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Historical Perspective

At the present time there is a growing interest in the US about SLIT. Most of the present day literature about SLIT is of European origin. Some authors even think that SLIT is a new treatment modality but SLIT is actually an old technique that was developed in the US early in the 1900’s. The earliest recorded article about sublingual immunotherapy was published by Dr. H.H. Curtis in the year 1900 after having accumulated experience for more than 20 years prior to publication.2

Countless papers from the European literature (from the mid-1980’s to the present time) attest to SLIT’s efficacy and safety. The reason for the European resurgence or “re-discovery” of SLIT is unfortunately related to a series of deaths that occurred in England after administration of injectable allergy vaccines. After the report of the British Committee on the Safety of Medicines in 19863 the British Government issued extremely stringent regulations for the administration of injectable vaccines that in turn led to a marked decline in the use of allergy shots initially in England but soon all over Europe. Looking for alternative routes for the administration of allergy vaccines, SLIT was “re-discovered” in Europe. Even though there is relatively abundant US-literature about SLIT before the 1980’s 4-8 only in the past few years is that a resurgence of interest in the US is being seen.


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