HISTORY OF DHMIn comparison to other hypersensitivity reactions in allergology and immunology, diagnosis and therapy of drug hypersensitivity is more complicated, as multiple drugs are able to elicit a heterogeneous array of symptoms ranging from mild to severe and from exanthematous skin eruptions to anaphylaxis. Thus, drug hypersensitivity still has to be regarded as a developing area. In order to combine existing knowledge and share new experiences in drug hypersensitivity, the Drug Hypersensitivity Meeting (DHM) was created by W.J. Pichler, Bern, which became an unofficial world congress on drug hypersensitivity. It is now held every two years.
The first drug hypersensitivity meetings on international level gathered many allergologists, immunotoxicologists, pharmacologists, immunologists, representatives of drug allergy. They exchanged different aspects on drug hypersensitivity and stated the risks towards a better understanding of the disease and on the ways that it can be avoided.
The 1st Drug Hypersensitivity Meeting was hosted in Bern, Switzerland, 5-8 May 2004. The programme encompassed all aspects of drug hypersensitivity, and was aimed at scientists in the fields of Pharmacology, Toxicology, Chemistry, Allergy and Immunology. It should foster the exchange of knowledge between representatives from academia, industry and the regulatory agencies interested in drug hypersensitivity and aimed to create a better understanding and management of adverse drug reactions. The first meeting developed to be a success with more than 250 delegates and it was decided to continue the meeting every second year.
The 2nd Drug Hypersensitivity Meeting was organised by Dean J. Naisbitt, Munir Pirmohamed, and B. Kevin Park in Liverpool, United Kingdom, from 18-21 April 2006. It was attended by about 200 delegates and provided an excellent environment to discuss recent advances in the understanding of the chemical, cellular, molecular and genetic basis of drug hypersensitivity.
The 3rd Drug Hypersensitivity Meeting was hosted by Jean-Claude Roujeau and Pascal Demoly in Paris, 11-13 April 2008, and successfully continued the interaction between basic scientists and clinical researchers. Like the previous Drug Hypersensitivity Meetings. it brought together international experts with the aim of fostering the exchanges of knowledge in drug hypersensitivity and improving the management of a constantly evolving problem.
From 22-25 April 2010, Antonino Romano organised the 4th Drug Hypersensitivity Meeting, now with increasing recognition and support of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI). In addition to basic research, it intensified practical clinical approaches in part by presenting updates on pathogenic mechanisms, diagnosis and prevention provided by the European Network for Drug Allergy (ENDA), the EAACI Interest Group on Drug Hypersensitivity.
The 5th Drug Hypersensitivity Meeting, which was held in Munich 11-14 April 2012, was the first DHM organised and promoted by the EAACI. The EAACI provided logistic and financial support and the intense participation by Asian, Australian and American colleagues underlined that it will continue as an international meeting. As in previous meetings, experimental scientists as well as clinicians found a platform to discuss their results and exchanged their approach to drug hypersensitivity research. To enhance the attractiveness of DHM for clinicians, clinical case reports and practically oriented breakfast seminars were provided.
The 6th Drug Hypersensitivity Meeting (DHM6) will take place in Bern, Switzerland, from April 9 – 12, 2014.