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Information updates

Possible bee venom shortage in second half of 2017

Feb 27, 2017: 

The ALK bee venom manufacturing facility recently failed a FDA inspection. ALK is therefore currently unable to supply bee venom to the US.

In Australia and New Zealand the Albey brand of bee venom immunotherapy is used, which is distributed by Stallergenes Greer. The manufacturer of the venom used in the Albey products is now facing supply pressures in the US in order to make up the shortfall arising from the non-availability of the ALK bee venom product. This could result in a temporary reduced supply to international consumers including Australia and New Zealand.

It is therefore recommended that patients who are on maintenance bee venom immunotherapy should contact their GP to seek advice from the Allergy/Immunology specialist who initiated the treatment course to discuss options.

ASCIA anaphylaxis e-training for Western Australian Schools is now online

Jan 23, 2017: 

ASCIA has worked with the Western Australian Department of Health in consultation with key stakeholders to develop an anaphylaxis e-training schools course specifically for WA schools. ASCIA anaphylaxis e-training WA for schools is now available.

With most Australian regions using ASCIA e-training as the recommended anaphylaxis training for schools, we are very pleased to add this latest course.  

For more information and links to schools e-training websites and courses including new the Western Australian course (https://etrainingwa.allergy.org.au/) go to www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/about-ascia-e-training 

Other resources for schools and childcare are available at www.allergy.org.au/schools-childcare 

fFor ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis go to www.allergy.org.au/health-professionals/anaphylaxis-resources 

Thunderstorm asthma epidemic

Dec 9, 2016

The recent thunderstorm asthma epidemic in Melbourne and its tragic consequences highlight the need for more research, education and awareness in this area.

Thunderstorm asthma is thought to be triggered by thunderstorms that have rapid changes in wind, temperature and humidity, which cause pollen grains to absorb moisture, burst open and release large amounts of small pollen allergen particles that can penetrate deep into the small airways of the lung.   

Not everyone affected by Australian thunderstorm asthma epidemics has had thunderstorm asthma before. However, they have usually had severe allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and have been found to be allergic to ryegrass pollen.

If you have allergic rhinitis or asthma triggered by pollen:

  • Try to avoid being outside on high pollen days, particularly during windy days and thunderstorms (which are common in spring); and
  • See your pharmacist and/or doctor to check that you are being appropriately treated, with preventer medications. 

It is important to note that:

  • Not all thunderstorms, even on days with high pollen counts, trigger thunderstorm asthma
  • Other weather factors are involved in thunderstorm asthma
  • It is not only people with pollen allergy who may be affected by thunderstorm asthma
  • Other allergens such as fungal spores, massive humidity and temperature changes over a short period can also affect some people with asthma and other respiratory diseases during a thunderstorm

Further information on thunderstorm is available at:

www.allergy.org.au/patients/asthma-and-allergy/thunderstorm-asthma 

https://theconversation.com/keeping-one-step-ahead-of-pollen-triggers-for-thunderstorm-asthma-69408 

AusPollen Apps are available at www.pollenforecast.com.au and these aim to provide accurate and easily accessible information on local pollen counts.  Completion of a short questionnaire https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/187809/5405/ will help the AusPollen research team to evaluate usefulness of the apps and how the service can be improved. This research is funded by NHMRC Partnership Project GNT1116107 and co-sponsorship from partner organisations, including ASCIA and AIFA. 

ASCIA highlights from 2016 and plans for 2017

Nov 28, 2016

As the end of 2016 approaches it is timely to reflect on the significant development, achievements and collaborations of ASCIA over the past year, and plans for 2017.

Thank you to ASCIA members and supporters for your greatly appreciated contributions throughout 2016.  We look forward to continuing to work with you in 2017 on a wide range of projects.

A summary of highlights from 2016 and plans for 2017 is available at www.allergy.org.au/about-ascia/highlights 

Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia (AIFA) Research Grants

Nov 16, 2016

AIFA has provided $100,000 in research grants to support 6 projects over the past 3 years.

This funding includes two $10,000 grants announced this month, one supporting research into Jack Jumper Ant immunotherapy and the second that will improve development of a drug for allergy.

For information about these grants go to

www.allergyimmunology.org.au/news/99-aifa-announces-2016-research-grants

To donate in support of AIFA research grants go to www.allergyimmunology.org.au/donations/donate-now 

AusPollen Apps for people with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and allergic asthma

Nov 8, 2016

Local AusPollen Apps provide information on daily levels of pollen in the air and are currently available for Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney at www.pollenforecast.com.au by downloading the free App for iTunes or Google Play, and through Twitter or Facebook.

Completion of a short (~5 minute) online questionnaire https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/187809/5405/ before and after the pollen season will help the AusPollen team to evaluate usefulness of the AusPollen Apps and how this service can be improved.

