Allergies are common and widespread but its diagnosis as well as treatment are challenging. Now a new study has found simple ways to detect the allergies and to even predict whether the treatment process will be successful or not. Researchers from the University of Bern in Switzerland have discovered a very simple method of identifying skin allergies. It not only provides accurate results, but it can also predict the success rate of the treatment.
According to the official press release from the University of Bern, Skin tests are unpleasant, time-consuming and associated with a certain risk of triggering an allergic overreaction. Researchers at the University of Bern and Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, have now developed a novel test that massively simplifies the diagnosis of allergies and can reliably predict the success of a therapy.
Around one third of the world’s population suffers from one or more allergies, and the number is increasing each year. The common allergies include allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, food allergies and allergies caused by insect venoms, pollen, grasses or house dust. However, the majority of these allergies are temporary.
In severe cases, allergy is treated with immunotherapy where the symptoms are managed. In this procedure, the concentration of allergy-causing substances in patients’ skin is increased through injection for five or more years, causing patients to become insensitive to those elements. However, immunotherapy is not always effective.
There is currently no way to measure the success of the treatment before it is completed, but the new study has greatly simplified allergy testing and can also provide reliable prediction of the success of the treatment methods like immunotherapy. This study’s findings have been published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Type 1 allergy develops when the body produces immunoglobulin E (IgE) in response to allergens. IgE antibodies bind to IgE receptors on the surface of mast cells, which are specialised immune cells in the body. Exposure to the same allergens activates mast cells, which produce inflammatory or inflammatory agents known as histamine or leukotrienes, which are responsible for allergy symptoms.
The research was led by Alexander Eggel and Thomas Kaufmann. The researchers developed a new in vitro culture using molecular biology techniques to develop a new allergy testing method that could produce the desired number of cells in a matter of days. Mast cells that have reached maturity can be produced. These mast cells have IgE receptors on their surface and behave like mast cells of the human body when exposed to allergens.
During testing, these mast cells are exposed to an allergic person’s blood serum. As a result, the serum’s IgE antibodies adhere to those cells, stimulating the allergens to be tested. Active cells can be easily counted using flow cytometry on this occasion.
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