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Delayed-type Hypersensitivity Treatment & Management

  • Author: Harumi Jyonouchi, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
 
Updated: Dec 03, 2015
 

Medical Care

Delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) skin testing requires the use of Ag doses as defined under Lab Studies. See Lab Studies for a more complete discussion of the interpretation of DTH reactions.

DTH responses represent cellular immune responses to recall Ags to which the subject has been exposed at least 4-6 weeks previously. The reaction occurs 48-72 hours after exposure and induces induration of 5 mm or more.

The inflammatory reaction may be sufficient to induce pain at the local site. Topical steroids and diphenhydramine have been used to decrease an unusually severe local reaction. If an excessive reaction is anticipated, such as in caseating tuberculosis, decrease the amount of Ag; for M tuberculosis, for example, decrease the strength of the PPD from the customary 5 units to 1 unit.

Negative reactions to a recall Ag to which the patient is known to have adequate exposure require investigation for an underlying illness or a T-cell immunodeficiency.

Positive DTH reactions do not indicate protection against the recall Ag that is tested. Antibody responses to the specific antigen usually reveal better correlation with immune protection.

In patients with mutations in the IFN)-γ/IL-12/IL-23 signaling pathways, medical care includes consideration of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in patients with severe deficiencies and exogenous IFN-γ therapy in patients with partial deficiencies with milder clinical features. In the presence of NTM infection, patients require treatment with an aggressive regimen of anti-mycobacterial drugs. HSCT may not be successful in the presence of systemic, progressive NTM infection.

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Consultations

In a context in which a T-cell disorder is likely, a clinical immunologist should manage the diagnostic workup in order to obtain informative cell-mediated immunologic testing and appropriate mutational analysis.

Both types of evaluations for rare T-cell disorders are commonly available only in laboratories of specific investigators. However, intracellular cytokine staining of IL-17 and mutational analysis of genes associated with deficiencies of IFN-γ and IL-12 pathways can be attainable in the commercial laboratories.

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Diet

Resolution of protein-energy malnutrition in immunocompetent hosts induces an intact DTH response.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Harumi Jyonouchi, MD Faculty, Division of Allergy/Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Saint Peter's University Hospital

Harumi Jyonouchi, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Immunologists, American Medical Association, Clinical Immunology Society, New York Academy of Sciences, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, Society for Pediatric Research, Society for Mucosal Immunology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Russell W Steele, MD Clinical Professor, Tulane University School of Medicine; Staff Physician, Ochsner Clinic Foundation

Russell W Steele, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Immunologists, American Pediatric Society, American Society for Microbiology, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Louisiana State Medical Society, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Society for Pediatric Research, Southern Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Terry W Chin, MD, PhD Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine; Associate Director, Cystic Fibrosis Center, Attending Staff Physician, Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Allergy, and Immunology, Memorial Miller Children's Hospital

Terry W Chin, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, American Association of Immunologists, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, American College of Chest Physicians, American Federation for Clinical Research, American Thoracic Society, California Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, California Thoracic Society, Clinical Immunology Society, Los Angeles Pediatric Society, Western Society for Pediatric Research

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

John Wilson Georgitis, MD Consulting Staff, Lafayette Allergy Services

John Wilson Georgitis, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American College of Chest Physicians, American Lung Association, American Medical Writers Association, and American Thoracic Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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