Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Slovenian network of allergy and asthma: from epidemiology to genetics

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.01.00  Medical sciences  Microbiology and immunology   
3.08.00  Medical sciences  Public health (occupational safety)   

Code Science Field
B230  Biomedical sciences  Microbiology, bacteriology, virology, mycology 

Code Science Field
3.01  Medical and Health Sciences  Basic medicine 
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (29)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  34096  PhD Nanča Čebron Lipovec  Natural sciences and mathematics  Junior researcher  2014 - 2016  64 
2.  32076  PhD Nina Čelesnik Smodiš  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2013 - 2014  46 
3.  12179  PhD Tanja Čufer  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  771 
4.  51978  Jerneja Debeljak  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2018  15 
5.  25171  PhD Renato Eržen  Medical sciences  Researcher  2014 - 2018  257 
6.  15710  PhD Matjaž Fležar  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  529 
7.  27968  PhD Irena Grmek Košnik  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013  353 
8.  20616  PhD Saša Kadivec  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  376 
9.  29281  PhD Lea Knez  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2014 - 2018  175 
10.  22807  PhD Peter Korošec  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  672 
11.  10921  PhD Mitja Košnik  Medical sciences  Principal Researcher  2013 - 2018  1,489 
12.  02053  PhD Ivan Krajnc  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  615 
13.  22680  PhD Mitja Lainščak  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013  686 
14.  34498  PhD Dane Lužnik  Medical sciences  Researcher  2014 - 2018  36 
15.  23464  PhD Mateja Marc Malovrh  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  157 
16.  15780  PhD Robert Marčun  Medical sciences  Researcher  2014 - 2018  204 
17.  16252  PhD Jovan Miljković  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  260 
18.  36478  PhD Daniel Omersa  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2013 - 2014  42 
19.  51977  Maruša Rihar  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2018 
20.  29300  PhD Matija Rijavec  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  255 
21.  23375  PhD Brigita Skela Savič  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  1,032 
22.  36479  PhD Julij Šelb  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  99 
23.  25178  PhD Sabina Škrgat  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  299 
24.  06779  PhD Stanislav Šuškovič  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013  411 
25.  22806  PhD Viktorija Tomič  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  413 
26.  39238  Romana Vantur Setnikar  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2016 - 2018  16 
27.  25317  PhD Mihaela Zidarn  Medical sciences  Researcher  2014 - 2018  412 
28.  33192  PhD Mateja Žavbi  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2014 - 2015  25 
29.  07627  PhD Marija Žolnir-Dovč  Medical sciences  Researcher  2013 - 2018  299 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1613  University Clinic of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases  Golnik  1190997  6,801 
2.  2334  University of Maribor, Faculty of Medicine  Maribor  5089638048  16,462 
3.  2672  FACULTY OF HEALTH CARE JESENICE  Jesenice  2245272  5,158 
4.  3334  National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Foodstaffs  Maribor  6489087  4,322 
In integration part we will further tackle the fragmentation of Slovenian research. This will be done by joint efforts with Slovenian outpatient MDs and other institutions in investigations of rhinitis and asthma prevalence and by analysis of regional sensitization differences. In integration part we will further develop clinical»telemonitoring« of severe asthma patients. The research activates will be performed in four WPs. In WP 1.1 (airway remodeling asthma) we will focus on cellular, angiogenic and molecular changes (expression of mRNA and microRNA) in asthmatic patients, with significant progress in airway remodeling despite regular treatment. In WP 1.2 (aspirin intolerance - AI) we will set an in vivo model of monitoring COX-2 expression (mRNA) in peripheral blood after aspirin provocation. Namely, we recently showed that in vitro COX-2 appears to be differently regulated (overexpressed) in monocytes of AI patients. The largest work package (WP 2) will be dealing with the link between IgE sensitization, basophil allergen sensitivity and allergic disease. We will include different clinical (WP 2.1) and immunotherapeutic anaphylactic models (WP 2.2) for Hymenoptera venom and peanut allergy, milk and inhalant grass and house dust mite allergy. In one way this WP will determine basal humoral, molecular and transduction mechanisms behind differences and/or changes in basophil allergen sensitivity. On the other way we will further expand the clinical testing of basophil allergen sensitivity approach for diagnostic routine use. The third work package will focus on honeybee venom (Api m 1 to 10), house dust mite (Der p 1 do p 23) (WP 3.1) and peanut (Ara h 1 do 9) (WP 3.2) recombinant allergens for diagnosis and treatment. The fourth WP is focused on genetics of allergic diseases. In WP 4.1 we will expand the research of the ORMDL3 polymorphisms in asthma to the locus 17q11.2−17q21.1. In WP 4.2 the testing for major filaggrin mutations will be performed on a large group of SI atopic, allergic contact and irritant contact dermatitis patients. In WP 4.3 we will start to prepare a large genome-wide association study by enrolment of 1000 patients to identify possible susceptibility loci for hypersensitivity to Hymenoptera venom. In the Hymenoptera venom allergy and basophil allergen sensitivity field we are one of the leading groups in the world.
Significance for science
Asthma and allergy are Europes` most common chronic diseases and their prevalence is increasing. Up to one child of three is affected, and trends indicate that by 2020, half of all Europeans may be suffering from an allergy. It was shown that the number of people with atopy is increasing but we do not know why. Atopy involves the capacity to produce IgE antibodies in response to common environmental proteins such as house dust mites, grass pollen, and food allergens. Several hypotheses are discussed such as the evolution of the »western lifestyle«, the hygiene hypothesis, genetics and environment changes. As well as identifying the cause of the increasing prevalence, which might lead to prevention. Another highly important challenge is to define the exact mechanisms causing allergic symptoms. Namely, only half to two-thirds of people with allergen specific IgE develop symptoms. Furthermore, it is not clear why some IgE sensitized subjects develop only mild symptoms and other life-treating systemic reactions. This is especially important in case of anaphylaxis, which is most commonly triggered by insect venom, food or medications. Therefore, new testing possibilities like recombinant allergens, cellular basophil testing and genetic analysis may help us in evaluation of better and more predictive diagnostic approaches which could distinguish mild from severe reactors and this task is in the core of our research program. Immunotherapy is a treatment of choice in allergy. However the exact mechanism and the in vitro test to predict the induction of protection or tolerance are poorly understood. This is another very important field in which this program is highly involved. Finally, we think that this program will, similarly as the previous one, have a high impact on the development of science in allergology, especially in the field of new recombinant and cellular diagnostic and prognostic approaches.
Significance for the country
Research on allergic diseases in Slovenia is still not coordinated as effectively as possible and findings do not always reach doctors and patients fast enough. Although the medical term »allergy« exists for a long time, it is only recently that allergic diseases have come to be considered as an important global problem. Research was therefore not only fragmented in the different research institutes but also between disciplines: Pulmonology, ENT, Immunology, Epidemiology and general practice. This fragmentation had to be tackled by identifying areas where data were missing, integrating and comparing the results obtained in the different studies, and standardizing research practices. Our program answer to this challenge is to provide a platform for research, which adopts the same standards of excellence, and which aims to spread good practices and to foster collaboration within Slovenia. The program aims to accelerate the application of research results into clinical practice, to meet the needs of patients, and to help guide policy development. It also aims to promote training and greater integration in this medical field. By addressing allergy and asthma in their totality, the program ultimate objective is to benefit the well-being of patients by decreasing the burden of allergic diseases in Slovenia.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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