EDUCATION & RESEARCH PROGRAMMS
AEROBIOLOGY OF ISLAMABAD:
Considering the huge number of patients suffering from serious asthma attacks in spring
and fall we started with small project with collaboration with Prof Mir Ajab Khan of
Quaid E Azam University with sticky slide method which was very basic technique. We
found out that in spring it was Paper Mulberry Pollens while in fall it was Cannabis and
some other weeds causing severe allergic problems in patients. But since it was very
basic technique and did not give much information, but due to financial constraints we
could not purchase the pollen traps for scientific study of aerobiology.
In 2004 we were awarded first BURKARD Pollen and Spore Trap by the World Allergy Organization to conduct the aerobiological study of Islamabad. Although there were several applicants from different countries of the world but Dr.Shahid Abbas selected and was invited to World Allergy Congress in Japan to receive this award. President of the society was selected for this award. We started the project in Dec.2005 and completed in 2008. As a result we developed the first Pollen & Mold Calendar of Islamabad and it was the first time that any pollen and mold study was conducted in the country. The Pollen and Mold calendar was helpful for the doctors and patients suffering from different pollen and molds to plan preventive measures and treat the allergies before patients develop life threatening conditions.
Oral Allergy Drops:- Dr Shahid and his colleagues working in Allergy Centre, NIH, Islamabad were seeing about 50 patients of allergy daily coming from different parts of the country in 1997 and as result allergy immunotherapy injections were prescribed to them. But most of the patients would not continue after a few months due to pain and some allergic reactions. He and his colleagues started working on developing oral allergy vaccines but it was not know initially the mechanism of action. The patients were not responding after months of Oral Allergy Drops and initially there were several disappointments. But ultimately in 2000 developed the sublingual allergy drops which were mostly ineffective but some patients were responding. This was perhaps due to the fact that we were giving same dose and dilution of vaccine for injectable and for the sublingual immunotherapy (latter we optimized the dilution and concentration of sublingual allergy drops). In 2002, Dr Shahid made two poster presentations Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology (ASCIA) in Adelaide Austalia) for which he got first prize of 500 dollars. During panel discussions he disclosed that he developed Oral Allergy Vaccine and the participants and most of the participants did not agree about the effectiveness of the Oral Allergy Drops since allergy vaccine is mostly protein and it is digested in the stomach. But when he explained that if (Glyceryl Trinitrate) or Angisid placed under the tongue can be absorbed and relives the pain why not allergy drops. He started giving it to the patients in his clinic and once the dilution was optimized with continuous research by this group the response similar to that of injectable allergy vaccines (this was latter confirmed by international research). He is the first Allergist in Asia to develop the Oral Allergy Drops and now almost all his patients prefer the sublingual allergy drops.
Oral Allergy Tablets:- In 2011 Dr.Shahid and his group realized that oral allergy drops are difficult to carry and may spill over some times and started research on development of Sublingual Allergy Tablets. Till 2016 there were certain problems of developing rapidly dissolvable material which could release the allergen under the tongue. There were financial constraints and frequent failures in development of such rapidly dissolving tablets. The tablets we made would not dissolve under the tongue. This was disappointing but in 2014 Greer and Merck developed the first sublingual allergy tablets of the world and got these patented in usa. This was turning point and gave us strength to continue our research. In 2016 Medisca USA associated with (Florida University of Pharmacy) helped us and we could develop first Sublingual Allergy Tablet which would dissolve in 13 seconds under the tongue. We have the honor of developing first Sub Lingual Allergy Tablet in Asia.
Samsum Ant Allergy:- This deadly ant is present in middle east and Africa, ant sting causes severe anaphylaxis and even death in patients. There was no preventive treatment. Dr Shahid with Prof.Bassam Mehboob, Professor of Allergy and Immunology Sharjah University started project to develop diagnostic tests and preventive treatment. The skin samples of samsum ants were provided by Prof Bassam while Dr. Shahid developed the diagnostic skin tests for this life-threatening allergy. He also developed the first preventive treatment for fire ant allergy with the collaboration of Prof Bassam. Application for the patent in USA was applied and was granted to both scientists. 2005 had ALLERGY CAMP in spring and in FALL in Khyber Plaza blue area, Islamabad. The daily Pollen counts were started in 2005 on media and on telephone hot line to make patients about the daily counts so that they can take proper precautions 2006 repeated and did free allergy tests and distributed free allergy medicines, inhalers and bronchodilators 10. 2007 to date we are conducting above activities for awareness and treatment of patients suffering from different allergies 11. On 14th March we will be organizing Free Pollen Allergy Camp. From end February to end April there is huge concentration of Paper Mulberry Pollens in the air of Islamabad causing serious allergic symptoms like acute asthma and allergic rhinitis. The concentration of the pollens reaches to about 40000 pollens per day. In this allergy camps lectures will be organized for the awareness of the patients , free allergy tests will be done, free face masks will be provided to the patients and some free medicines will be provided.
We are organizing Allergy School on 7th May for training of doctors in specialty of allergy. It will be full day Allergy School and Allergy workshop training doctors in following disciplines:-
- Perform Skin Prick Tests for foods, aeroallergens and Interpret results of skin tests.
- Diagnose and treat Anaphylxis and Allergy Emergency
- Prescribe Immunotherapy
- Perfom Patch tests and interpretation
- Diagnose Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria and Inject XOLAIR INJECTIONS according to International recommendations