Allergen immunotherapy is a powerful and effective treatment option for patients with allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and allergy to stinging insects. Allergen immunotherapy (ie, "allergy shots") has been used for nearly 100 years, and has been shown to provide both short-term and often long-term relief from allergic symptoms. It may also help prevent the development of asthma, and may reduce the incidence of new allergic sensitivities. Creticos and colleagues evaluated an experimental alternative to the traditional approach to immunotherapy.
The study authors conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial with a ragweed antigen (Amb a 1), conjugated to a phosphorothioate oligodeoxyribonucleotide immunostimulatory sequence of DNA (AIC) in 25 ragweed-allergic adults. Patients were given injections once weekly for 6 weeks. Their allergic rhinitis symptoms were then followed for 2 years.