Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nasal smear as an allergy screening test: Allergen-specific antibodies in nasal secretions

17.04.2020

In the world of allergy diagnostics, the familiar blood samples and unpleasant skin prick procedures for testing allergen tolerance may soon be a thing of the past. A team of researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München has demonstrated that sufficient quantities of allergy antibodies for a diagnosis can be effectively measured in nasal secretions.

Stuffy noses, itching and fits of sneezing – 130 million people in Europe suffer from hay fever and other forms of allergic rhinitis. Until now, these conditions have typically been diagnosed using blood samples or skin prick tests.


The latter method is often seen as particularly uncomfortable because the skin is exposed to various allergens and punctured with a fine needle. Many patients – especially children – even find the blood test quite unpleasant.

Diagnosis with biochip technology

Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann, a professor of environmental medicine at TUM and the director of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, has now tested a new diagnostic method for allergic rhinitis with her team.

The scientists studied nasal smears using a method originally developed for blood samples: With a recent development in biochip technology, practitioners have been able for some time now to measure antibody concentrations for 112 different allergens with a single small blood sample.

Prof. Traidl-Hoffmann's team used this molecular diagnostics technology to measure concentrations of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in the blood and nasal secretions of test subjects.

These antibodies play a role in certain allergic responses. The researchers studied individuals with and without sensitization to the most common airborne allergens, including dust mite castings, grass pollen and the pollen of birch, hazelnut and alder trees.

Results for a range of allergens

For the same tests, the blood and nasal smears yielded similar results: They detected identical allergic sensitization patterns, i.e. the same sets of substances for which the body had developed an immune response.

This was the case for all airborne allergens investigated. Previous studies had already demonstrated a link between the detection of allergy antibodies in the blood and in nasal secretions for certain aeroallergens. The researchers have now confirmed this correlation for a wide range of such allergens.

Gentle method with potential

"A big advantage of allergy diagnostics with a nasal smear is that it is a good option for small children as compared to blood samples or skin prick testing. For that age group, a hyposensitization therapy is important because allergic rhinitis can develop into allergic asthma," says Prof. Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann.

PD Dr. Stefanie Gilles adds: "We also believe that, with nasal smears, IgE antibodies specific to certain allergies can be detected that cannot be measured in a blood sample. We now need to do further studies to explore that hypothesis."

Further information:

Prof. Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann conducts research in environmental medicine with her team at the University Center for Health Sciences at the Klinikum Augsburg (UNIKA-T), a research association, and at the Augsburg University Outpatient Clinic for Environmental Medicine.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr. Claudia Traidl-Hoffmann
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Chair of Environmental Medicine
phone: +49 821 - 598 6420
c.traidl-hoffmann@tum.de

PD Dr. Stefanie Gilles
Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Chair of Environmental Medicine
phone: +49 821 - 598 6412
stefanie.gilles@tum.de

Originalpublikation:

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 towards nasal molecular allergy diagnostic. Allergy. 2020 Feb 13. DOI: 10.1111/all.14228.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.tum.de/nc/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35983/
https://www.professoren.tum.de/en/traidl-hoffmann-claudia/
https://www.unika-t.de/lehrstuehle-und-institute-en-us/umweltmedizin-en-us/willk...

Dr. Ulrich Marsch | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

X-ray scattering shines light on protein folding

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Looking at linkers helps to join the dots

10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences

Surprisingly many peculiar long introns found in brain genes

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>