AUG 05, 2017 4:33 PM PDT

Identifying the Cells That Cause Allergies

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Over 50 million people have some type of nasal allergy. They can be caused by a huge variety of allergens, from dust mites to pollen. Food allergies are another source of illness. You can get some facts about allergies from the short video above, like the estimated healthcare expense that allergies cause - 18 billion dollars.

Allergies arise when our immune system mistakes a substance that is harmless for one that is a dangerous invader to be conquered. Scientists have now learned more about the details underlying this process; the precise type of cell that causes allergies has been identified at last. Specifically, they are one kind of T cell called a TH2A cell, as outlined in the video.

A team of scientists found that type of cell only in people that had allergies. Because of that specificity, these cells present a unique therapeutic opportunity. Eliminating the cells has an effect that is similar to immunotherapy, the researchers reported in Science Translational Medicine.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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