To cite this article: Valenta R, Linhart B, Swoboda I, Niederberger V. Recombinant allergens for allergen-specific immunotherapy: 10 years anniversary of immunotherapy with recombinant allergens. Allergy 2011; 66: 775–783.
The broad applicability of allergen-specific immunotherapy for the treatment and eventually prevention of IgE-mediated allergy is limited by the poor quality and allergenic activity of natural allergen extracts that are used for the production of current allergy vaccines. Today, the genetic code of the most important allergens has been deciphered; recombinant allergens equalling their natural counterparts have been produced for diagnosis and immunotherapy, and a large panel of genetically modified allergens with reduced allergenic activity has been characterized to improve safety of immunotherapy and explore allergen-specific prevention strategies. Successful immunotherapy studies have been performed with recombinant allergens and hypoallergenic allergen derivatives and will lead to the registration of the first recombinant allergen-based vaccines in the near future. There is no doubt that recombinant allergen-based vaccination strategies will be generally applicable to most allergen sources, including respiratory, food and venom allergens and allow to produce safe allergy vaccines for the treatment of the most common forms of IgE-mediated allergies.