Purpose of review
Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is a well-known disease-modifying intervention for allergic diseases. Its benefit in allergic asthma, ranging from prevention to facilitating asthma control, is yet to be clarified.
In 2017, following several well-designed randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with house-dust mites (HDM) sublingual (SLIT) tablets in asthma, global initiative for asthma (GINA) guidelines highlighted the need to treat the allergic component of asthma. In 2019, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology published the first comprehensive guidelines for HDM AIT in allergic asthma, formulating separate recommendations for subcutaneous, SLIT drops, and SLIT tablets. Significant steps were undertaken in understanding the mechanisms of allergic asthma, facilitating the stratified approach for selecting responders and in translating the immune-modulation effect in achieving long-term control of the chronic inflammation in asthma.
Currently existing guidelines recommend AIT as a therapeutic option in controlled or partially controlled HDM allergic asthma. Limited data are available for pollen, molds and pets, as well as for the severe allergic asthma population. The challenge for the future research will be to clarify the subendotypes of allergic asthma responding to AIT, the mechanisms facilitating its’ preventive and disease-modifying effect, the optimal duration of the treatment, and route of administration.