Mosquito allergy: Immunological aspects and clinical management.
Mosquito allergy has been conceived as the cutaneous reactions that appears during and after mosquito biting process; a perception that is supported by several scientific research. Additional data have led to conceive that other manifestations of allergic responses may occur as a cause of the exposure to somatic mosquito allergens. Two main phenotypes of mosquito allergy are identifiable: the cutaneous allergic reactions, induced by salivary allergens, and other manifestations of the allergic responses such as asthma and allergic rhino conjunctivitis that are caused by somatic allergens. The cutaneous reactions have kept the focus of attention of the scientific community. It appears as skin lesions that resembles the phenotype of papular urticaria with a defined natural history of the disease. Although these two phenotypes of mosquito allergy seem to be well differentiated in terms of the allergens that are involved and the routes of exposures, other factors such as geographical distribution, may participate. Mosquitoes have adapted to the host immune response against bites, producing immunomodulatory molecules that counteract such defensive response. The role that the immunomodulatory molecules have on the allergic immune response has not been studied yet and it is still not known if affects all mosquito allergy phenotypes. Only a few studies of allergen specific immunotherapy for cutaneous allergic reactions induced by mosquito bites have been done, and none for respiratory allergic responses. The clinical practice focuses on symptom management and avoiding mosquito bites as much as possible. Avoiding mosquitoes, using different well described methods, is still the best option to limit contact with these insects. The lack of knowledge of mosquito allergy have raised several questions that affects the clinical management of this allergic disease, from its diagnosis, prevention and immunotherapy.
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