The first to identify adverse reactions to foods were Hippocrates (460-370 BC), who realized that the food could be due to pathological manifestations such as' rash and headache , and later Galen (131-210 AD) who seems to cure Food allergy sufferers.
In the early decades of the twentieth century have been identified allergies to milk protein and egg.
The knowledge must be seen in the history of food sull'allergia necessarily more general knowledge of allergy and of ' immunology as a medical science . In this key the first report came to us about the reaction to stings of wasps , which seems to have struck and killed the Egyptian pharaoh Menfis lived between 3640 BC and 3300 BC It seems, furthermore, that Nero should of his fortune ascent to the throne of the ' Roman Empire to an allergy to horses of his brother Claudius, which prevented him from riding together with the ' Emperor Claudius his father.
We have to wait for the early nineteenth century to see the first discovery about immunology as we know it today. It was John Bostock , in 1819 , to understand that the reaction to hay (known as " hay fever ") had nothing to do with the fever itself. Eighty years later, the English physician Charles Harrison Blackley he developed the first allergy testing , which takes the intradermal injection of the substance suspected. The response was positive after 30 minutes when it appeared an intense redness, local inflammatory response caused by the foreign agent (called " allergen ").
In 1902 the French C. Richet and P. Portier introduced for the first time the term of anaphylaxis as a cause of acute and severe response to substances foreign to the body as drugs. The first to introduce the term allergy was the Austrian pediatrician Clemens von Pirquet , after observing patients suffering from diphtheria.
The modern foundations of modern immunology as we know it today, originated in 1911 thanks to the doctors' L. Noon and J. Freeman, who sensed the therapeutic potential of vaccination desensitization therapy. In 1963 he was given the classification of allergic diseases by Philip Gell and Robin Coombs , and with it the four types of hypersensitivity reactions.
While the discovery of the first drug to allergies: antihistamines are the first in 1937 by Daniel Bovet. Then in 1949 there was the discovery of steroid hormones, by P. Hench with E. Kendall, these discoveries have laid the foundations for the treatment of allergy symptom in its manifestations. In subsequent years there have been the discovery of other molecules such as: cromones and leukotriene modifiers , these molecules, which have further broadened the baggage of medical treatment available today. In the near future we can expect news from the research front on ' genetic engineering.
In Italy the story of ' immunology has taken place thanks to the medical pioneers who were: C. Frugoni , G. Sanarelli and A. Zironi with their studies of the early twentieth century, while in 1954 we have the birth of Italy '"Italian Association for the study of allergy," later renamed "Italian Society of Allergy and Immunopathology".