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Müller, R. S.; Jensen-Jarolim, E.; Roth-Walter, F.; Marti, E.; Janda, J.; Seida, A. A.; DeBör, D. (2018): Allergen immunotherapy in people, dogs, cats and horses - differences, similarities and research needs. In: Allergy, Vol. 73, No. 10: pp. 1989-1999
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In human patients with seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis sensitized to grass pollen, the first successful allergen immunotherapy (AIT) was reported in 1911. Today, immunotherapy is an accepted treatment for allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis and hypersensitivities to insect venom. AIT is also used for atopic dermatitis and recently for food allergy. Subcutaneous, epicutaneous, intralymphatic, oral and sublingual protocols of AIT exist. In animals, most data are available in dogs where subcutaneous AIT is an accepted treatment for atopic dermatitis. Initiating a regulatory response and a production of "blocking" IgG antibodies with AIT are similar mechanisms in human beings and dogs with allergic diseases. Although subcutaneous immunotherapy is used for atopic dermatitis in cats, data for its efficacy are sparse. There is some evidence for successful treatment of feline asthma with AIT. In horses, most studies evaluate the effect of AIT on insect hypersensitivity with conflicting results although promising pilot studies have demonstrated the prophylaxis of insect hypersensitivity with recombinant antigens of biting midges (Culicoides spp.). Optimizing AIT using allergoids, peptide immunotherapy, recombinant allergens and new adjuvants with the different administration types of allergen extracts will further improve compliance and efficacy of this proven treatment modality.