Celebrating allergy research in Canada

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The 2012 annual scientific meeting of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in Calgary last month was a fantastic event bringing clinicians, allergists, researchers and health professionals together to uncover and discuss the latest developments within the field. Food allergy and anaphylaxis remain high on the agenda, along with asthma as these continue to increase in prevalence throughout the population.

This was also an opportunity to recognise the quality and importance of the research being carried out by Canadian Allergists, with 5 category awards for posters presented at the conference. The conference abstracts were published in Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology and are available to view and download.

Lively discussions surrounded a review of coroners’ cases that confirmed no paediatric anaphylactic deaths in Ontario in the last decade, as well as the infrequent but recurring case reports of anaphylaxis due to bacitracin ointment exposure. Presentations on the continuing challenges of oral immunotherapy in the treatment of food allergy, due to a high rate of systemic reactions to treatment, and quality of life issues for children and adolescents with allergic disorders also received a lot of attention.

Ultimately, only one winner could be chosen in each category, but all are to be congratulated for their hard work and dedication to allergy research!

Allergy & Anaphylaxis:
1st place – Joanne Yeung, McGill University: “Oral immunotherapy for milk allergy: a systematic review
2nd place – Sophia Xu, McMaster University: “Anaphylaxis Deaths in Ontario: A retrospective review of cases from 1986 to 2011
Honorable mention – Mary McHenry, Dalhousie University: “Impact of primary food allergies on the introduction of other foods amongst Canadian children
Honorable mention – Gina Tsai, Western University: “Tree Pollen Allergy in Southwestern Ontario

Allied Health
1st place – Doug Houlbrook, University of Manitoba, “Parental asthma diagnosis and age of onset as a risk factor in child’s asthma”
2nd place – Lesley Stewart, The Children’s Asthma Education Centre: ““What Bugs Me”: Children’s lived experience of asthma

Asthma/Allergic Rhinitis:
1st place – Elinor Simons, University of Toronto: “Associations between second-hand smoke exposure in pregnancy and age of childhood asthma development
2nd place – Arunmozhi Dominic, University of Western Ontario: “Measured depth of subcutaneous tissue on posterolateral arm of aeroallergen immunotherapy patients

Basic Science/Immunology:
Meghan Azad, University of Alberta: “Infant gut microbiota and the hygiene hypothesis of allergic disease

Case Reports:
1st place – Hugo Chapdelaine, University of Montreal: “Experience with subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy in two pediatric cases of immune thrombocytopenia purpura
2nd place – Christine Song, University of Toronto: “Infliximab-graded challenge in a patient with Crohn’s disease and adalimumab hypersensitivity

Special thanks to Dr Anne Ellis for her assistance with this blog post.