for being proactive with the ageing population and present economic crisis being a burden on health systems, and furthermore a need for implementing effective disease prevention and health promotion programs across the lifecycle. As you can see from the Conference Family Photo below, the conference was successful and highlighted the importance of Active and Healthy Ageing.


Conference Family Photo - CY 2012 EU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GA²LEN at EAACI in Geneva

GA²LEN was present this year at the EAACI 2012 congress in Geneva. We were delighted to welcome to the stand Nikos Papadopoulos, EAACI Secretary General and Cezmi Akdis, EAACI President and member of GA²LEN, on their walk-around at the National Society Village in the exhibitors hall. GA²LEN was promoting its Sentinel Network Call to Action, collecting signatures of support from EAACI delegates and GA²LEN friends who were attending. We were pleased to see Prof. Peter Burney, Prof. Torsten Zuberbier, Prof. Ewa Nizankowska-Mogilnicka, Prof. Carsten Bindslev-Jensen, Prof. Magnus Wickman, Professor Tari Haahtela, Prof. Bolesław Samoliński, Prof. Jean Bousquet and Dr Vanessa Garcia Larsen, who has been busy with new updates on the GA²LEN FFQ, more to follow on this so watch this space.


l.r. - Cezmi Akdis, Angelos Neou, Ingrid van Hofman & Nikos Papadopoulos

GA²LEN welcomed in the EU Council conclusions

Council of the European Union conclusions on chronic respiratory diseases in children Asthma, allergic rhinitis, and other chronic respiratory diseases are the most common non-communicable diseases in children, and their prevalence and burden have increased in recent decades. This is why the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) has made their prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment a priority for the EU's public health policy. On Sept 20—21, 2011, the Polish Presidency held an expert's conference to prepare the conclusions of the Council. These conclusions were adopted during an interministerial conference of the 27 Member States, on Dec 2, 2011.

GA²LEN Annual Conference 2012

Berlin, 27 February 2012 – On 27 and 28 February, leading up to “Rare Disease Day”, the annual GA²LEN conference takes place at the Charité Universitätsmedizin (university hospital) Berlin. GA²LEN stands for Global Allergy and Asthma European Network and is a network of European specialty centres that works to strengthen European research on allergies and asthma.

This year’s conference focuses on the current situation in the development and implementation of clinical studies on rare allergies in particular, as well as possibilities for improvement in this area. “In the study of allergies, we find many rare sub-forms of allergies as well as rare allergens”, says Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h. c. Torsten Zuberbier, Secretary General of GA²LEN. “Because they are so rare, gathering information on these allergies through medical studies can be very challenging. The available treatment options often do not adequately address these small groups”, continues Zuberbier. “The conference is intended to bring us a significant step further in the development of relevant clinical studies. We want to make progress in the treatment of rare allergies.” One emphasis of the conference will be the development of an improved definition of outcome parameters for clinical studies.

The parameters should also be able to take into account individual results from allergy sub-phenotypes. Leading experts from research and academics, representatives of the EMA (European Medicines Agency), patient organisations and industry representatives will discuss openly the possibilities for improvement in clinical studies. The international guest speakers include Prof. Guido Rasi, Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA); Lars Jacobsen, European Allergen Manufacturers Group (EMG); Prof. Sergio Bonini, CNR Rome; Prof. Bruce Zuraw, University of San Diego; Dr. Anna Simon, Raboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre.

Press Information for the conference is avaliable here in PDF format in English or German

GA²LEN Annual Conference 2012
Clinical Trials - the current situation and future chances in the limelight

Make sure you don't miss this great opportunity to be a part of the GA²LEN Annual Conference 2012. The topic will be "Clinical Trials - the current situation and future chances in the limelight". Please visit the conference programme page for a more detailed programme.

This conference will be accredited with 9 CME points

Speakers and experts will come from right across Europe including Professor Guido Rasi Executive Director of the EMA and Professor Bruce Zuraw from the University of California, San Diego. GA²LEN is delighted to have distinguished conference support from Professor Sergio Bonini as the Head of our Conference Organising Committee and Professor Jean Bousquet, GA²LEN Vice President, WHO and GARD member to discuss and chair sessions, as well as the chance to discuss with the many leading GA²LEN experts from across Europe including; Prof. Kai-Håkon Carlsen, Prof. Boleslaw Samolinski, Prof. Karin C. Lødrup Carlsen, Prof. Peter Burney, Prof. Marcus Maurer and many, many more.

Press - Der Spiegel, edition: 46/2011 Germany

GA²LEN Partner, Prof. Carsten Bindslev-Jensen from Odense Denmark, has been quoted in an article from "Der Spiegel" today regarding his outstanding research and "Detective work" that resulted in the discovery of an allergic reaction to a modified wheat protein. Commenting on how he and his team found out about the mystery wheat allergy, Prof. Bindlev-Jensen said "It was real detective work and it kept us busy for weeks!". The article goes in-depth on the subject of how manufacturers use "clean labeling" and how a modified wheat protein cansometimes be simply labeled as wheat.

Update from GA²LENs Call to Action - European Parliament 19.10.2011

At GA²LENs European Parliament Lunch Debate, we were honored to have speeches made by our hosting MEP Christofer Fjellner who spoke of the timely manner in which GA²LEN has presented itself, as only 10% of allergy and asthma patients are being properly treated. MEP Mr. Fjellner also stated that GA²LEN would help to control the mounting costs to employers, mainly due to reduced presenteeism with untreated allergies, which are now totaling €100 Billion Euros.

European Parliament Lunch debate

MEP Dr. Ioannis Kasoulides gave a supporting speech stating that GA²LEN can respond to the challenges faced by today's European Citizens in the light of such chronic diseases and their perpetual increase. A supportive closing speech was made on behalf of MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen.

