Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Allergy treatment may cause new allergy

Allergic contact dermatitis from aluminium has previously been considered very unusual. However, there are now reports of pruritic nodules and aluminium allergy arising after vaccinations or treatments for allergies. Researcher Eva Netterlid has studied the problem in a thesis recently defended at Lund University in Sweden.

‘Pruritic nodules’ are small lumps under the skin that cause itching and which, according to some studies, can remain for several years. A study of whooping cough vaccinations in Gothenburg a few years ago showed that almost one per cent of the children developed pruritic nodules in the area of the vaccination. Three out of four of the children who had a reaction with nodules also developed an allergy to aluminium.

“This was completely unexpected. Aluminium has been used as an adjuvant, intensifier, in vaccines for over 70 years with only a small number of reports of pruritic nodules and allergic contact dermatitis”, says Eva Netterlid. Her research has been carried out at the Occupational and Environmental Dermatology Unit in Malmö.

There are a number of possible explanations as to why aluminium allergy has become more common. There is new technology for identifying the allergy, the type of aluminium compounds used in vaccines and other treatments may have changed, and the number of vaccinations has increased with the increase in international travel.

Eva Netterlid only found a very small number of pruritic nodules in a study of diphtheria vaccinations of Swedish 10-year-olds. She then went on to study hyposensitisation, a treatment in which gradually higher doses of an allergenic substance are given to patients who are allergic to pollen, mites, etc. to habituate them to the substance.

This treatment also uses aluminium as an intensifier. The follow-up in this case showed a higher number of reactions. Of 37 children treated, allergic contact dermatitis from aluminium was seen in 8 children and pruritic nodules in 13 children. The 24 children with allergies who were included in the study but who were not given the treatment had neither pruritic nodules nor aluminium allergy.

Another study was of hyposensitisation of children and adults with allergic respiratory diseases. It was found that almost four per cent of the subjects had allergic contact dermatitis from aluminium. There were individuals with aluminium allergy in both the treated and the untreated group, and the allergy could therefore not be conclusively linked to the treatment. However, examination of the patients’ arms before and one year after the treatment showed that the number of people with nodules had increased significantly, and the proportion who had pruritic nodules had also increased.

Eva Netterlid and her colleagues hope to be able to continue with their research in the area. One important issue is whether different aluminium compounds produce different outcomes; another is whether those who have had a positive result in the test for aluminium allergy also have clinical symptoms when exposed to drugs and cosmetics containing aluminium.

Eva Netterlid can be contacted by telephone, +46 46 18 85 35, +46 708 988535, or by email,

Pressofficer Ingela Björck;; +46-46 222 7646

Ingela Björck | idw
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>