Allergy Prevention: Is it possible?

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Allergy Prevention: Is it possible?

by Nicolas Nicolaou, Clinical Professor of Allergy and Paediatric Allergy, UNIC Medical School

Introduction by Prof Adonis Ioannides, Dean, UNIC Medical School


Allergic diseases have increased dramatically over the last few years, affecting approximately 1 in 3 children worldwide. Most allergies are chronic, and some may be life-threatening, significantly impairing the quality of life of allergic patients and their families. A permanent cure is lacking for many of these disorders, imposing a high economic burden on health care systems. Effective strategies for the prevention of allergies are urgently needed.

This lecture will provide an overview of the recent allergy epidemic and the early life nutritional interventions proposed to halt the development of allergic disease in genetically predisposed individuals. The scientific contribution of the presenter in this field, including interesting local data, is included.


Nicolas Nicolaou is currently a Consultant Allergist for children and adults at the Asthma and Allergy Center, Limassol, and Course Lead for Med-508 Paediatrics at the University of Nicosia Medical School. His special research interests are food allergy, childhood asthma, and allergy prevention.

Prof Nicolaou graduated from the medical school of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 1996 and received his specialist training in Paediatrics in Cyprus and Greece from1997 to 2003. During the period 1999-2001, as a research fellow at the Paediatric Pulmonary Research Unit of Makarios Hospital, he co-organized the first major epidemiological study on allergic diseases in Cyprus, with the participation of approximately 12,000 children. In 2003, he was awarded a European Respiratory Society long term fellowship and joined the Manchester Asthma and Allergy Birth Cohort Study research team in the UK. Initially, he trained in Paediatric Pulmonology, but soon he was attracted by the world of Allergy in which he specialised. In 2005, he was appointed Honorary Consultant at the Paediatric Allergy Clinic, St. Mary’s Hospital in Manchester. In 2006, he received his Master’s degree in Childhood Asthma, and in 2009 he was awarded PhD by the University of Manchester for his doctoral thesis in the field of food allergy entitled: “The Predictors of clinical reactivity to peanuts within the context of a population-based birth cohort study”. His discovery that the IgE-response to peanut allergen Ara h 2 is much more predictive of true peanut allergy than standard tests established the role of component-resolved diagnostics in clinical practice. In 2010, he returned to his home city of Limassol and established the first Asthma and Allergy Center on the Island. In 2011, he joined the Medical School at the University of Nicosia. Since 2017, he has been the Principal Investigator of the Cyprus team of the Allergy Reduction Trial (A.R.T.; multicentre double-blinded, randomized-controlled, nutritional intervention study in high risk for allergy infants). The initial A.R.T. study results point out the potential role of a specific partially-hydrolysed milk formula in the prevention of allergy.

Prof Nicolaou is a member of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the Greek Paediatric Allergy Society, and the Cyprus Paediatric Society. He has published in many leading international scientific journals in his specialty and has given lectures at local and international conferences in the field of his expertise.

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