The allergological community is mobilizing to maintain access to treatment for all on the occasion of the 13th edition of the Francophone Congress of Allergology (CFA) which opens its doors this Tuesday in Paris.
As the 13th edition of the Francophone Allergology Congress (CFA) opens on Tuesday at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, the entire allergological community is mobilizing to maintain access to treatment for all. In February, the High Authority for Health (HAS) issued an opinion recommending a reduction in the reimbursement of desensitization treatments for allergic diseases, while the pathology explodes and that there is no alternative treatment to desensitization .
"The impact of environmental degradation"
In a joint statement, the French Association for the Prevention of Allergies (AFPRAL), the National Association of Continuing Education in Allergology (ANAFORCAL), Asthma & Allergies, the French Federation of Allergology (FFAL), the French Society of Allergy Allergologie (SFA) and the French Syndicate of Allergists (SYFAL) are indignant with this recommendation. "At a time when all studies point to the impact of environmental degradation on the explosion in the number of people with allergies, the state can not disengage and restrict access to treatment" warns allergic community.
Allergies are today a real public health issue, directly related to changes in the environment and changing lifestyles. The National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) estimates that "25 to 30% of the population is allergic". A figure that should reach 50% by 2050 according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In France, 15 to 20% of people aged 15 to 70 are affected. "Reducing the reimbursement of desensitization treatments is reducing the number of patients who can be treated and take the risk of worsening the pathology," warn allergists. According to them, this would amount to denying the weight that allergies represent on everyday life: fatigue, absenteeism at school, lower productivity at work, etc.
Half of France on pollen red alert
This mobilization of allergists comes at a time when pollen allergies are making their comeback. The country is on red alert warns the National Aerobiological Surveillance Network (RNSA) in its latest vigilance bulletin: "France is cut in half with birch pollen invading the North and pollen plane trees that will gain ground in the South, observes the network.The risk of allergy will be very high in the coming days for birch pollens north of a Bordeaux-Lyon line and in the Alps ".
In the North and in the center, birch pollen is indeed very present, in the south the plane tree pollens. Throughout France, the risk of allergy is high for ash pollen. The pollen of charm could also reach this level in a few days. In the south-west, the risk is medium for grass pollen, although they are still present. The rise in temperatures announced as of April 17, will enhance pollination.
What are the allergies to pollens?
But what is causing pollen allergies? Austrian researchers explained this phenomenon in the Journal of Biological Chemistry in 2014. They had recreated the allergen present in birch pollen in the laboratory: the Bet v 1 protein (Betula verrucosa). It makes the immune system hypersensitive and causes the formation of pathogenic antibodies in 95% of allergy sufferers. The researchers discovered that it is the molecular "pockets" of the Bet v 1 protein that determine whether or not the pollen will be allergenic.
Specifically, Bet v 1 can bind strongly to iron through molecular pockets. If these pockets remain empty, the pollen turns into an allergen because it manipulates the Th3 immune cells to make them react. Scientists note in people with allergies, an imbalance between Th3 cells - which defend the body from allergies and parasites - and Th1 cells - that respond to bacterial infections. Mystery solved!