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Information updates

ASCIA Conference deadline extended to Monday 23 July 2018 for earlybird registration and abstract submission

To take advantage of the discounted earlybird registration rates for the ASCIA 2018 Conference you need to register by the extended deadline of Monday 23 July 2018.

This is also the extended deadline for poster and clinical grand round abstract submissions.  Please note that no further extensions will be possible.

To register go to www.ascia2018.com/registration.php  

To view the program go to www.ascia2018.com/program.php

To submit an abstract for a poster or clinical grand rounds presentation (the latter is for advanced trainees only) go to www.ascia2018.com/abstracts.php  

The ASCIA 2018 conference will run for 3 days, from Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 September 2018 at the National Convention Centre in Canberra. 

It will include concurrent sessions for Nurses and Medical Associate ASCIA members on Friday 7 September. 

The following events are also being held in conjunction with the conference:

  • Centre for Food and Allergy Research (CFAR) Symposium 2018 on Tuesday 4 September
  • ASCIA Autoimmunity Update on Saturday 8 September
  • ASCIA GP Update on Saturday 8 September
  • ASCIA-DAA Dietitians Course on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 September

We look forward to your participation.

References

ASCIA Guidelines for Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention
ASCIA Guide for introduction of peanut to infants with severe eczema and/or food allergy

pdfASCIA HP References Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention July 201869.37 KB

  1. Boyle RJ et al. Hydrolysed formula and risk of allergic or autoimmune disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2016;352:i974 https://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.i974
  2. Du Toit G et al. Effect of avoidance on peanut allergy after early peanut consumption. N Engl J Med. 2016. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1514209
  3. Du Toit G et al. Randomized trial of peanut consumption in infants at risk for peanut allergy. N Engl J Med. 2015 Feb 26;372(9):803-13. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1414850
  4. Fiocchi A et al.  World Allergy Organization-McMaster University Guidelines for Allergic Disease Prevention (GLAD-P): Probiotics. World Allergy Organ J. 2015 Jan 27;8(1):4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25628773
  5. Fleischer DM, et al. J Consensus communication on early peanut introduction and the prevention of peanut allergy in high-risk infants. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Aug;136(2):258-61. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26122934
  6. Gunaratne AW et al. Maternal prenatal and/or postnatal n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) supplementation for preventing allergies in early childhood. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jul 22;7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26197477/
  7. Kramer MS et al. Maternal dietary antigen avoidance during pregnancy or lactation, or both, for preventing or treating atopic disease in the child. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Sep 12;9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22972039
  8. Lodge CJ et al , Allen KJ, Lowe AJ, Dharmage SC. Overview of evidence in prevention and aetiology of food allergy: a review of systematic reviews. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Nov 4;10(11):5781-806. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24192789
  9. Osborn DA et al. Soy formula for prevention of allergy and food intolerance in infants. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006 Oct 18;(4). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15266499
  10. Palmer DJ et al.  Early regular egg exposure in infants with eczema: A randomized controlled trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Aug;132(2):387-92. https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(13)00762-8/pdf
  11. Perkin MR et al. Randomised trial of introduction of allergenic foods in breast-fed infants. N Engl J Med. 2016. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1514210
  12. Togias A et al Addendum guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the United States: Report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) sponsored expert panel. WAO J 2017 10(1):1 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5217343/   
  13. Turner PJ, Campbell DE. Implementing primary prevention for peanut allergy at a population level. JAMA 2017 Feb 13. www.jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2603418  

© ASCIA July 2018

ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand

Website: www.allergy.org.au         
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Postal address: PO Box 450 Balgowlah NSW 2093 Australia

Content created July 2018

ASCIA 2018 Conference registration is now open

Registration is now open at www.ascia2018.com for the ASCIA 2018 conference, the 29th annual conference of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).

The ASCIA 2018 conference will run for 3 days, from Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 September 2018 at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.  It will include concurrent sessions for Nurses and Medical Associate ASCIA members on Friday 7 September.  The following events are also being held in conjunction with the conference:

  • Centre for Food and Allergy Research (CFAR) Symposium 2018 on Tuesday 4 September
  • ASCIA Autoimmunity Update on Saturday 8 September
  • ASCIA GP Update on Saturday 8 September
  • ASCIA-DAA Dietitians Course on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 September

To register go to www.ascia2018.com/registration.php (earlybird deadline is 16 July 2018)

To view the program go to www.ascia2018.com/program.php

To submit an abstract for a poster or clinical grand rounds presentation (the latter is for advanced trainees only) go to www.ascia2018.com/abstracts.php (deadline is 16 July 2018)

To submit an abstract for an oral research presentation go to www.allergy.org.au/conferences/ascia-annual-conference (deadline is 1 June 2018)

In addition to 6 international speakers, and around 50 speakers and chairs from Australasia, we expect over 500 delegates to participate in this conference.

