Basophil activation blood test indicates patients with alpha-gal syndrome

Published online: August 17, 2018

The alpha-gal syndrome (red meat allergy) is characterized by patients’ sensitization (specific IgE antibodies in the individuals’ blood) and delayed allergic reactions to the carbohydrate galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal) after consumption of mammalian (red) meat products and drugs of mammalian origin. Prevailing diagnostics to predict a clinical reaction of a sensitized individual are time-consuming and potentially risky oral provocation tests.

In a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), Mehlich and colleagues assessed the utility of different parameters of an in vitro blood test (basophil activation test (BAT)) to differentiate between patients with alpha-gal syndrome who suffered from allergic reactions and individuals with an asymptomatic alpha-gal sensitization.

Several parameters of the BAT allowed a good differentiation between patients with alpha-gal syndrome and asymptomatic alpha-gal sensitization.  

The authors concluded that in alpha-gal sensitized individuals the BAT should be carried out before performing currently arduous diagnostics to evaluate the risk of an allergic reaction to mammalian (red) meat products and drugs of mammalian origin.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

Basophil activation test differentiates between patients with alpha-gal syndrome and asymptomatic alpha-gal sensitization

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