Information updates

Novalac Allergy infant formula supply update

14 June 2019

Bayer Australia Ltd (Bayer) is advising healthcare professionals and consumers that limited stock of Novalac Allergy will be available and released to pharmacies in Australia during June, July and August. Intermittent supply and limited availability in pharmacies across Australia will continue until supply returns to normal levels.

Parents and carers with concerns about formula for their infant should speak to their healthcare professional about alternatives. All other Bayer Novalac products are not suitable for infants diagnosed with cow’s milk allergy. GPs, allergy specialists and paediatricians can contact the Bayer Medical Information Team on behalf of patients to discuss compassionate / critical medical cases on 1800 008 757 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

pdfNovalac Allergy Infant Formula Supply Update June 201989.46 KB

Novalac Allergy is rice protein based formula and is available without prescription. It may be used as an alternative formula to extensively hydrolysed formula (EHF) or soy protein formula and continued or changed based on specialist advice.

It should not be used in babies with food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) to rice.

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Order of Australia award for Professor Constance (Connie) Katelaris AM

11 June 2019

It is with great pleasure that we confirm that an Order of Australia has been awarded to Professor Constance Katelaris AM.

Professor Constance Katelaris has made substantial contributions to the fields of allergy and clinical immunology, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and international allergy/immunology organisations. She has also authored and co-authored numerous publications on a wide variety of allergy and clinical immunology topics, is a regular invited speaker at national and international meetings and is acknowledged as an outstanding mentor to physicians training in allergy and clinical immunology.

Professor Katelaris has held several positions within ASCIA and international organisations, including:

  • Past President of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA);

  • Secretary-General of the World Allergy Congress 2000 held in Sydney:

  • Chair of the ASCIA 2011 Conference held in Sydney;

  • Past President of the Asian Pacific Association of Allergology, Asthma and Clinical Immunology (APAACI);

  • Editor of the Asia Pacific Allergy Journal;

  • Executive positions on the World Allergy Organisation (WAO) Board.

As well as being Professor of Immunology and Allergy at Western Sydney University, and Head of Unit and Senior Staff Specialist at Campbelltown Hospital, Professor Katelaris is currently:

  • Chair of the ASCIA HAE and CSU working parties;
  • Deputy Chair of the ASCIA Drug Allergy committee;
  • ASCIA representative on the Australian Prescriber journal as Immunology and Allergy sub-editor;
  • Convenor of the Western Sydney University Graduate Certificate in Allergic Diseases;
  • Chief investigator for Auspollen, the Australian Pollen Allergen Partnership.

We are therefore delighted that Professor Connie Katelaris has received an Order of Australia Award, in recognition of her significant contributions to improving the care of patients with allergy and other immune diseases.

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Probiotic and egg OIT study in Victoria

31 May 2019

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Victoria is conducting a trial to evaluate probiotic and egg oral immunotherapy (OIT), which is a possible new treatment for egg allergy.

This trial is currently recruiting children and teenagers aged between 5 and 17 years, who live in Victoria and are allergic to egg.

To find out more, email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Food Allergy Week - 26 May to 1 June 2019

29 May 2019

The main aim of Food Allergy Week 2019 is to raise awareness of food allergy. To coincide with this event, two important new resources are available:

  1. The national patient organisation Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) has released a webinar video Food Allergy Treatments - Where Are We At?
    www.allergyfacts.org.au/resources/webinars/food-allergy-treatments

  2. ASCIA has updated its Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) for Food Allergy article to include information from a meta-analysis of 12 trials of peanut allergy OIT, published in the Lancet journal in April 2019.  
    www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-treatment/oral-immunotherapy-for-food-allergy   

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ASCIA 2019 Conference registration and abstract submission is now open

28 May 2019

With an outstanding program featuring 9 international speakers and a venue located on the spectacular Swan River in Perth, this conference is sure to be a highlight of the year for ASCIA members and other health professionals with an interest in allergy and clinical immunology.

To view the program go to https://www.ascia2019.com/program.php

To register go to https://www.ascia2019.com/registration.php

Discounted earlybird registration closes at midnight AEST on Monday 15 July 2019.

ASCIA 2019 Conference abstracts are invited for:

  • ASCIA 2019 posters (displayed from Wednesday 4 to Friday 6 September 2019)
  • ASCIA 2019 clinical grand rounds oral presentations (for advanced trainees only)
  • ASCIA 2019 short oral presentations for ASCIA 2019 Conference (clinical research)
  • Short oral presentation for CFAR Symposium (food allergy research)

Abstracts must be submitted at https://www.ascia2019.com/abstracts.php by midnight AEST on Monday 15 July 2019.

CFAR Symposium 2019:  CFAR food allergy research abstracts will be selected to be included in the CFAR Symposium "Hot Publications" sessions. These will feature 3 minute presentations summarising food allergy research recently published or accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Please submit an abstract and citation information (journal name, date accepted) in order to be considered. Selection will take into account journal impact factor and novelty of the work.

