Severe drug eruptions revisited
Genetic and non-genetic factors can alter the action of a medicinal drug, resulting in a wide range of responses in different individuals. Among the many potential side effects of therapies, a drug eruption is an adverse drug reaction in the skin. Genetic associations between HLA haplotype and drug eruption have been reported, and immune responses against latent herpesvirus have also been implicated in some forms of this syndrome. We believe that it is essential to understand the immune mechanisms by which some drugs induce hypersensitivity so that we can better target these pathways to limit drug side effects. The identification of patient risk factors for drug eruptions will allow the rational design of novel immunotherapies for these life-threatening reactions, and the development of alternative interventions for high-risk patients.