Belgian researchers from the Skin Immunology and Immune Tolerance research group of the dermatology department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), alongside the University Hospital of Brussels, have discovered a new way of isolating materials known to be involved in the development of allergies, according to information published by the university in May.
A new process will allow researchers to extract pure IgE immunoglobulins. These play an important role in allergic conditions such as asthma, hay fever, food allergies, and anaphylaxis.
Until recently, it was extremely difficult to isolate these molecules. They currently need to be drawn from the blood and set to highly specialised laboratories. Now, thanks to this new method, immunoglobulins can be isolated faster, and with much less resources.
“The protocol is time-efficient and relatively straightforward to perform with standard equipment present in life sciences laboratories,” the paper notes.
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IgE antibodies are typically responsible for allergic reactions in the lungs, nose, intestines, and skin. Unlocking the key to quick analysis of allergic reactions could help better treat and identify allergies in patients.
“Analysis of IgE is of importance in unravelling immunologic questions from allergic and autoimmune diseases. In relation to this, purification of total IgE from human serum of allergic patients and healthy controls is of importance for allergy research,” the report notes.
Currently, more than 30% of Europeans suffer from one or more allergies. With hay fever season officially underway, Belgians will be hoping for future respite from their irritating allergies.