The Challenge of Treating Orphan Disease

Carlos Dias, Carlo Selmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Uncommon or orphan diseases are less frequently addressed in mainstream medical journals and, as a consequence, their understanding and clinical recognition may rely on case series or anecdotal data with limited guidelines and management directions. The study of selected underrepresented autoimmune and allergy conditions is the subject of the present issue of Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology to provide peculiar perspectives on common and rare themes. First, allergy remains a major concern for physicians worldwide despite the limited developments over the past years, particularly for antigens such as mite or Alternaria alternata, and due to the increasing incidence of drug hypersensitivity. Second, the female predominance of autoimmune diseases such as systemic sclerosis is well recognized but enigmatic, and a unifying hypothesis remains elusive. Third, the management of conditions triggered by infectious agents as in Guillain-Barre syndrome or mixed cryoglobulinemia is challenging, and clinical guidelines are needed in the setting of infections and autoimmunity. Fourth, gamma-delta T cells represent major players in innate immunity and are the subject of extensive studies in autoimmune diseases to provide new therapeutic targets for disease prevention or modulation in the near future. Ultimately, we acknowledge the major developments in the broad fields of rheumatology and immunology and expect that microbiota definition, epigenetics studies, and microRNA analysis will provide new exciting avenues toward the understanding and treatment of chronic and acute inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-263
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 21 2014


  • Allergy
  • Cytokine
  • Hepatitis C
  • Molecular mimicry
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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