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Live Trees May Bring Home More Than Holiday Cheer

It's just like something you'd see in an old movie heading off into the hills with the kids to cut down a Christmas tree to bring home. But doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say if you choose the wrong tree, you could make the holiday season miserable. About one in ten people are allergic to mountain cedar pollen, and these trees release their pollen just at the time you'd be bringing them indoors to decorate. If someone in your home is allergic to mountain cedar pollen, they're in for weeks of sneezing and sniffling. Fortunately, this is only a real risk for people who like to go out into the wild and cut their own trees. The Scotch pines and Douglas firs you find at most Christmas tree lots or cut-it-yourself Christmas tree farms don't pollinate during the winter.

Dey Launches And Unveils Next-Generation, Needle-Protected EpiPen R Epinephrine Auto-Injector With Enhanced Patient-Friendly Features

Dey Pharma, L.P., a subsidiary of Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL - News), launched a newly designed, patient-friendly EpiPen® Auto-Injector 0.3/0.15 mg. This next-generation EpiPen Auto-Injector maintains the simplicity, speed, safety and reliability of EpiPen Auto-Injector with several new, user-friendly features, including being the only auto-injector with needle-protection before and after use. Dey President Carolyn Myers, Ph.D., said: "We are very pleased to be launching Dey's highly anticipated next-generation, needle-protected EpiPen Auto-Injector. The objective of the product's new features is to give those who carry an epinephrine auto injector some additional peace of mind when it comes to the risk of anaphylaxis.

Investigational Sublingual Allergy Immunotherapy Tablet Meets Primary Endpoint In A Study Of Adult Subjects With A History Of Grass Pollen Allergies

Schering-Plough Corporation (NYSE: SGP) announced that its investigational sublingual Grass (Phleum Pratense) Allergy Immunotherapy Tablet (AIT) has met the primary endpoint in a Phase III study of adult subjects in the U.S. with a history of grass pollen induced rhinoconjunctivitis with or without asthma. The investigational Grass AIT treatment is designed to work by inducing a protective immune response against grass pollen allergy and providing sustained prevention of allergy symptoms, treating both the symptoms and the underlying cause of the disease. The study was a U.S. multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of the grass sublingual tablet versus placebo in the treatment of grass pollen-induced rhinoconjunctivitis based on the combined (sum of) rhinoconjunctivitis daily symptom score (DSS) and rhinoconjunctivitis daily medication score (DMS) averaged over the entire grass pollen season (GPS).

New Asthma Research Presented At CHEST 2009

Zinc Deficiency May Contribute to Allergic Asthma (#8362) Zinc deficiency may play a role in the development of extrinsic or allergic asthma. Researchers from India evaluated serum zinc levels and absolute eosinophil count in 96 cases of asthma (61 patients had intrinsic asthma and 35 had extrinsic asthma). Patients who suffered from any comorbid illness were excluded from the study. Results showed that serum zinc levels in the extrinsic asthma group were significantly lower than in the intrinsic asthma group, but the difference in eosinophil count was not significant. Researchers conclude that additional studies are needed to reach a definite conclusion. Air Pollution Major Factor in Fresno Health (#8164) Air pollution is a major health risk for patients in Fresno, CA, who suffer from chronic lung diseases.

Skin's Healthy Balance Maintained By Surface Bacteria

On the skin's surface, bacteria are abundant, diverse and constant, but inflammation is undesirable. Research at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine now shows that the normal bacteria living on the skin surface trigger a pathway that prevents excessive inflammation after injury. "These germs are actually good for us, " said Richard L. Gallo, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and pediatrics, chief of UCSD's Division of Dermatology and the Dermatology section of the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System. The study, published in the advance on-line edition of Nature Medicine on November 22, was done in mice and in human cell cultures, primarily performed by post-doctoral fellow Yu Ping Lai.

Potential Allergen In H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine May Put Children At Risk-Only Phadia Reveals Both Presence And Severity Of The Allergy

The World Health Organization recently declared H1N1 swine flu a global pandemic, resulting in the creation of rigorous vaccination programs worldwide. Children are among those considered particularly susceptible to contracting swine flu and are viewed as a top priority in receiving this vaccine. Most H1N1 swine flu vaccines are prepared from virus grown in chicken's eggs, resulting in a vaccine that contains remnants of egg proteins. Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies in infants and young children. The allergy can be mild or severe but oftentimes the severity level remains unidentified. Whether a child will be at low or high risk for a clinical reaction as a consequence of receiving this vaccine depends upon the severity of their allergy.

Big Air Pollution Impacts On Local Communities

Heavy traffic corridors in the cities of Long Beach and Riverside are responsible for a significant proportion of preventable childhood asthma, and the true impact of air pollution and ship emissions on the disease has likely been underestimated, according to researchers at the University of Southern California (USC). The study, which appears in an online edition of the American Journal of Public Health, estimated that nine percent of all childhood asthma cases in Long Beach and six percent in Riverside were attributable to traffic proximity. The study also found that ship emissions from the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex contributed to the exacerbation of asthma.

New Developments Improve Food Allergy Management

Less restrictive dietary options, better detection, targeted avoidance measures, educational directives and potential new therapies are improving food allergy management and giving hope to the more than 12 million Americans affected according to experts at the thirteenth international food allergy conference held during the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) in Miami Beach, Fla. "The management of food allergy relies primarily on avoidance of exposure to suspected or proven foods, " said Alessandro Fiocchi, M.D., director of the Pediatric Department at The Melloni University Hospital in Milan, Italy. "This can best be done if the specific foods responsible for the patient's symptoms are identified by history and appropriate tests.

NIAID Awards Five-Year, 56 Million Contract To Continue Study Of Asthma In Inner-city Children

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has renewed the contract to continue studying asthma in children living in lower-income, inner-city environments. This five-year, $56 million award will support the Inner-City Asthma Consortium (ICAC), a nationwide clinical trials network to evaluate promising new therapies to reduce asthma severity and prevent disease, and to perform basic research to understand how these therapies work. "As many as 20 million Americans have asthma, but it disproportionately afflicts children, especially minority children who live in inner-city areas, " says Anthony S.

New Human Immunology Research Awards To Help Fight Emerging Infectious Diseases Announced By NIAID

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded approximately $208 million to two programs that support research to better understand the human immune response to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, including those that may be introduced into a community through acts of bioterrorism. The grants were awarded to the Cooperative Centers for Translational Research on Human Immunology and Biodefense (CCHI) and the Immune Mechanisms of Virus Control (IMVC), NIAID also has received approximately $21 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to supplement these two programs and fund some additional researchers.

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