60 years of EAACI - on the road to prevention and healthy living



the-history-of-the-idea-of-allergy-button the-history-of-pediatric-allergy-in-europe-button


First formal description of hay fever

John Bostock, unknown date
First page of the article (the first name used by Bostock was “periodical affection of the eyes and chest”)

Demonstration of causality of pollen in hay fever (Blackley)


Charles Blackley, unknown date
Table of pollen counts in the book “Experimental Researches on the Causes and nature of Catarrhus Aestivus” by Blackley (1873)

First theory on existence of antibodies


Paul Ehrlich, in Frankfurt en 1900
Plate showing first theory on production of “antikörper” (antibodies), from Paul Ehrlich (Ehrlich P, Croonian Lecture: “On Immunity with Special Reference to Cell Life” 1900)


The first immunologist (E. Metchnikoff)

First article reporting an active immunity, here performed by macrophages (Biol Zent BI 1883;3:560-5)
Plate showing a microphage with phagocited spirochaetes inside (From Metchnikoff The British Medical Journal 1891;213-7)
Elie Metchnikoff, 1903

Definition of anaphylaxis


Title of article defining anaphylaxis (in french, 1902)
Portier (in the middle) in laboratory of the yate "Princesse Alice II", where investigation on anaphylaxis began
First page article on anaphylaxis by Richet in 1907
Stamp on anaphylaxis discovery (Monaco, 1953) with all the protagonists


Defining "allergy" by Clemens von Pirquet

Photo of von Pirquet only 3 years before the publication of the seminal article "Allergie"
Title of the article where “allergy” was coined and defined in 1906 (First appearance in history; in German)
Photo of Bella Schick, unknown date

First case reports on anaphylactic reactions induced by food "the alimentary anaphylaxis"


Victor Henry Hutinel, unknown date

Start of allergen immunotherapy (AIT)


First page of the article in English on AIT from Dunbar, the true precursor of the Noon and Freeman’s discovering of AIT (Journal of Hygiene 1913;13:105)
William Phillips Dunbar, 1916
Leonard Noon and John Freeman met by first time in Charterhouse School, 1895
Leonard Noon, unknown date
John Freeman, unknown date
Figure of the article by Noon & Freeman showing evolution of conjunctiva resistance to pollen after AIT
Advertisement of Pollaccine, the first vaccine marketed by St. Mary’s Hospital-Parke, Davis & Co, 1920


Discovery of histamine by Henry Dale

Original figure showing the action of histamine on systemic and lung BPs in a cat (from Dale H, Laidlaw PP Journal of Physiology 1911;41:318-44)
Henry Dale, unknown date


Demonstration that allergy can be transferred by blood


Prausnitz - Küstner test

Photo of Carl Prausnitz, unknown date
First page of the seminal article (Centralbl f Bakt 1921;86:160-9)


Establishing the concept of "atopy"

Photo of Arthur Coca, unknown date
Photo of Robert A Cooke, unknown date
First page of the original article (Journal of Immunology 1922;3:163-82)
Detail of the first appearance of the word “atopy” in the article

Coining the term "patch test"


Looking for the first antihistamine (thymoxyethyldiethylamine)


Daniel Bovet, unknown date
Ann Marie Staub, unknown date
First page of the seminal article (CR Sceances Acad Sci 1937;124:527-49)
Old advertisement of antihistamine in newspaper (50')

Decade 1950 - 1960

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is beneficial in the treatment of inflammatory diseases (Note: in 1949 it was described its role on rheumatoid arthritis and in 1950 in other inflammatory diseases)


Hench and Kendall, unknown date
One page of the seminal article (Arch Intern Med 1950;85:545-666)


The presence of histamine in tissue mast cells


First placebo controlled AIT trial

Photo of A. W. Frankland
Table with results in hay-fever patients after IT (from Lancet 1954;1:1055-7)
First page of the article


First polio vaccine

Jonas Salk, unknown date
Newspaper announcing the success of polio vaccine
First vaccine, commercialized by Connaught Medical Research Labortories


Basophils are main source of histamine among blood cells

1956 EAACI is founded in Florence

Immune complexes are described


The clonal selection theory on antibody synthesis


Photo of Frank Burnett, unknown date
First page of the seminal book establishing the theory (The clonal selection theory of acquired immunity, 1959, Vanderbilt and Cambridge University Press)

Decade 1960 - 1970


Identification of allergen molecules

Histamine release



X-ray based structure of Gal d 4 - egg white lysozyme


Discovery of disodium cromoglycate (DSGC), mast cell stabilizer

First page of the seminal article (Lancet 1967;290:39-42)
Intal, one of the first inhalers marketed with DSGC, 1976

Discovery of IgE

1966 1967

First page of the article of Ishizaka
Photo of the meeting held in Lausanne in 1967 where IgE was officially recognized and named

Decade 1970 - 1980



Procedure for specific inhalation challenge with occupational agents was formally developed by Jack Pepys and collaborators

Jack Pepys, unknown date

Description of the function of B cells



Identification of histamine receptor H2R


Dendritic cells

Patent on FACS




First description of pollen-related food allergy

First page of seminal article (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1979;76:4275-9)
Figure of the article: proposed scheme of transformation of arachidonic acid in leukotrienes
Photograph of Samuelsson, unknown date

Decade 1980 - 1990

IUIS/WHO allergen Standardisation Committe by Alain de Weck and IUIS/WHO nomenclature subcommittee


Nobel prize for MHC locus


First page of Nobel Lecture Benacerraf
First page of the first article demonstrating a genetic control of immune response
Benacerraf, unknown date


IgE Receptor

New adjuvant of calcium phosphate for allergen vaccine - patent Institute Pasteur Paris France

Th1/Th2 concept






Recombinant Allergens


Hygiene hypothesis


First page of the original article 1989
David Strachan, around 1989

Decade 1990 - 2000


Allergy - official journal of EAACI

Anti-IgE Therapy


First page of article of presentation of omalizumab (The Journal of Immunology 1993;151:2623-32)
Photograph of Tse Wen Chang, the author of the idea of targeting membrane-bound IgE with a monoclonal antibody, 2011


Toll like receptors

IL 10 / IgG4 and their role in IT

T regulatory cells

PAI – official journal of EAACI

1991, 1999 and 2000

Cloning of the Histamine receptors H1R, H2R, H3R and H4R

Decade 2000 - 2010

AIT trials with hypoallergens, peptides



ARIA guidelines recommends AIT as effective and long term effective treatment

Sublingual AIT complements SCIT


EU Food Allergen labelling legislation

AIT induces blocking antibodies

Quality of life of allergic patients



First trials on AIT with recombinant allergen material

Prevention of allergy - clinical trials



EMA guidelines for AIT product and clinical documentation

Decade 2011 - 2020

Endotypes and targeted treatment

European Declaration on Immunotherapy

Clinical and Translational Allergy – the official EAACI open access journal


First page of seminal article by Wenzel (Clin Exp Allergy 2012;42:650-8)
Sally Wenzel, unknown date


EAACI Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis guidelines

First page of the article (Allergy 2014;69:1008-25)

Successful anti IL-5 and anti IL-4/IL-13 phase III trials in asthma and atopic dermatitis

EU Parliament IG on Allergy and Asthma

Number of EAACI members reaches 9,000


Last updated 11 April 2016
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