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THE IMMUNE system is composed of a large and complex set of elements that are widely distributed. It is designed to protect against foreign pathogens while not responding adversely to self-components. Thus, it must distinguish "self" from "not self." This distinction is made by an elaborate,...
ALTHOUGH more than 50 genetically determined immunodeficiency syndromes have been reported since 1952,1 defects in immunity were considered rare until the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) emerged over 10 years ago.2 This growing list of diseases now encompasses all major components of...
ALTHOUGH both rhinitis and asthma occur without a recognized allergic mechanism, IgE-mediated inflammation is usually found in both diseases. It is estimated that 40 million Americans (nearly 25%) have asthma and other allergic diseases. Other figures compiled by the National Center for Health...
THE TERM anaphylaxis was coined by the biologists Portier and Richet1 at the beginning of the 20th century. While guests aboard the yacht of the Prince of Monaco on a Mediterranean cruise, they injected dogs with the toxin of sea anemones in hopes of promoting tolerance to the venom's toxic...
ALLERGEN immunotherapy is the process by which increasing doses of allergen are injected subcutaneously over time as a treatment to prevent allergic symptoms that usually occur on exposure to allergen. The effects of this therapy on the immunologic processes ascribed to allergic responses have...
THE TERMS food allergy and food hypersensitivity are synonymous when applied to a group of diseases that are characterized by an abnormal or exaggerated immunologic response to specific food allergens resulting in disease. Food allergy can be subdivided into two broad categories: disorders that...
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