ASCIA Newsletter April 2016

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ASCIA Update aims to provide current information to the community about allergic diseases, immunodeficiencies and other immune diseases.

ASCIA Update aims to provide current information to the community about allergic diseases, immunodeficiencies and other immune diseases.

world allergy week 2016

World Allergy Week 4th-10th April 2016

An initiative of the World Allergy Organization, the theme is "Pollen Allergies - Adapting to a Changing Climate". 

Data shows that global warming has resulted in plants producing more pollen. The allergy season is lengthening as well as the prevalence and severity of symptoms for people suffering from allergic rhinitis caused by pollen allergy (commonly referred to as hay fever).

Allergic rhinitis is a common and debilitating disease, affecting more than 3 million Australians and New Zealanders. The prevalence of seasonal allergic rhinitis is higher in children and adolescents than in adults. There is a significant correlation between asthma and allergic rhinitis. Symptoms of pollen allergy are associated with economic costs such as loss of work and school productivity.

An understanding that grass pollen allergens are different depending on climate and environment is coupled with a need for more effective tools for diagnosis, treatment, vaccine development and air monitoring. Associate Professor Janet Davies, AIFA grant recipient in 2015, is leading research at the Queensland University of Technology that distinguishes between pollen allergens from temperate and subtropical grasses. Understanding the variability in grass pollen seasons across Australia’s vast regions and between years is an important element of her team's research.  


ASCIA Home Page 2016ASCIA Website Update  

The ASCIA website homepage has undergone a transformation, that should enable the large number of visitors to access resources more easily. The most recent additions to the ASCIA and National Allergy Strategy websites include:



Expressions of interest (EOI) for the next round of AIFA research grants (2016-2017) are due by 17th June 2016. To obtain an EOI form go to the AIFA website

The AIFA Grant Selection Panel, consisting of 8 highly regarded specialists in allergy and clinical immunology will recommend a shortlist of EOIs to be invited to submit a full grant application. To make a tax deductible donation to AIFA go to 


Changes to adrenaline autoinjector labels  

In Australia, adrenaline is the approved name of the ingredient in autoinjector devices used for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. Currently, the only available autoinjector to treat anaphylaxis in Australia and New Zealand is supplied under the brand name EpiPen®. In some countries, including the USA, adrenaline is known as epinephrine.

During 2016 adrenaline autoinjector labels will start to show ‘adrenaline (epinephrine)’ as the ingredient name. Including both names on Australian medicines should help make it clear that these are the same ingredient, and reduce confusion for Australians travelling overseas, visitors to Australia and health professionals trained internationally. ASCIA will gradually update all of its anaphylaxis resources over the next two years to also show ‘adrenaline (epinephrine)’.

More information about changes to adrenaline labels is also available on the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) website  



Wednesday 13th April 5:30 - 7:30pm Sjogren's Seminar: Newcastle Ethnic Community Centre, 2a Platt St Waratah NSW 2298. Speaker: A/Prof Glenn Reeves, Immunologist Topic: "Back-to-Basics: Sjogren's" RSVP essential 

Friday 29th April 2016, 12-3pm: Australian Food Allergy Foundation Annual Ladies Lunch, Myer Mural Hall, Melbourne. Purchase tickets at 

Friday 29th April 2016, 7pm: SPARCle Ball, Doltone House, Pyrmont, Sydney, NSW 
The mission of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) is to advance the science and practice of allergy and clinical immunology The mission of ASCIA is to advance the science and practice of allergy and clinical immunology, by promoting the highest standard of medical practice, training, education and research, to improve the health and quality of life of people with allergic diseases, immunodeficiencies and other immune diseases.
The Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia (AIFA) is an initiative of ASCIA. AIFA is dedicated to funding medical research and raising the profile of allergy and immune disease in Australia and New Zealand. AIFA is a charity that aims to improve the health of people with allergy and other immune diseases by funding medical research. 
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