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article imageNanotechnology explains dust mite allergies

By Tim Sandle     Nov 1, 2016 in Science
Dust allergies relates to mites that live and feed on dust particles (with most dust being composed of skin cells). Researchers have made a breakthrough in explaining allergies using nanotechnology.
The research comes from the German institute Charité-Universitätsmedizin. Here scientists have discovered the specific molecules from house dust mites which are targeted by the immune system of children. When this happens the children go on to develop allergic rhinitis and asthma. This can sometimes be triggered in adulthood.
House dust mites are tiny creatures, around a quarter of a millimeter long. The mites live off human skin scales which have been partially digested by molds and they thrive in humid environments.
The new research is based on an analysis of blood samples collected over 20 years from a group of 722 German children. All of the children were born in 1990, and their parents had agreed for them to be enrolled into a national Multicenter Allergy Study.
By using nanotechnology, molecules of the mite Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus were used to characterize the origins and evolution of the antibody response during the children’s first decades of life. This led to the finding that antibodies against three dust mite molecules appeared very early in the children’s blood. Those children who produce a high level of antibodies (IgE) went onto have a higher chance of developing allergic rhinitis and asthma. The biochemical process for the over-production of the antibodies is called ‘polymolecular sensitization.’
In a research note, one of the lead scientists, Dr. Daniela Posa stated: “Mite allergy develops in childhood like an avalanche. It starts early with only one or a very few molecules and then grows to many.”
It is hoped the findings will lead to the development of new therapies and to allow medical professionals to predict those children who will become most vulnerable to chronic rhinitis and asthma.
The research findings are published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The study is titled “Evolution and predictive value of IgE responses toward a comprehensive panel of house dust mite allergens during the first two decades of life.”
More about Dust allergy, Allergy, Allergies, Nanotechnology, Nanoparticles
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