Allergic Mechanisms and Immunotherapeutic Strategies Edited by Angela M. Roberts and Matthew R. Walker University of Birmingham, UK There is now considerable evidence that environmental and social changes, including increased urbanisation, industrialisation, air pollution and large-scale arable monoculture, have combined to produce an increase in the incidence of various allergies. It is currently estimated that more than 1 in 10 individuals are afflicted with some form of allergy, which although generally not life threatening, cause varying levels of discomfort or debilitation. IgE-mediated hypersensitivities such as seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever), eczema, urticaria and asthma consequently represent considerable medical and socio-economic problems. To date, the clinical management of allergy relies largely either on allergen avoidance and/or long term use of pharmacological agents, e.g. steroids and antihistamines. However, a mass of molecular and cellular immunobiological research has accumulated, which provides further insights into the precise mechanisms determining IgE production; coupled with exciting possibilities for immunotherapeutic intervention. Allergic Mechanisms and Immunotherapeutic Strategies has drawn together contributions from leading scientific and medical researchers in this field. The topics discussed include the structural basis of the interaction of human IgE with its receptors, the role of recombinant DNA methodologies in the analysis of common plant pollen and mite allergens, and the modulation of the allergic cascade by T cells and cytokines. In addition to summarising the most important discoveries in their respective areas, the contributors have illustrated where their findings could be exploited for the development of immunotherapeutic strategies. Given that the incidence of allergic disease is increasing, it seems likely that such strategies will have an important role in future clinical management of atopic patients.