ASCIA annual conferences provide an international standard of continuing professional development and an opportunity to interact with colleagues working in these areas. ASCIA conferences are therefore a highlight of the year for ASCIA members and other health professionals with an interest in allergy and clinical immunology.

If you have time pre or post conference, visit https://visitcanberra.com.au/ for information on what to see and do in and around Canberra.

We look forward to seeing you in Canberra in September.

Dr Katrina Randall and Dr Elizabeth da Silva
ASCIA 2018 Co-Chairs

Dr William Smith
ASCIA President          

Jill Smith
ASCIA CEO

EpiPen® supply update

17 May 2018: 

EpiPen® 300mcg adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjectors continue to be distributed each week via wholesalers to pharmacies. Mylan has recently introduced an EpiPen toll-free hotline 1800 931 625 for inquiries about supply.  If a pharmacy is out of stock the pharmacist should contact their wholesaler/s to obtain stock. If there are any problems they should phone 1800 931 625 (AU) or 0800 168 169 (NZ).

Whilst the use of an expired adrenaline autoinjector is not ideal, research suggests that recently expired devices retain potency. Therefore, if no other adrenaline autoinjector is available, use of a recently expired device to treat anaphylaxis is advised, as stated on the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/health-professionals/anaphylaxis-resources/adrenaline-autoinjector-storage-expiry-and-disposal

Due to safety concerns ASCIA does not recommend doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals in Australia to advise patients or their carers to learn to draw up adrenaline using an adrenaline ampoule, needle and syringe.  Whilst using a recently expired device is not ideal, this is a safer option for patients at risk of anaphylaxis, than using an adrenaline ampoule, needle and syringe. 

In the case of anaphylaxis, patients or their carers should follow instructions on their ASCIA Action Plan www.allergy.org.au/anaphylaxis - Give EpiPen® and call an ambulance by phoning 000 (AU) or 111 (NZ). 

Patients and/or carers who require advice should contact the national patient support organisations, Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (phone 1300 728 000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Allergy New Zealand  www.allergy.org.nz

 

How to remove ticks to prevent allergic reactions

8 May 2018

The ASCIA website article on tick allergy has been updated to highlight the following information on how to remove ticks to prevent allergic reactions.

To prevent allergic reactions to ticks do NOT forcibly remove the tick. Disturbing the tick may cause the tick to inject more allergen-containing saliva. The options are to:

  1. Leave tick in place and seek medical assistance; OR
  2. Freeze tick (using a product that rapidly freezes and kills the tick) and allow to drop off.

Allergic reactions to ticks range from mild (with large local swelling and inflammation at the site of a tick bite) to severe (anaphylaxis)

While the “tick season” is often considered to range from around February to August, when adults ticks are more prevalent, ticks are present all year round. Therefore the risk of exposure to ticks remains throughout the entire year, particularly on the east coast of Australia, with known populations of ticks. 

For more information go to www.allergy.org.au/ticks

Update on supply of venom immunotherapy products in Australia and New Zealand

5 May 2018

As previously communicated, events overseas have impacted the ability of Stallergenes Greer to supply venom immunotherapy products to Australia and New Zealand. Stallergenes Greer has now advised ASCIA of the following supply update.

Honey Bee venom

  • Hymenoptera Honey Bee venom is now available in Australia. Please note that only orders for the “Hymenoptera” brand of honey bee venom will be processed at this time. Customers with backorders for the “Albey” brand honey bee venom are advised to contact their wholesaler and request these orders be changed to “Hymenoptera” or cancelled as appropriate. For any assistance, please contact the Stallergenes Greer Customer Service team on 1800 824 166 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • In New Zealand, Albey Honey Bee venom remains in stock.

Paper Wasp venom

  • Paper Wasp venom is currently out of stock in Australia. Stallergenes Greer is endeavouring to confirm the date of the next available shipment of Paper Wasp venom and will provide updates as soon as possible.
  • In New Zealand, Albey Paper Wasp venom remains in stock.

Yellow Jacket venom

  • The remaining inventory of Albey Yellow Jacket venom stock in Australia and New Zealand has now expired (expiry May 2018). Hymenoptera Yellow Jacket venom will be available in both Australia and New Zealand from mid-May 2018. Please note that Stallergenes Greer is actively working with the PBAC and Pharmac to ensure that Hymenoptera Yellow Jacket venom is listed and available under reimbursement to patients as soon as possible. They will advise once they have a confirmed listing date for both countries.

