Navigation Links
Food allergies: A new, simple method to track down allergens
Date:7/2/2014

Although food allergies are common, sufferers often don't know exactly what in foods cause their allergic reactions. This knowledge could help develop customized therapies, like training the body's immune system to respond to certain proteins found in foods. However, determining which protein in a food causes an allergic response to a patient requires time-consuming tests that often ignore rare or unexpected allergens. Publishing in Analytical Chemistry, EPFL scientists have developed a highly-sensitive method that can quickly and accurately identify the culprit proteins even at very low concentrations. The method has been successfully tested in the context of cow milk allergy.

Food allergies are becoming widespread in the Western world today, affecting around 6-8% of children and about 3% of adults. These types of allergies occur when the body's immune system mistakes a harmless food protein for a threat and attacks it as it would normally do with a bacterium or a virus. This causes symptoms like swelling, rashes, pain, and even life-threatening anaphylactic shocks.

Cow milk allergy is common among children, preventing them from breast feeding and drinking milk, although some outgrow the allergy by six years of age. Allergies, including food allergies, are caused when our immune system produces antibodies to destroy "enemy" molecules, like those from bacteria and viruses. In the case of milk allergies, the antibodies are called "IgE". Medical doctors can diagnose milk allergies by simply detecting an overproduction of IgE, but that does not tell them which one of the numerous proteins in milk and other foods is causing the allergic response.

The team of Hubert Girault at EPFL has developed a highly-sensitive method that uses a patient's IgE to determine specifically which protein induces allergic responses in them. The method uses a well-established technique called immunoaffinity capillary electrophoresis (IACE). First, IgE antibodies from the patient's blood are isolated by interaction with magnetic beads that are coated with a different type of antibody. The "bead" antibodies recognize and bind the patient's IgE antibodies. This takes place inside a long and narrow glass tube, only 50 micrometers in diameter, called a "capillary". The bound antibodies are then flushed out of the capillary and powerfully attached to the magnetic beads through a process called 'crosslinking', which keeps them from detaching. The beads with the patient's IgE are then placed again inside the capillary.

The test begins when milk is injected through the capillary. As the milk's proteins pass over the patient's IgE antibodies, the ones that cause allergies are caught by them, while the others exit on the other side. The beads are then washed with a strong chemical that causes the allergy-inducing protein to dissociate from the patient's IgE antibodies. The isolated, "culprit" protein is then identified using mass spectrometry, which is a technique that analyzes compounds according to their mass and electrical charge.

The method offers a personalized way to identify the exact proteins that can cause food allergies to a patient, which can help develop an effective treatment. It is also quicker, as it does not require the detection and quantification of a patient's specific IgE antibodies or the laborious and resource-intensive diagnostic methods used currently. Finally, it provides higher accuracy than conventional allergy-testing methods, as it can detect tiny amounts of allergic proteins, even if they are unexpected and rare. This also means that the method can be extended beyond milk to other foods like nuts and wheat products.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nik Papageorgiou
n.papageorgiou@epfl.ch
41-216-932-105
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Simple sequence repeats for population-level studies of pines
2. New, simple technique may drive down biofuel production costs
3. Simple plants arent always easy: Revision of the liverwort Radula buccinifera complex
4. Novel treatment approach for bladder pain using a herpes simplex virus vector reported
5. Early human burials varied widely but most were simple
6. Unraveling the threads: Simplest cotton genome offers clues for fiber improvements
7. Researchers identify a simple way to precipitate phosphorus from the wastewater of a pulp mill
8. Princeton researchers identify unexpected bottleneck in the spread of herpes simplex virus
9. Simple mathematcal pattern describes shape of neuron jungle
10. ORNL microscopy yields first proof of ferroelectricity in simplest amino acid
11. Consumers need simple, concise messages about benefits of phytonutrients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/7/2016)... NEW YORK , Jan. 7, 2016 ... as regional markets for biometric technologies and devices, identifying ... application market for various types of biometric devices. Includes ... report to: Identify newer markets and explore the ... of biometric devices. Examine each type of biometric technology, ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... -- A United States District Court in Illinois ... to interpret a biometric privacy statute in a decision ... photo website Shutterfly brought by the law firm Carey Rodriguez ... SHUTTERFLY, INC.; and THISLIFE, INC ( N.D. Ill ., ... Illinois Biometric Privacy Act by collecting and scanning face ...
(Date:1/6/2016)... Jan. 6, 2016 Based on its ... & Sullivan recognizes MorphoTrak, LLC, a U.S. subsidiary ... Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award. ... technology, Morpho Wave™ , has consolidated the company,s ... biometrics market. Morpho Wave is a highly ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 On Thursday, February ... information source for community, health and disaster services, and ... will integrate to enhance care coordination and service delivery ... services they need and to better connect service providers ... San Diego has handled ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... , Feb. 4, 2016  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. ... editing, announced today that Edward Lanphier , Sangamo,s ... on the progress of Sangamo,s ZFP Therapeutic ® ... strategy at 2:40 pm ET on Thursday, February 11, ... Global Healthcare Conference. The conference is being held in ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... MENLO PARK, Calif. , Feb. 4, 2016   ... a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of ... the 18 th Annual BIO CEO & Investor ... EST in New York, NY . ... provide an update on the ongoing clinical trial of ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Franz ... Semantic Graph Database technology has been recognized As “ Best in Semantic Web ... Magazine. , “At Corporate America, it’s our priority to showcase prominent professionals who ...
Breaking Biology Technology: