The Latest in Allergy Research

Researchers around the world are working diligently toward a better understanding of how allergies work, why they are caused, and how to treat their symptoms effectively. Below is the most important research surrounding allergies that has been published in accredited medical journals over the past several months. And if you suspect that you may have an allergy, ZendyHealth can help you save 20-55% on an allergy test with a board-certified allergist.

Living on a farm from an early age boosts immunological tolerance: A recent University of Eastern Finland study surveyed children from both rural and non-rural families to determine whether or not exposure to a farm environment and certain animals had an effect on the properties of certain cellular factors that are related to how the immune system identifies allergens. They found that the children who had been exposed to farm animals were better protected from developing childhood atopic diseases.

Key inflammation-causing molecule identified: German immunologists have identified a protein called syndecan-4 that has a critical role in the development of allergic airway inflammation—in other words, providing asthmatic patients with antibodies against this protein may decrease the severity of their symptoms. Researchers say the study could mean new, more effective therapies for those suffering from asthma.

1 in 5 students with no known allergies experience severe allergic reactions: A study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics collected data from over 6,000 U.S. schools regarding any events of students going into anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. Results showed that more than 1 in 5 students who experienced anaphylaxis had no previously known allergies. Because the nature of this type of reaction is so unpredictable, researchers emphasized a need for access to potentially life-saving epinephrine injectors in public places.

New cell type may determine cause of dangerous food allergies: Scientists from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have identified a new type of mast cell called MMC9 that produces large amounts of inflammatory immune proteins. These proteins, called IL-9, increase the severity of anaphylactic shock after ingesting certain types of food. Previous studies had identified the existence and function of IL-9 but not their cellular source. Researchers speculate that this information may lead to the development of a blood test that can detect food allergies and determine which patients are at higher risk of severe reactions.

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