Although SLIT has become a popular therapy method for many allergies, roughly 20-30% of patients don''t respond to SLIT for a Japanese cedar pollinosisa high-risk disease. According to a recent study, a specific variation of the HLA-DPB1 gene is associated with a poor reaction to this treatment, highlighting the potential of these and similar genes as useful biomarkers in clinical practice.
Seasonal allergies are common in certain areas of the world. In Japan, about one third of the population is allergic to the pollen of the Japanese cedar, which is a native tree species. Fortunately, allergen immunotherapy has developed much over the last decade, becoming the closest thing we can have to a cure for both seasonal and year-round allergies. After several months, a large percentage of patients experience self-reaction to the same allergens in their daily lives.
The treatment for allergic rhinitisthat is ineffective for many individuals who are short of trying it out and seeing their reaction for up to two years, thus 20-30% of patients would have to tolerate all of the side effects of the therapy for no benefit.
Against this backdrop, a team of scientists from Japan sat down to develop a biomarker that might be used to predict the responsiveness of a person to SLIT for Japanese cedar pollinosis. In their most recent paper, published online on 12th February 2022 inAllergy, they highlight a newly discovered association between a specific variant of the HLA-DPB1 gene and poor response to SLIT. This collaboration was led by Prof. Shigeharu Fujieda
What makes theHLA-DPB1gene different, and why would it be related to body responsiveness to SLIT? This gene provides instructions for developing a protein that plays a vital role in the immune system, notably helping it distinguish body''s own proteins from foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. This protein, encoded by theHLA-DPB1gene, is a functional protein complex with the protein that has been approved by this research team. This study has previously discovered that certain structural differences
According to Prof. Fujieda, patients carrying at least oneHLA-DPB1alleles were at greater risk of being non-responders to SLIT in their second season of immunotherapy. This suggests that differences in the antigen binding pocket on the HLA-DPB1 protein may have an effect on allergies.
It is worth noting that this may be the first study to discover an association between a genetic biomarker and an individual response to allergen immunotherapy. Moreover, these findings may help researchers worldwide rethink how genetic biomarkers can be used both in research and clinical practice. Prof. Fujieda calls this article to the point:
Host that immunotherapy continues to improve until no one may be able to deal with the consequences of severe allergies.