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Allergy detection with nose swab

Allergy detection with nose swab


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Allergy test: detection of allergy antibodies in nasal secretions possible

Millions of people suffer from pollen allergy and hay fever. Up to now, the diagnosis has mostly been made by blood or prick tests. However, according to scientists, an allergy test is also possible with a nasal swab.

When diagnosing allergies, blood sampling and unpleasant skin tolerance tests may soon be a thing of the past: A research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München has now shown that sufficient allergy antibodies can also be measured in the nasal secretion for a diagnosis .

Previous tests are often perceived as unpleasant

According to a TUM message, 130 million people in Europe suffer from hay fever or other forms of allergic rhinitis. The result: nasal congestion, itching and sneezing.

Up to now, blood tests or so-called prick tests have mostly been used for diagnosis. In the latter case, the doctor drips an aqueous solution with allergens such as pollen onto marked areas on the skin, explains the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) on the portal "gesundheitsinformation.de".

The skin is then incised a little with a lancet so that the allergenic substance can penetrate a little. According to the experts, an allergic reaction manifests itself in the marked area of ​​the skin through reddening and wheals.

This test is perceived by many people as uncomfortable because the skin is injured superficially. However, many patients - especially children - also find blood collection problematic.

Another diagnostic option tested

Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann, professor of environmental medicine at the TUM and director of the institute for environmental medicine at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, has now tested another diagnostic option for allergic rhinitis with her team.

The researchers examined samples of the nasal secretion using a measurement method that was actually developed for blood: As explained in the communication, a new biochip technology has been able to use a minimal amount of blood to simultaneously increase the concentration of antibodies from 112 allergens determine.

Using molecular diagnostic technology, the scientists measured the concentration of the immunoglobulin-E (IgE) allergy antibodies in the blood and smear of the nasal secretions of their subjects.

IgE antibodies are said to be responsible for mediating certain allergic reactions. The researchers examined both people with and without sensitization to the most common airborne allergens, which include the excretion of house dust mite, grass pollen and birch, hazelnut and alder pollen.

Evidence for a range of allergens

According to the research team, blood and nasal swab gave similar results with the same test: The same sensitization patterns, i.e. the same substances for which the body has already developed an immune response, were detected in both samples - for all airborne allergens examined.

Previous studies for individual aeroallergens had shown a connection between the detection of allergy antibodies in the blood and nasal secretions.

Now the researchers have been able to demonstrate this connection for a whole range of allergens in the air.

Their results were published in the "Allergy" journal.

Suitable for small children

"A major advantage of allergy diagnosis with nasal secretions is that, unlike the blood or prick test, it works well for young children. Therapy in the form of hyposensitization is particularly important for them, since allergic rhinitis can develop into an allergic asthma in childhood, ”explains Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann.

“We also assume that allergen-specific antibodies of the immunoglobulin-E type that cannot be measured in the blood can also be detected in the nasal secretion. We now have to check this in further studies, ”adds PD Dr. Stefanie Gilles. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Swell:

  • Technical University of Munich: Allergy test with nasal swab possible, (accessed: April 18, 2020), Technical University of Munich
  • Gökkaya, M .; Schwierzeck, V .; Thölken, K .; Knoch, S .; Gerstlauer, M; Hammel, G .; Traidl-Hoffmann, C .; Gilles, S .: Nasal-specific IgE correlates to serum-specific IgE: First steps toward nasal molecular allergy diagnostic; in: Allergy, (published: 02/13/2020), Allergy
  • Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care: Which allergy tests are there ?, (accessed: April 18, 2020), gesundheitsinformation.de


Video: Vivaer Nasal Remodeling Procedure - Therapy for Nasal Congestion Dr. Sina Joorabchi (July 2022).


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