The cell discovery that could stop allergies and deadly anaphylaxis

A new cell type could stop allergies before they begin.

The cell discovery that could stop allergies and deadly anaphylaxis

A new cell type that could stop allergies before they begin has been discovered by researchers at the Australian National University (ANU).

Those who endlessly suffer from allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema and life-threatening anaphylaxis, could soon see an end to their problems.

“By carefully studying the tonsils of children undergoing routine tonsillectomies, we identified a new cell type of the immune system that may help prevent allergies,” said lead researcher and PhD scholar Pablo F. Canete.

“In allergic individuals, the immune system thinks that harmless particles like peanuts, dust or common allergens are a threat.

“The immune system then mounts a response which manifests itself from mild localised symptoms like a runny nose during hay fever season, to very aggressive systemic inflammation like anaphylaxis.”

When people experience an allergic reaction to something such as pollen, dust, peanut butter or other allergens, their immune system produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E, (IgE) which then trigger a chain of events that result in allergic reactions.

“Our study shows this previously unknown cell prevents the formation of IgE, which is the key trigger of allergic conditions,” said Mr Canete.

“The cell stops the very first step in causing an allergic disease.

“If you don't have excessive IgE levels, you generally do not develop allergies.”

The discovery could create a new approach for future allergy treatments – great news for Australians, who have one of the highest rates of allergies in the world.

“Around one in five Australians suffer from some form of allergic condition and there is a full spectrum of allergic diseases,” said Mr Canete.

“We know how these diseases work, but we know very little of how the immune system suppresses or regulates allergic diseases.

“It is a new way of thinking about allergies and treatment. This cell has a profound effect on the first part of the allergic reaction.”

The breakthrough cold help to develop therapies that are more targeted, says Professor Carola Vinuesa, co-director for the Centre for Personalised Immunology at ANU.

“Instead of antihistamines, which help deal with allergic reactions, we could potentially modulate the immune system and stop the reaction before it even begins,” he said.

Do you suffer from allergies? Do you view this as good news? How do you currently manage your allergies?

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    21st Jun 2019
    By the time it's developed and tested it will be way too late for me, unfortunately, so I'll continue to carry my epipens and antihistamines around with me.
    21st Jun 2019
    jackiet, Yes you will dear. I hope it will come sooner for you.

    Fortunately, I don't suffer from allergies. I had a rough and tumble childhood that exposed me to lots of bacteria and lurgies. That would have strengthened my immune system.
    21st Jun 2019
    Jackie, I hesitate to think that childhood exposure to bacteria and lurgies had anything to do with my multiple allergies, I had 6 siblings who do not suffer allergies although my late father suffered badly. Both he and I were/are very allergic to penicillin while none of my siblings are similarly affected. Also I had whooping cough as a child and one of my sibling survived diphtheria so I was exposed to bacteria and lurgies but it did not help my allergic disposition.I suspect allergies are more to do with nature than nurture. Nevertheless lucky you and I hope this discovery will help my future family as it is too late for me.
    21st Jun 2019
    Eddy, this study states those that have low levels of IgE levels, suffer from allergies. Scientists will find out the cause eventually. I am aware that getting exposed to an allergy gradually can build resistance to it too.

    I used to be allergic to seafood as a young adult because I never was raised on seafood. I broke out in hives each time I ate it but liked the taste.

    I continued to eat seafood and eventually, the hives stopped.

    21st Jun 2019
    This sounds good but my only concern is, how will this affect our antibodies when they have to fight other threats for our immune system? I can't understand why Australia has the highest number of allergy sufferers in the world. That should be investigated too.
    21st Jun 2019
    Am suffering just now from sitting in the doctor's waiting room & being exposed to their air-conditioning. Also my nose hates smoke of any kind & dust & fertilizer.
    21st Jun 2019
    I am allergic to prawns and crab. Also cannot tolerate dogs and cats. Our eldest son has eczema very badly and has started a trial which has been interrupted by the flu. He takes meds to tolerate his pets. When I stayed with him I ended up at the drs twice reacting to his dogs and cat. We have had cats and I just did not handle them but I really like them. When we had dogs they never came in the house but nowadays people’s dogs are on beds and lounges so I cannot visit people like that. I just avoid crustaceans and animals and I have no problem then.
    Nan Norma
    22nd Jun 2019
    "May help"

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