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Pros and Cons of Clinical Basophil Testing (BAT)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hans Jürgen Hoffmann, Edward F. Knol, Martha Ferrer, Lina Mayorga, Vito Sabato, Alexandra F. Santos, Bernadette Eberlein, Anna Nopp, Donald MacGlashan

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Issue number8
E-pub ahead of print13 Jul 2016


King's Authors


Purpose of Review: We review basophil testing by flow cytometry with an emphasis on advantages and disadvantages. 

Recent Findings: There are many tools available to assess the presence and severity of allergic diseases in patients. For 50 years, peripheral blood basophils have been used as tools to study these diseases. It is a very accessible cell that binds IgE antibody and secretes the classical mediators responsible for the symptoms of allergic reactions. In the last decade, an even more accessible methodology, using flow cytometry, has been developed to enhance the ability to use basophils for both mechanistic and clinical diagnostics. Basophil testing has been included in diagnostics for different forms of allergies as well as to monitor disease status. 

Summary: A variety of studies have begun to establish both precise methods and their clinical relevance for disease diagnosis, but there remain some important questions on how to take optimal advantage of the behaviours of basophils.

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