New Strategies for Prevention and Treatment of Insect Bite Hypersensitivity in Horses

Sigridur Jonsdottir*, Iva Cvitas, Vilhjalmur Svansson, Antonia Fettelschloss-Gabriel, Sigurbjorg Torsteinsdottir, Eliane Marti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: Treatment of equine insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) needs to be improved. Allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT), the only curative treatment of allergy, currently has only a limited efficacy for treatment of IBH. This review highlights the latest findings in prophylactic and therapeutic strategies. Recent Findings: Prophylactic vaccination against IBH using recombinant Culicoides allergen has been developed in unexposed Icelandic horses and is ready to be tested. Therapeutic virus-like particle (VLP)–based vaccines targeting equine interleukin- (IL-) 5 or IL-31 improved clinical signs of IBH by induction of anti-cytokine antibodies thus reducing eosinophil counts or allergic pruritus, respectively. Summary: First studies for development of ASIT using pure r-Culicoides allergens have yielded promising results and need now to be tested in clinical studies for both prevention and treatment of IBH. Therapeutic vaccines inducing neutralizing antibodies against IL-5 or IL-31 will be valuable future treatments for reduction of clinical signs of IBH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-312
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Dermatology Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).

Other keywords

  • Allergen-specific immunotherapy
  • Allergens
  • eIL-5-VLP
  • IL-31-VLP therapeutic vaccines
  • Insect bite hypersensitivity


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