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Preventing allergic reactions

Researchers have discovered a new mechanism in which an antibody can prevent allergic reactions in a broad range of patients.

The team at the Aarhus University in Denmark was intending to find new methods to improve existing treatment for allergies, but instead came across an antibody that apparently operates
in a unique way to block the immune effect and inactivate the allergic process when it is triggered.

The antibody interacts in a complex biochemical process in the human body and prevents the human allergy antibody (IgE) from attaching to cells, so stopping any allergic symptoms.

Edzard Spillner, one of the study authors, said: “We can now describe the interaction of this antibody with its target and the conformational changes very accurately. 

“This allows us to understand how it interferes with the IgE and its specific receptors on the immune cells of the body, which are responsible for releasing histamine in an allergic reaction.” 

A complete paper on the work was published online in January by the journal Nature Communication.

go.nature.com/2EmtIIq

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