Drug hypersensitivity, immunotherapy, natural history and management of allergic asthma
Development and refinement of immunoassays.
Solid-phase immunoassays for human IgG and IgE antibodies have been developed and refined in wide-ranging studies of human allergic diseases, including bee sting allergy, drug allergy, and immunotherapy for inhalant respiratory disease.
Diagnosis and evaluation of drug allergies
Evaluations of allergic drug reactions have been undertaken over several decades for drugs including penicillin and related beta-lactam antibiotics, protamine and other drugs suspected in intra-operative anaphylaxis, and other antibiotics including vancomycin. The familial aggregation of immunologic drug reactions has also been studied. We have ongoing collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to study the adverse reaction potential (including the immunogenicity, or the ability to stimulate antibody formation) and/or hypersensitivity reactions for novel biotechnology products and drugs under development.
Diagnosis, evaluation and management of latex allergy syndromes
Together with colleague Robert Hamilton, Ph.D., we have developed and evaluated a candidate skin testing reagent and in vitro tests for IgE antibody for the diagnosis of latex allergy. We have also pioneered the development of an environmental challenge chamber technique to determine natural exposure sensitivity to latex allergens present in cornstarch within latex gloves. We have published a multi-center evaluation of skin testing in about 200 cases of putative latex allergy. A Phase 1 study of latex immunotherapy for the treatment of latex allergy has been completed. The natural history of latex allergy is being studied in patients with spina bifida.
Clinical trials in asthma and other allergic disorders
A long-term clinical trial of the relative efficacy and safety of immunotherapy for perennial allergic asthma in children has been completed and published. These children are now adults and are being re-studied for evidence of irreversible obstructive lung disease which is being further evaluated using new techniques including spiral CT of the chest, induced-sputum analysis and exhaled breath condensates.
A multi-center project to define first-line pharmacotherapy for asthma in children [the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP)] has been completed and published. The 128 child cohort in Baltimore is now under continuous follow-up for ongoing studies of the natural history of this disease and its evolution over time.
N. Franklin Adkinson, Jr., M.D.
Professor – senior laboratory investigator
Last Updated: 2/15/08