ADVANCED MEDICAL RESEARCH IN ALLERGOLOGY & CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY (AMRAC)
Primary immunodeficiency (PID) has been reported in Malaysia as early as 1979. Since then the numbers have increased progressively until now. PID is often underreported in many countries as they are based on cases that are diagnosed at tertiary centres via referrals. With increasing knowledge in newer diagnostics and therapies, there is a need for such patients to be identified early and managed accordingly. PID cannot be considered as rare anymore nor of less consequence compared to the other chronic diseases.
Allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis and food allergy, are the most common chronic, non-communicable diseases in childhood. In the past few decades, the prevalence has increased abruptly worldwide not only in developed countries, but also developing countries such as Malaysia. It has now become a major public health concern, owing to its socioeconomic burden and high frequency.
Advanced Medical Research in Allergology & Clinical Immunology (AMRAC) is a centre dedicated primarily to improving the diagnosis and treatment of PID and allergic disease through clinical activities, research, education and advocacy. Starting as a Clinical Immunology Unit within the Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, we have been the major referral center for paediatric allergy (especially food allergy) and clinical immunology (primarily PID) in Malaysia since 2007 and further established after 2012. We are the first in the country to provide both clinical and laboratory services for PID and pediatric allergy cases at one setting. We are also involved in developing research projects range from basic, translational and clinical sciences covering various aspects of allergy and clinical immunology.
Moving to the new hospital building next to the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, The HPUPM’s Allergy and Clinical Immunology Centre, AMRAC provides advanced and comprehensive care for allergy and PID patients. We have 2 dedicated interrelated units to cater for patients and research need.
- Allergy & Clinical Immunology Specialist (ACIS) Centre
- Effective on 22 June 2020, the new Paediatric Allergy and Immunology Clinic in HPUPM has started operating to receive stable referral patients and review follow up cases. The skin prick testing, which include food and inhalant allergens are offered for food and respiratory allergic patients. Prick to prick tests are offered for patients with drug allergy and other allergens which are not commercially available.
- The paediatric ward is equipped with positive pressure isolation rooms to suit the requirement of PID patients, especially severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) patients who need to be managed in such rooms. We are collaborating with the Bone Marrow Transplant Team in Women and Children Hospital Kuala Lumpur to facilitate PID patients who eventually need bone marrow transplant. We are capable to receive PID referrals from all over Malaysia.
- With the presence of a dedicated team comprises of doctors and nurses, we are able to provide anaphylaxis education to patients, care takers and even to school children. The team is also able to handle PID patients on chemoport, post BMT patients and patients requiring immunoglobulin replacement therapy (IRT).
- The ward and clinic services will be further strengthened and established. We are able to perform sublingual immunotherapy and oral immunotherapy for respiratory allergy and food allergy patients, respectively. The team is also able to perform drug provocation test and drug desensitise programme for drug allergy patients.
- Primary Immunodeficiency and Allergy Diagnostic & Research laboratory (PEARL)
- The Clinical Immunology Laboratory offers screening and diagnostic tests for PID and allergic diseases.
- The laboratory services are expanded to include specialised diagnostic and advance tests for PID and allergic diseases.
- Our team is also collaborating with a dedicated genetic team to strengthen our need in molecular diagnostic of PID. All in all, we will strive to be the complete diagnostic centre for PID and allergic diseases in the country.
- To excel in research focusing on primary immunodeficiencies, food allergy, atopic dermatitis, and asthma in children.
- To create awareness among medical doctors and health professionals about PID (when to suspect PID and how to investigate).
- To seek a change in the PID and allergy landscape in Malaysia and address how PID and allergies are both identified and diagnosed.
- To provide advanced therapies for allergic and immunologic disorders, particularly allergen immunotherapy and immunomodulatory therapy.
- To share best practices with fellow health professionals and execute public outreach programmes in bridging the education gap in PID and allergic diseases.
Associate Professor Dr Intan Hakimah Ismail
(MD UKM), MMed (Paeds) (USM), PhD (Melb)
- Dr Mohd Azri Zainal Abidin
MBBS (UM), DrPaed (UKM)
- Dr Thong Pui Ling
MD (UPM), DrPaed (UKM)
Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT)
- Siti Hasrizan Hassan
- Nurmiza Syakirah Che Sukri
- Ainul Azizi Mohd Kamslian
- Farah Hanim Roslan