S3-Guideline on allergy prevention: 2014 update: Guideline of the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI) and the German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ)

Torsten Schäfer*, Carl Peter Bauer, Kirsten Beyer, Albrecht Bufe, Frank Friedrichs, Uwe Gieler, Gerald Gronke, Eckard Hamelmann, Mechthild Hellermann, Andreas Kleinheinz, Ludger Klimek, Sibylle Koletzko, Matthias Kopp, Susanne Lau, Horst Müsken, Imke Reese, Sabine Schmidt, Sabine Schnadt, Helmut Sitter, Klaus StrömerJennifer Vagts, Christian Vogelberg, Ulrich Wahn, Thomas Werfel, Margitta Worm, Cathleen Muche-Borowski

*Corresponding author for this work
31 Citations (Scopus)


The continued high prevalence of allergic diseases in Western industrialized nations combined with the limited options for causal therapy make evidence-based primary prevention necessary. The recommendations last published in the S3-guideline on allergy prevention in 2009 have been revised and a consensus reached on the basis of an up-to-date systematic literature search. Evidence was sought for the period between May 2008 and May 2013 in the Cochrane and MEDLINE electronic databases, as well as in the reference lists of recent review articles. In addition, experts were surveyed for their opinions. The relevance of retrieved literature was checked by means of two filter processes: firstly according to title and abstract, and secondly based on the full text of the articles. Included studies were given an evidence grade, and a bias potential (low/high) was specified for study quality. A formal consensus on the revised recommendations was reached by representatives of the relevant specialist societies and (self-help) organizations (nominal group process). Of 3,284 hits, 165 studies (one meta-analysis, 15 systematic reviews, 31 randomized controlled trials, 65 cohort studies, 12 case-control studies and 41 cross-sectional studies) were included and evaluated. Recommendations on the following remain largely unaltered: full breastfeeding for 4 months as a means of allergy prevention (hypoallergenic infant formula in the case of infants at risk); avoidance of overweight; fish consumption (during pregnancy/lactation and in the introduction of solid foods for infants); vaccination according to the recommendations of the German Standing Committee on Vaccination (Ständige Impfkommission, STIKO); avoidance of air pollutants and tobacco exposure and avoidance of indoor conditions conducive to the development of mold. The assertion that a reduction in house-dust mite allergen content as a primary preventive measure is not recommended also remains unchanged. The introduction of solid foods into infant diet should not be delayed. In the case of children at risk cats should not be acquired as domestic pets. Keeping dogs is not associated with an increased risk of allergy. The updated guideline includes a new recommendation to consider the increased risk of asthma following delivery by cesarean section. Additional statements have been formulated on pre- and probiotic agents, psychosocial factors, medications, and various nutritional components. Revising the guideline by using an extensive evidence base has resulted not only in an endorsement of the existing recommendations, but also in modifications and in the addition of new recommendations. The updated guideline enables evidence-based and up-to-date recommendations to be made on allergy prevention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAllergo Journal International
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)186-199
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 10.2014


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