ASCIA-DAA Centre for Advanced Learning (CAL) Dietitians Course: This two day course on food allergy and intolerance will be held on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 September 2019. Pre-requisites for this course include completion of ASCIA anaphylaxis, food allergy, and food service etraining courses, all of which are available online free of charge. For information and to register for this course go to 
 
ASCIA Dietitians Day: This event is being held on Thursday 5 September as part of the ASCIA 2019 Conference.  There are no pre-requisites, but it is generally of most benefit to dietitians with experience with food allergy. Delegates can register just for this day, or combine it with day registration for Wednesday 4 September, registration for the CFAR Symposium on Tuesday 3 September and registration for the ASCIA-DAA CAL course (see above). 

ASCIA-ANZAAG Drug Allergy Symposium: This Symposium is being held on Friday afternoon, as part of the ASCIA 2019 Conference.  The 8th Australian and New Zealand Anaesthetic Allergy Group (ANZAAG) Symposium on “Perioperative allergy – A sensitive subject” is also being held in Perth, on Saturday 7 September 2019. To register for the Saturday Symposium go to http://www.anzaag.com/Events.aspx

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Updated ASCIA article on oral immunotherapy (OIT) for food allergy

24 May 2019

ASCIA has updated its information on oral immunotherapy (OIT) for food allergy to include information from a meta-analysis (a method to combine data from multiple studies) of 12 OIT trials.  This meta-analysis was published in the Lancet journal in April 2019 and is the most comprehensive and rigorous review of OIT for peanut allergy to date. OIT for food allergy is an emerging experimental treatment, and its benefits and harms are still being studied in clinical trials globally.  The updated ASCIA article is available at:

www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergy-treatment/oral-immunotherapy-for-food-allergy

Recent Lancet publication is a comprehensive review of OIT for peanut allergy

A meta-analysis that combined data from 12 OIT trials was published in the Lancet journal in April 2019. This is the most comprehensive and rigorous review of OIT for peanut allergy to date. It reviewed the effectiveness and safety of OIT for peanut versus placebo (in OIT study but in the group that was not given peanut) or peanut avoidance (patients not in OIT study).

Results showed that whilst OIT can achieve the goal of desensitisation for many people, those receiving OIT had more frequent allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. They also required more frequent treatment with adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjectors (such as EpiPen) than those who avoided peanut and did not receive OIT.

The Lancet publication supports the need for improved food allergy treatment approaches with an enhanced safety profile and trials focused on patient-important outcomes. ASCIA also supports this approach.

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ASCIA patient education resources reborn

22 May 2019

ASCIA Education ResourcesThe team at ASCIA is pleased to announce that stage three of the ASCIA Education Project is now complete. More than sixty ASCIA website articles for patients, consumers and carers underwent a comprehensive review over the past few months.  The review focused on making the information easier to read and understand across more than 12 topic areas. All of the documents are now available in mobile device friendly html versions and printable PDFs on ASCIA’s trusted and extremely popular website www.allergy.org.au/patients/information 

With many Australians and New Zealanders having English as a second language, it was important to reduce the reading age of the existing documents by following a proven formula. The comprehensive review involved making sentences twenty words or less, avoiding words with more than two syllables (where possible), and clearly explaining medical terms.

With stages one, two and three of the ASCIA Education Project now complete, we are ready to move on to stage four.

Stage 1: In August 2018 a significant redesign of the ASCIA website was completed and launched. The ASCIA website is a trusted and extremely popular source of information about allergy and other immune diseases. Access to more than 130 ASCIA educational resources was improved by redesigning the website to be more user and mobile device friendly.  

Stage 2: In February 2019 new ASCIA Fast Facts on 12 topics were completed and added to the ASCIA website. ASCIA Fast Facts provide bite sized, easy to read and trustworthy information on allergy and other immune diseases for patients, carers and the community. ASCIA Fast Facts have been adapted from existing evidence based ASCIA information and have been developed as part of the ASCIA Education Project.

Stage 3: In May 2019 the updating of more than 64 ASCIA patient articles was completed. A comprehensive review of the documents was undertaken in order to make the documents easier to read and understand. 

Stage 4: In May 2019 work has commenced on updating more than 50 ASCIA health professional resources, including 10 e-training courses.  

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Recent tick allergy publication supports ASCIA recommendations

7 May 2019

tick publicationThe ASCIA article on tick allergy has been updated to include reference to a recently published study, and is available at www.allergy.org.au/patients/insect-allergy-bites-and-stings/tick-allergy

The study is titled “Tick killing in situ before removal to prevent allergic and anaphylactic reactions in humans: a cross-sectional study”.  It is available open access from the Asia Pacific Allergy journal https://apallergy.org/DOIx.php?id=10.5415/apallergy.2019.9.e15   

Results from this published study support the use of ether containing sprays to kill ticks.  These sprays are approved by the TGA for use on human skin in Australia.  The study results support the following ASCIA recommendations.

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:

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

Another recent publication reports on a second tick species that has been associated with mammalian meat allergy in Australia. https://synapse.koreamed.org/DOIx.php?id=10.5415/apallergy.2018.8.e31   

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