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Hypersensitivity reactions to non beta-lactam antimicrobial agents, a statement of the WAO special committee on drug allergy

Mario Sánchez-Borges1*, Bernard Thong2, Miguel Blanca34, Luis Felipe Chiaverini Ensina5, Sandra González-Díaz6, Paul A Greenberger7, Edgardo Jares8, Young-Koo Jee9, Luciana Kase-Tanno1011, David Khan12, Jung-Won Park13, Werner Pichler14, Antonino Romano15 and Maria José Torres Jaén3

Author Affiliations

1 Allergy and Clinical Immunology Department, Centro Médico-Docente La Trinidad, Caracas, Venezuela

2 Department of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore, Singapore

3 Allergy Service, Carlos Haya Hospital, Malaga, Spain

4 Department of Genetics and Environmental Risks, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lorraine, Lorraine, France

5 Allergy, Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

6 Servicio de Alergia e Inmunología Clínica, Hospital Universitario, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

7 Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy-Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA

8 Immunology and Allergy Unit, Hospital Nacional Alejandro Posadas, Buenos Aires, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina

9 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, South Korea

10 Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital das Clínicas, Clinical Immunology and Allergy Service, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

11 Department of Allergy and Immunology, Hospital Servidor Público Estadual de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

12 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Allergy & Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA

13 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea

14 Clinic for Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology/Allergology, Inselspital, Bern CH 3010, Switzerland

15 Allergy Unit, Complesso Integrato Columbus, Rome, and IRCCS Oasi Maria SS, Troina, Italy

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World Allergy Organization Journal 2013, 6:18  doi:10.1186/1939-4551-6-18

Published: 31 October 2013


Antibiotics are used extensively in the treatment of various infections. Consequently, they can be considered among the most important agents involved in adverse reactions to drugs, including both allergic and non-allergic drug hypersensitivity [J Allergy Clin Immunol 113:832–836, 2004]. Most studies published to date deal mainly with reactions to the beta-lactam group, and information on hypersensitivity to each of the other antimicrobial agents is scarce. The present document has been produced by the Special Committee on Drug Allergy of the World Allergy Organization to present the most relevant information on the incidence, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, possible mechanisms, and management of hypersensitivity reactions to non beta-lactam antimicrobials for use by practitioners worldwide.