Basophil activation test: old and new applications in Allergy

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    124 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose of review:  The basophil activation test (BAT) using flow cytometry has supplanted traditional methods of measuring basophil degranulation using histamine and other mediator release, and can be used for clinical applications as well as to explore the immune mechanisms of effector cell response to allergen. This review discusses the advancements made in clinical, diagnostic and laboratory research of allergy utilizing an ever-evolving basophil activation test (BAT).
    Recent findings: Being an in vitro surrogate of the allergic reaction that happens in vivo in the sick patient, the BAT can be used to support the diagnosis of various allergic conditions, such as food, drug, respiratory and insect venom allergies, and the assessment of clinical response to allergen-specific immunotherapy and other immunomodulatory treatments. The BAT can also be used for research purposes to explore the mechanisms of allergy and tolerance at the level of the basophil, for instance by manipulating IgE and IgG and their receptors and by studying intracellular signaling cascade in response to allergen.
    Summary: This review covers the applications of the BAT to the clinical management of allergic patients and the increased understanding of the mechanisms of immune response to allergens as well as technological advancements made in recent years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77
    Issue number12
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Oct 2018


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