Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a method which determines not only whether a chemical or substance is allergenic, but also how strong its potential for causing hypersensitivity is. This will aid in the establishment of so-called threshold values – or how much of a substance is safe to use in a product. Until now, the only way of achieving similar results has been through animal testing.
“We have to deal with the fact that industrial chemicals are present and necessary in our society, as are natural substances, some of which can also make us allergic. Testing their effects on health before using them in cosmetics, paint, cleaning products and others, allows us to replace them with safer substances and thereby avoid clinical symptoms. This way you can avoid making the corrections later on”, says Malin Lindstedt, professor of Immunotechnology at Lund University.
There are gaps in our knowledge of how chemicals affect our health and environment. In recent years, the EU has therefore tightened legislation. The new rules will require companies to demonstrate that they have improved knowledge of up to 30 000 chemicals – without using animal testing. In addition to allergy testing these substances, the requirements include determining exactly how allergenic they are.
Malin Lindstedt and her colleagues expose human cells to various chemical substances. Using their own genetic analysis, called GARDpotency, they are able to determine how the cells of the body’s immune system react: a strong allergic reaction, weak, or none at all.
“We have identified 52 biomarkers which can predict how potent an allergenic substance actually is. Based on how the genetic expression changes after exposure to the substance, we are able to make a comprehensive assessment. This predicts the strength with high accuracy”, says Malin Lindstedt.
The researchers themselves are motivated by ethics – reducing animal experimentation – but also basic scientific curiosity. It is not only for ethical reasons that there is much to be gained by leaving animal experiments out, according to Malin Lindstedt:
“We want to know more about what triggers allergy at the genetic level. We are often asked ?how good is your model compared with the mouse model?’ We don’t want to compare ourselves with that model, for ethical reasons, but also because animal models are not sufficiently good at predicting allergy in humans.”
The test is already being used to a limited extent. However, it has not yet been validated by the OECD, which is necessary for chemical producers to roll it out fully.
Food additives are the next area that Malin Lindstedt wants to examine more closely. According to her, we know far too little about whether additives affect genetic regulation in our immune cells.
The Latest on: Allergenic potency of chemicals
- Researcher targets peanut allergies with Cohen Fund support on October 12, 2017 at 2:19 am
In allergic individuals, exposure to an allergen triggers a “type 2” immune response, in which IgE antibodies produced by B cells activate the release of chemical mediators ... They will test the potency of the peanut-specific IgG therapeutic ... […]
- Novel platform uses nanoparticles to detect peanut allergies on June 26, 2017 at 11:52 am
A team of chemical ... each allergic component one at a time on their surfaces. The researchers named the nanoparticles "nanoallergens" and used them to dissect the critical components of major peanut allergy proteins and evaluate the potency of the ... […]
- New test method aims to predict allergenic potency of chemicals on May 29, 2017 at 4:54 am
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a method which determines not only whether a chemical or substance is allergenic, but also how strong its potential for causing hypersensitivity is. This will aid in the establishment of so-called ... […]
- New test method aims to predict allergenic potency of chemicals on May 29, 2017 at 4:02 am
A method that determines not only whether a chemical or substance is allergenic, but also how strong its potential for causing hypersensitivity is has now been developed by researchers. This will aid in the establishment of so-called threshold values ... […]
- Got Allergies? Air Pollution Could Be to Blame on March 23, 2015 at 9:24 am
The pollutants don’t just up the potency of allergens ... warned that as climate change worsens and pollutants rise, more allergies could ensue: “Our research is showing that chemical modifications of allergenic proteins may play an important role ... […]
- Air pollutants boost potency of airborne allergens on March 23, 2015 at 1:03 am
New York, March 23 (IANS) Certain traffic-related air pollutants can provoke chemical changes in airborne allergens and increase their potency, a new study says ... could help explain why airborne allergies are becoming more common, forcing more people ... […]
- Air Pollutants Could Boost Potency of Common Airborne Allergens on March 21, 2015 at 5:00 pm
The gases, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone, appear to provoke chemical changes in certain airborne allergens that could increase their potency. That, in combination with changes in global climate, could help explain why airborne allergies are ... […]
- Importance of expiration date depends on the specific drug on May 21, 2013 at 10:07 am
Theoretically, the chemicals in a medication ... auto-injectors for people having severe allergic (anaphylaxis) reactions. The potency of the epinephrine in an EpiPen tapers off within a year of the expiration date. That's another medicine you want to ... […]
- Hair dyes could trigger allergies, says study on March 29, 2007 at 4:01 pm
The SCCP ranked the skin-sensitising potency of 46 hair dye substances ... They are specialist chemicals which, in the measures used in some hair dyes, may present little or no risk but may cause allergies in higher concentrations. For instance, the ... […]
via Google News and Bing News