AusPollen research will help with planning pollen count stations for the future and determine if there are local triggers that make hay fever and asthma worse.

For further information about the AusPollen project please contact A/Prof Janet Davies, Queensland University of Technology, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For any questions about how the project is conducted or questions about participating in research in general, please contact the SWSLHD Research and Ethics on 02 8738 8304 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This research is funded by NHMRC Partnership Project GNT1116107 and co-sponsorship from partner organisations, including ASCIA and AIFA www.allergyimmunology.org.au

National Allergy Strategy - KABAM survey

Nov 3, 2016

National Allergy Strategy - KABAM survey openTHANK YOU to all who participated in the National Allergy Strategy survey for teens and young adults (KABAM survey). The response has been overwhelming and we look forward to reviewing the information to ensure we develop suitable resources for 12-24 year olds with severe allergy. Stay tuned for updates on resource development.


Oct 5, 2016

The National Allergy Strategy Knowledge and Barriers to Allergy Management (KABAM) survey for teens and young adults will be available from 5th October – 3 November 2016. This survey is for people aged 12-24 years old with severe allergy.

The survey is being conducted to enable the National Allergy Strategy to collect information about what 12-24 year olds with severe allergy would like to know about managing their allergy and how they would like to access the information. As the survey will guide resource development it is important the survey is completed by the individual not their parent or guardian.

ASCIA 2016 Conference Report

Sep 21, 2016

The ASCIA 2016 conference provided more than 600 delegates with a unique opportunity to hear from 6 international experts and more than 30 local experts on a wide range of areas in allergy and clinical immunology. The conference also included 79 posters, 48 poster presentations and 16 clinical grand rounds presentations.

Congratulations and thank you to Dr Susan Perel (Chair), A/Professor Jane Peake and Dr David Gillis for organising an outstanding program for the ASCIA 2016 Conference. Thank you also to Kathy Beck and Anna Sullivan for coordinating an excellent Nurses' and Dietitians' Update and Professor Katie Allen for another successful CFAR Symposium.

Thank you also to sponsors and exhibitors, who continue to provide ongoing support for ASCIA Annual Conferences and other ASCIA educational initiatives.

For more information go to www.allergy.org.au/conferences/ascia-annual-conference#s2016 

We look forward to your participation in the 28th ASCIA Conference next September in Auckland, New Zealand.

ASCIA 2017

Content Updated 21 September 2016

AIFA seed funding leads to NHMRC grant

Aug 23, 2016

We are proud to announce that the AusPollen project has been awarded $626,442 in the latest round of NHMRC Partnership Project grants with a further $653,129 in partner organisation in kind and cash support. AusPollen, the Australian Pollen Allergen Partnership, will build, implement and evaluate the first standardised national pollen monitoring network. Grass pollen is the main outdoor trigger for allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and allergic asthma. This project seeks to improve the management of people with these common conditions, by delivering pollen alerts and healthcare information via websites and apps.

The AusPollen project was one of the first projects to receive a seed grant from the Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia (AIFA) in 2015. Seed funding for projects like this enable researchers to progress their work and apply for larger grants. To find out how you can donate to AIFA to help provide seed funding for projects such as AusPollen go to www.allergyimmunology.org.au 

The AusPollen program was initiated with the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), Asthma Australia, Stallergenes Greer Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO and MeteoSwiss. For more information about AusPollen go to www.pollenforecast.com.au 

Updated ASCIA Action Plans for Anaphylaxis and Allergic Reactions

Aug 10, 2016
ASCIA has released updated Action Plans for Anaphylaxis and Allergic Reactions on its website:

The main changes are an increased emphasis of key messages, inclusion of images to show how to position a person with anaphylaxis and revised wording regarding the importance of giving the adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjector first, then asthma medication in a person with severe allergy and asthma.

All ASCIA anaphylaxis resources and e-training courses have been updated with the changes that have been made to the ASCIA action plans.

Instructions for the EpiPen® adrenaline autoinjector remain unchanged in Australia and New Zealand. However, ASCIA has added "Hold leg still" to the instructions.

If you have any questions regarding EpiPen® instructions please email the Alphapharm-Mylan Medical Affairs team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 1800 274 276.

Patient outcomes can be improved by ensuring that acute management of anaphylaxis is consistent with ASCIA Action Plans. In an anaphylaxis emergency, ASCIA Action Plans provide guidance on how and when to give the adrenaline autoinjector.
It is therefore essential that all patients prescribed an adrenaline autoinjector are provided with an ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis.

ASCIA Action Plans should be reviewed when patients are reassessed by their doctor, and each time they obtain a new adrenaline autoinjector prescription, which is approximately every 12 to 18 months.

Content updated 10 August 2016

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