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Pediatric allergy and immunology in Italy


Alberto E Tozzi, MD, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, Epidemiology Unit, Piazza S. Onofrio, 4, 00165 Rome, Italy.
Tel.: +39 06 68592401
Fax: +39 06 68593872


To cite this article: Tozzi AE, Armenio L, Bernardini R, Boner A, Calvani M, Cardinale F, Cavagni G, Dondi A, Duse M, Fiocchi A, Marseglia GL, Miraglia del Giudice M, Muraro A, Pajno GB, Paravati F, Peroni D, Tripodi S, Ugazio AG, Indinnimeo L. Pediatric allergy and immunology in Italy. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2011; 22: 267–276.


In Italy, according to the International Study on Asthma and Allergies in Childhood study, the prevalence of current asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and atopic eczema in 2006 was 7.9%, 6.5%, and 10.1% among children aged 6–7 and 8.4%, 15.5%, and 7.75% among children aged 13–14 yr. University education in this field is provided by the Postgraduate Schools of Pediatrics and those of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, as well as several annual Master courses. The Italian Society of Pediatric Allergology and Immunology (SIAIP) was founded in 1996 and counts about 1000 members. SIAIP promotes evidence-based management of allergic children and disseminates information to patients and their families through a quite innovative website and the National Journal ‘Rivista Italiana di Allergologia Pediatrica’. In the last decade, four major regional, inter-regional, and national web-based networks have been created to link pediatric allergy centers and to share their clinical protocols and epidemiologic data. In addition, National Registers of Primary Immune-deficiencies and on Pediatric HIV link all clinical excellence centers. Research projects in the field of pediatric allergy and immunology are founded by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) and by the National Research Council (CNR), but the overall investments in this research area are quite low. Only a handful Italian excellence centers participate in European Projects on Pediatric Allergy and Immunology within the 7th Framework Program. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology currently hosts two Italians in its Executive Committee (EC) and one in the EC of the Pediatric Section; moreover, major European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology meetings and courses in the area of pediatrics (e.g., PAAM, Venice, 2009) have been held in Italy in the last 3 yr. Italian hallmarks in the management of allergic diseases in childhood are a quite alive and spread interest in Molecular Allergology and a remarkable predominance of sublingual (SLIT) compared to the subcutaneous (SCIT) immunotherapy.