For further assistance, please contact Stallergenes Greer as follows:

  • For orders or status of orders, contact the Customer Service team on 1800 824 166 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • For medical information enquiries, contact Dr Martin Rees (APAC Regional Medical Director) by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
  • To report adverse events, contact Stallergenes Greer on 1800 824 166

Stallergenes Greer understands the impact of venom shortages on both patients and prescribers, and are committed to ensuring reliable supply of these important products into Australia and New Zealand on an ongoing basis.

Changes to Medicare-funded allergy testing - effective 1 November 2018

5 May 2018

The Australian Government is making changes to Medicare-funded dermatology, allergy and immunology services, following recommendations from the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce.

New restrictions on allergen testing will be introduced on 1 November 2018 to discourage testing for more than 20 allergens at a time. Allergen testing items will further be restructured into tests for environmental, food and latex, medication, and anaesthetic-related allergies. For more information go to http://health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/MBSR-Safe-and-best-practice-dermatology-allergy-and-immunology-services

The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) made a detailed submission to the MBS Review Taskforce in July 2017 which outlined concerns about the proposed restrictions, particularly regarding the potential effects on diagnosing patients with complex allergic diseases.  The ASCIA submission also noted that it is likely that the increased use of skin testing reflects the epidemiology of allergic disease, with well-documented significant increases in disease prevalence (greater than the rate of population rise) in recent years. Skin prick testing is the primary diagnostic mode in allergic disease and offers the most cost-effective method to identify allergic sensitisation.  Whilst receipt of this submission was acknowledged, ASCIA was not consulted further about the proposed restrictions, despite requests.

ASCIA website update – new documents about how to introduce solid foods for allergy prevention (FAQ) and oral immunotherapy (OIT) for food allergy

2 May 2018

The following two new ASCIA documents for parents, patients, carers and consumers are now available on the ASCIA website:

  • How to introduce solid foods for allergy prevention - in a new frequently asked questions (FAQ) format
  • Oral immunotherapy (OIT) for food allergy 
How to introduce solid foods for allergy prevention FAQ

This document provides updated practical advice in a more user-friendly FAQ format, about how to introduce solid foods to babies, based on currently available evidence for food allergy prevention. It is relevant for all babies, including babies with severe eczema, existing food allergy or a family member with allergies and is available open access on the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-prevention/ascia-how-to-introduce-solid-foods-to-babies

The previous version of this document was recently accessed or downloaded from the ASCIA website around 5,000 times per month, so we expect this more user-friendly version will be even more popular! 

New information on oral immunotherapy (OIT) for food allergy

Information about OIT, a potential treatment for food allergy, is now available open access on the ASCIA website: www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-treatment/oral-immunotherapy-for-food-allergy 

OIT involves administering gradually increasing amounts of food allergen under medical supervision. However, OIT methods for treating food allergy are not currently standardised or approved for routine treatment in the USA or globally. There are concerns about a high (or unknown) risk of potential harm in patients with severe food allergy, as well as considerable cost implications. Trials on OIT for food allergy are currently underway in Australia and other countries, that aim to develop standardised and proven methods, to maximise benefit and reduce the risk of potential harm in patients with severe food allergy.

Shortage of venom immunotherapy products: honey bee, paper wasp and yellow jacket - Supply update from Stallergenes Greer

13 April 2018: 

As communicated in March 2018, events overseas have impacted the ability of Stallergenes Greer to supply venom immunotherapy products to Australia and New Zealand.  The first direct shipment of venom products from JHS to Australia has now arrived, and ASCIA has received the following advice:

Honey Bee venom

  • Hymenoptera Honey Bee venom will be available again in Australia towards the end of week commencing 16 April 2018.

Please note: only orders for the “Hymenoptera” brand of honey bee venom will be processed at this time. Customers with backorders for the “Albey” brand honey bee venom are advised to contact their wholesaler and request these orders be changed to “Hymenoptera” or cancelled as appropriate. For any assistance, contact the Stallergenes Greer Customer Service team on 1800 824 166 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • In New Zealand there is sufficient Albey Honey Bee venom stock to meet demand over the next 6 months.

Novalac Allergy infant formula is back in supply

27 March 2018

Bayer Australia Ltd (Bayer), has advised ASCIA that the infant formula Novalac Allergy is back in supply and now being delivered to wholesalers for distribution to pharmacies.

Over the next ten working days this stock will be added to supply already in pharmacies across Australia. The temporary shortage of the formula was due to an unprecedented demand for the product.

Bayer would like to reassure Australian healthcare professionals of their commitment to increasing supply of Novalac Allergy.

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