Infection and allergy


EAACI Interest Group on Infection and Allergy


It is considered that infections play an important role in the allergic diathesis and recent observations in this field are intriguing to scientist and clinician alike. Many allergic disorders are precipitated by infections. On the other hand, it is held that an antigenically rich environment may be essential for normal immune maturation, preventing atopic diseases. Allergy and infection have always been closely related and the study of one has often provided new insights into the pathobiology of the other. However, conclusive evidence to establish a relationship linking infections to allergy has yet to be discovered. 


The Aims of the Infection and Allergy Section are:


·         To promote the study of the correlation between infections and development of allergic disease.

·         To endorse further investigation of the links between infections and allergy which could lead to the development of strategies for prevention.

·         To provide an active interaction between scientists, clinicians and experts, for sharing and developing knowledge among researchers regarding the close relation between infections and allergic disorders. 


The current Infection and Allergy board includes:


Chairman: Christoph Grüber
Secretary: Apostolos Bossios
Board Members: Chrysanthi Skevaki
George Konstantinou (Junior Affiliate)
Nikolaos Papadopoulos
Jurgen Schwartze

Related events


Past congresses


  1. The XXVII EAACI Congress took place in Barcelona last June and embraced numerous sessions in the field of Infections and Allergy: The Hygiene Hypothesis, Bacteria, Viral and Parasite infections and allergy, infections as risk or protective factors
  2. During the XIX World Congress of Asthma in Monte Carlo from 5th to 8th November 2008, Hygiene Hypothesis, RSV infection and Virus-induced asthma in children have been discussed.
  3. The 7th Symposium on Experimental Rhinology and Immunology of the Nose (SERIN), organised by ENT section of EAACI took place from 13 to 15 November 2008 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Staphylococcus aureus Endotoxin B, RV infection and type I & III interferons, Rhinosinusitis and nasal polyposis- aspergillus and Dermatiaceous fungi were some of the topics of the Infections and Allergy field.

Upcoming congresses


  1. XI International Symposium on Respiratory Viral Infections, 19-22 Feb, Bangkok, Thailand (
  2. 2009 AAAAI Annual Meeting.  13 -17 March 2009, Washington, DC (Viral infections and Asthma, Neutrophil responses to respiratory infections in asthma, Do infections cause chronic asthma? Host susceptibility and viral induced asthma pathogenesis, Infection and steroid therapy for viral induced asthma, RSV and asthma, Atopic dermatitis and infections) ( )
  3. 1st Middle East- Asia Allergy Asthma and Immunology Congress. 26-29 March 2009, Dubai, UAE. ( )
  4. XXVIII EAACI Congress. 06 to 10 June 2009, Warsaw, Poland. Numerous Infection and Allergy events are included in the programme, such as:

Saturday, 6 June 2009: Post Graduate Course – Asthma Exacerbations (New viruses and atypical bacteria as a cause of exacerbation, Prevention of viral - induced asthma exacerbations in children) – Aerobiology (Fungi and allergy)
Sunday, 7 June 2009: Symposium - Difficult-to-Treat Chronic Rhinosinusitis (Persistent infection) JMA Forum - Infections and Allergy (Viral infections and allergy: an intimate relationship, Role of bacterial infections and environmental factors in asthma development, Skin infections in atopic eczema: pathogenesis and clinical implications, Infectious rhinitis and its influence on the lower airways (


  1. World Allergy Congress. 06 -10 December 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Main topics: Infections, protective and promoters of asthma and allergies. ( ).   

Must read Journal Articles

1. Gern JE. Viral respiratory infection and the link to asthma. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2008 Oct;27(10 Suppl):S97-103.
This review examines the relationship between viral respiratory infections and wheezing/asthma exacerbations during childhood, focusing on the pathogenesis of the respiratory allergy. Host factors such as virus-induced interferon responses and their interaction with viral pathogens are examined and current treatment strategies are evaluated.

2. Jackson DJ et al. Wheezing rhinovirus illnesses in early life predict asthma development in high-risk children. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Oct 1;178(7):667-72.
In this high-risk birth cohort the relationship between specific viral illnesses and early childhood asthma development was analyzed. The results of the study show that rhinovirus-positive wheezing illnesses in infancy and early childhood are the most significant predictors of the subsequent development of asthma at age 6 years.

3. McDonald KL et al Delay in diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus vaccination is associated with a reduced risk of childhood asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Mar;121(3):626-31.
This study determined a negative association between delay in administration of the first dose of whole-cell DPT immunization in childhood and the development of asthma. This observation requires further investigation.

4. Vael C et al. Early intestinal Bacteroides fragilis colonisation and development of asthma. BMC Pulm Med. 2008 Sep 26;8:19.
This prospective birth cohort recognizes early intestinal colonization as an early indicator of possible development of asthma in the first 3 years of life.

5. Verhulst SL et al. A longitudinal analysis on the association between antibiotic use, intestinal microflora, and wheezing during the first year of life. J Asthma. 2008 Nov; 45(9):828-32.
This prospective birth cohort study demonstrated a significant association between wheezing during the first year of life and antibiotic use, total concentration of anerobic bacteria, while increasing concentrations of Clostridium were protective of wheezing.

6. Flohr C et al. Do helminth parasites protect against atopy and allergic disease? Clin Exp Allergy. 2009 Jan;39(1):20-32.
This review examines thoroughly the relationship between helminth parasites and development of atopy. 

7. Forton JT et al. Genetic association study for RSV Bronchiolitis in infancy at the 5q31 cytokine cluster. Thorax. (in press).
The results of this high density gene-region association study suggest that primary RSV bronchiolitis and atopy share a genetic contribution at the IL13-IL4 locus.

Other interesting Journal Articles

8. Zhang G et al. IL-10:IL-5 Responses at Birth Predict Risk for Respiratory Infections in Atopic Family History Positive Children. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. (in press)

9. Pacífico LG et al. Schistosoma mansoni antigens modulate experimental allergic asthma in a murine model: a major role for CD4+ CD25+ Foxp3+ T cells independent of interleukin-10. Infect Immun. 2009 Jan;77(1):98-107.

10. Nilsson C et al. Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus are differentially associated with numbers of cytokine-producing cells and early atopy. Clin Exp Allergy. (in press)

11. Karvala K et al. Occupational rhinitis in damp and moldy workplaces. Am J Rhinol. 2008 Sep-Oct;22(5):457-62

12. Betts RJ et al. CD8(+) T cells in asthma: Friend or foe? Pharmacol Ther. (in press)

13. Pakarinen J et al. Predominance of Gram-positive bacteria in house dust in the low-allergy risk Russian Karelia. Environ Microbiol. 2008 Dec;10(12):3317-25. (in press)

14. Cooper PJ et al. Ascaris lumbricoides-induced interleukin-10 is not associated with atopy in schoolchildren in a rural area of the tropics. J Infect Dis. 2008 May 1;197(9):1333-40.

15. Turner JD et al. Intensity of intestinal infection with multiple worm species is related to regulatory cytokine output and immune hyporesponsiveness. J Infect Dis. 2008 Apr 15;197(8):1204-12.  

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