Innovative and simple method for isolating allergy-causing antibodies

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Friday, May 27, 2022 — Researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel have developed an innovative method with which IgE antibodies can be easily isolated from human blood. These antibodies play an important role in allergic diseases, such as asthma, hay fever, food allergy and anaphylaxis. Analysing them is important to better understand these diseases and improve prevention, diagnosis and therapy. The method has been developed at the Skin Immunology and Immune Tolerance (SKIN) research group of the VUB/UZ Brussel Dermatology department, under the supervision of Professor Jan Gutermuth and Professor Inge Kortekaas.

Prof Guthermuth: "Until now, the isolation of IgE antibodies from blood was only possible in highly specialised laboratories. IgE antibodies often trigger allergic reactions in the lungs, nose, intestines and skin. They also play a role in autoimmune diseases. With this method, any ’life science laboratory’ can now isolate IgE molecules for research quickly and at a reasonable cost."

More than 30% of the European population suffers from one or more allergic diseases, such as allergic asthma, hay fever, food allergy or anaphylaxis. This new method is important because it means many more researchers can now conduct IgE-related research with few resources.

The method was developed by the team of Profs Gutermuth and Kortekaas at VUB’s Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy. It was done in close cooperation with the group of Prof Marcus Maurer from the Department of Dermatology and Allergology at the Charité Hospital of Humboldt University Berlin. The development took 18 months.

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