Allergen databases: Current status and perspectives
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- Mari, A., Rasi, C., Palazzo, P. et al. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep (2009) 9: 376. doi:10.1007/s11882-009-0055-9
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An increasing number of studies on allergenic molecules have been published during the past 20 years, and the number of proteins reported as allergens is close to 1500 (http://www.allergome.org). Collecting, organizing, and displaying data reported in the scientific literature is becoming the major commitment of Web-based databases that organize this knowledge in heterogeneous ways. This heterogeneity prevents the databases from being connected to each other, something that has been done in several other biomedical fields. This review reports on the current status of allergen databases and available tools to study the allergenicity of new compounds. An analysis of what has been done by applying bioinformatics in other medical fields is presented. Suggestions on how to create a common platform in which experimental, clinical, and epidemiologic data could be merged are offered. The model of the Allergome platform and its modules and tools (eg, InterAll, ReTiME, RefArray, and AllergomeBlaster) are used to exemplify interconnectivity and data integration.