oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Hereditary angioedema – together we can - review article

Volume 32 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



Hereditary angioedemas are a group of genetic disorders that result from bradykinin dysregulation. Autosomal dominant type 1 and 2 hereditary angioedemas, which ensue from low or dysfunctional levels of the C1-inhibitor protein respectively, occur with an estimated prevalence of 1 : 100 000, and more than 80 cases have been reported in South Africa. The story of research discovery and advances in the care of hereditary angioedema patients, both globally and in South Africa, is one about many heroes – clinicians, scientists and patients – with maximum success through working together. Our understanding of different forms of primary angioedema, and the development and approval of targeted therapies, has transformed hereditary angioedema care in the past two decades. Complete disease control with minimal impact on quality of life is now an achievable goal for hereditary angioedema sufferers in some parts of the world today. South Africa still has some distance to go to improve the detection of undiagnosed cases and to achieve these levels of treatment. Local awareness is gaining momentum, with the South African hereditary angioedema patient organisation finding a voice. This is supported by HAEi – the international patient organisation with membership across 74 countries – and the Allergy Foundation of South Africa. Our recent achievement for public- and private-sector South African hereditary angioedema patients in accessing a targeted therapy for on-demand care via the global access programme is an encouraging demonstration that together we can.

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