Prof. Torsten Zuberbier, GA²LEN Secretary General presented the background information of GA²LEN, its members, groundbreaking work and the proposal of the Sentinel Network.

Breda Flood, the President of the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Association explained the importance of the patients view, a right to quality of life with allergies and asthma and gave support and endorsement for the Call to Action of the GA²LEN sentinel network.

Prof. Boleslaw Samolinski, member of the subcommittee of the Polish Health Presidency and Ms. Agnieszka Czupryniak, Polish Ministry of Health spoke of the importance of the GA²LEN Sentinel Network in conjunction with the Polish Health priorities during the Polish EU Presidency. The Polish Presidency invites the Commission and Member States to encourage and support research in prevention, early detection, treatment and causative factors and supports the creation of networks, preferably employing already existing infrastructures. Ms. Natacha Grenier from the European Commission, DG Sanco explained the importance of air quality and treatment of COPD. Health inequalities must also be addresses and GA²LEN can help to address this imbalance. A further inspiring talk came from Prof. Jean Bousquet, from the University of Montpellier and WHO Collaborating Centre on asthma and rhinitis, who stressed the need for early prevention and detection and stated that the infrastructure is in place and is cost effective to address allergies and asthma.

On many occasions, President Professor Jerzy Buzek has stressed that Parliament is committed to supporting better care and treatments for asthma, allergies and COPD. We would now like to ask you, after our successful start for your continuing support in the coming months to make the GA²LEN “Call to Action” fruitful and ultimately, through using GA²LENs unique expertise and network of researchers, be able to offer a better quality of life for allergy and asthma patients throughout Europe.

Presentation from Prof. Torsten Zuberbier given to the Working Party on Public Health, 21.10.2011. PDF version (2.38 MB)

Joint GA²LEN & EAACI Press release - 10.10.2011

GA²LEN (Global Allergy and Asthma European Network) and EAACI (European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology) support the current call for simplification as the current EU regulations on Clinical trials slow down and hinder not only allergen immunotherapy, but also allergen diagnostics. The European Clinical Trials Directive 2001/20/EC (EUCTD) was introduced to establish standardisation of research activity in clinical trials throughout the European Community.

GA²LENs Secretary General, Professor Torsten Zuberbier stated that "The current EU Regulations are surely meant as improvement but are based on standard disease scenarios. With complex diseases such as allergy and allergen immunotherapy, trials cannot be "Pigeon-holed" as each case of allergic disease is as varied and individual as the patient themselves".

Even more difficult is the situation in diagnostics for skin testing (e.g. patch test for contact allergy, prick test for hayfever or food allergy), which now also need to undergo trials for licensing. With thousands of different possible allergens this is virtually impossible. A novel central EMA approach for allergy skin test diagnostics is therefore urgently needed and employing the GA²LEN structure of a Pan European network might be ideal for a standardized assessment of the quality. GA²LEN already has taken the first steps by inviting all stakeholders to a conference on improvement of clinical trials in allergy 27-28 February, 2012.

Nikos Papadopoulos, EAACIs Secretary General adds "Allergies place a major burden on the quality of life of Europeans. Patients and doctors alike, are calling for better treatments, and this is only going to happen if we streamline the research process".

GA²LEN, the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network, is a consortium of leading European research centres specialized in allergic diseases, which include asthma. GA²LEN addresses the growing public health concern of allergic diseases, with its objectives to enhance the quality and relevance of research and to address all aspects of the disease, create a permanent and durable structure that will maximize the scientific contribution of Europe to this area, accelerate the application of research results to clinical practice, patients' needs and policy development, to promote training and integration between the public and private sector and to eventually decrease the social and economic burden of allergy and asthma throughout Europe.

EAACI is an association of clinicians, researchers and allied health professionals, dedicated to improving the health of people affected by allergic diseases. With over 6,800 individual members and 41 European National Societies, EAACI is a source of expertise in Europe for all aspects of allergy. GA²LEN will be present in the European Parliament on 19th October for a debate with MEPS to support its Call for Action of an Allergy Surveillance and Sentinel Network for Europe.

GA²LEN

For the first time the GA²LEN network has brought together epidemiological, basic and clinical researchers from across the European Union (EU) to work on common projects. Results have been published widely, with more than 100 scientific papers documenting multidisciplinary collaboration on a large scale. GA²LEN has allowed for allergic diseases and asthma to be tackled in a global approach starting from co-programming and facilitating basic research, accelerating the results for translational research, optimizing multinational clinical research but not stopping there. GA²LEN has systematically created or updated relevant guidelines for all major topics in allergy, together with the EAACI.

GA²LEN is widely recognized for its achievements in these fields and has been asked for cooperation by other international societies as well as the World Health Organisation (WHO). Last but not least GA²LEN has ensured a harmonization in the standards of care and in its quality programme certifies the member institutions to comply with the highest standards by a visitation programme

Research teams were chosen for their scientific excellence, their record on multidisciplinary working and international collaboration, and their educational activities. Since the launch of the Network, it has grown to include an additional 50 collaborating centres making GA²LEN one of the largest multidisciplinary networks of researchers in allergy and asthma worldwide.

GA²LEN, the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network, is a consortium of leading European research centres specialized in allergic diseases, which include asthma. Funded by the European Union under the 6th Framework Programme, GA²LEN addresses the growing public health concern of allergic diseases.

GA²LENs objectives in asthma and allergy are:

GA²LEN is looking for event organisers for its allergy schools and Masterclasses for help with logistics and coordination. If you are interested, please get in touch with the GA²LEN main office.