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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • immunotherapy;
  • occupational medicine

Abstract

Background

The management of severe occupational asthma (OA) remains problematic and new alternative treatments providing better disease control are required, ideally enabling affected individuals to remain in their job.

Methods

Ten patients with severe uncontrolled OA were treated with the monoclonal anti-IgE antibody omalizumab. In six cases the causative agent was a high molecular weight (HMW) compound and in four cases it was a low molecular weight (LMW) chemical. All of the patients had well documented OA despite workplace adjustments.

Results

During treatment, nine patients exhibited a lower rate of asthma exacerbations and used less oral or inhaled corticosteroids. Seven patients were able to continue working at the same workplace as before treatment.

Conclusion

We have demonstrated that omalizumab is a potential treatment for severe uncontrolled OA and enabled seven of the ten patients in the study to remain in their job.