Researchers at the Luxembourg Institute of Health developed a new immunotherapy approach, injecting allergic mice with a mix of major cat allergen Fel d 1 in combination with high doses of CpG oligonucleotide, an adjuvant substance that improves immune response.

The mice subjected to this allergen-specific therapy showed significantly reduced signs of airway inflammation and hyper-responsiveness, lower levels of pro-allergic molecules and IgE antibodies, commonly associated with allergic responses, and higher levels of IgA and IgG antibodies, which can have anti-inflammatory properties.

The mice also showed higher levels of immune cells involved in allergy regulation and tolerance.

The work at LIH “sets the bases for the development of novel successful immunotherapeutic treatments for allergies,” said Prof. Markus Ollert, Director of the department of infection and immunity and senior lead author of the study.

The findings were published in international journal “Allergy”.

More than 150 million Europeans suffer from chronic allergic diseases, according to the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and the current prediction is that by 2025 half of the entire EU population will be affected.

The allergy and clinical immunology research group at LIH focuses on allergen-specific immunotherapy and allergy vaccination to contribute to better treatment and prevention of allergies.