Immunology & Allergy
The Immunology and Allergy subspecialty in this Department has been in operation since January 1999. This specialty consists of inpatient and daycare services as well as outpatient clinics, and accepts referral from both public and private sectors throughout the whole territory. This specialty was the first to set up dedicated and comprehensive outpatient service for childhood asthma and allergy among Hospital Authority hospitals in Hong Kong.
Allergic diseases are among the commonest chronic diseases in children. Our research team has a long track record in childhood asthma and allergy research. We reported that one-third of local schoolchildren suffer from some form of allergies such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, eczema and food allergy. About 20-30% of patients in general paediatric clinics of the Prince of Wales Hospital are followed for allergies.
Over 1,000 children were offered some forms of allergy investigations or treatments, including skin prick and intradermal tests, in vitro allergy diagnostics, food and drug provocations and allergen immunotherapy in the Paediatric Allergy Clinic since our specialty started in 1999.
This subspecialty provides standard airway monitoring modalities such as peak expiratory flow and spirometric measurements to children with asthma. We also offer pioneering services on the following respiratory investigations in Hong Kong:
Introduced exhaled nitric oxide measurement (since 2001) by online chemiluminescentanalyser as a non-invasive assessment tool for airway inflammation.
Established reference standards for lung function in Chinese preschool children by incentive spirometry (in 2010).
This subspecialty also accepts territory-wide referral for infants, children and adolescents with recurrent or unusual infections or who are otherwise suspected to have immune deficiency or dysregulation. Our service works closely with the Haematology and Oncology subspecialty of our Department in performing haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for patients with severe primary immunodeficiency diseases, and offers targeted therapies such as intravenous immunoglobulin infusion to those with significant humoral immunodeficiency.
Epidemiology of childhood asthma and allergy Genetics, genomics and gene-environment interaction of asthma and allergy Genetic epidemiology in the Chinese population Non-invasive diagnostics and monitoring of airway inflammation Emerging respiratory tract infections Interactions between host immunity and respiratory viral and bacterial pathogens.