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1/2. Rush immunotherapy in a dog with severe ragweed and grass pollen allergy.

    BACKGROUND: Forty years of study of naturally occurring IgE-mediated allergy in animals is briefly reviewed. These studies provided models for study of bioactive mediators and innovative pharmacologic therapies for IgE-mediated asthma. Objective: Based on our experience with canine allergy we evaluated and treated a dog with severe grass and ragweed allergy whose allergic dermatitis was uncontrolled by H1 blockers and topical corticosteroids. The dog was miserable during the chicago grass and ragweed pollen seasons. methods: Rush immunotherapy was initiated during the ragweed season of 1997. RESULTS: Dramatic improvement was seen which persisted through the grass and ragweed seasons of 1998 after maintenance immunotherapy. CONCLUSION: The case is presented not as a model for canine immunotherapy but as an example of how animal research can be of value to both animals and humans.
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2/2. Influence of natural exposure to pollens and domestic animals on airway responsiveness and inflammation in sensitized non-asthmatic subjects.

    BACKGROUND: Atopy may be a risk factor in the development of asthma. Indoor allergens are considered to be more potent asthma inducers than outdoor ones such as pollens. Lower airway inflammation may be present in non-asthmatic subjects during natural exposure to relevant allergens and may eventually lead to the development of asthma. AIMS: To document seasonal variation in lower airway responsiveness and inflammation in sensitized non-asthmatic subjects, during natural exposure to allergens, and to determine whether it is more marked in those exposed to animals to which they are sensitized. methods: Twenty-two atopic subjects were seen during and out of the pollen season. All (but the controls) were sensitized to domestic animals, and to trees, grasses or ragweed. Eleven were not exposed to animals at home and 8 were exposed. They were compared with 3 normal controls. A respiratory questionnaire was administered, allergy skin prick tests, spirometry, methacholine challenge, blood and induced sputum with differential cell counts were obtained during the pollen season for all subjects. These tests were repeated out of the pollen season. RESULTS: Throughout the study, none of the subjects had asthma symptoms. Mean PC(20) was significantly lower in subjects exposed to animals compared with unexposed subjects or controls, both during and out of the pollen season. In season, subjects exposed to animals had significantly higher sputum eosinophil numbers than unexposed or normal control subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Non-asthmatic atopic subjects show variable degrees of airway responsiveness and inflammation. However, subjects exposed to animals show higher airway eosinophilia, which may suggest they are at increased risk of developing airway hyperresponsiveness and asthma.
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