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Author Topic: Immunotherapy Against Bee Stings in Some Cases Incomplete  (Read 164 times)

Offline sawdstmakr

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Immunotherapy Against Bee Stings in Some Cases Incomplete
« on: May 17, 2017, 12:18:14 pm »
Helmholtz Zentrum M?nchen - German Research Center for Environmental Health
Summer is approaching, and for many allergy sufferers this means it is time to start fearing bee stings. "Allergic reactions to insect venoms are potentially life-threatening, and constitute one of the most severe hypersensitivity reactions," explains PD Dr. Simon Blank, research group leader at the Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM), a joint undertaking by the Helmholtz Zentrum M?nchen and the TUM.
This is where allergen-specific immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, can help. The treatment involves injecting very small doses of the venom under the patient's skin. The idea is to force the body to become accustomed to the poison and consequently to put an end to the immune system's excessive reaction. According to Blank and his team, however, it may be necessary to improve the procedure.
Allergens strongly underrepresented
"We now know that bee venom is a cocktail of many different substances. In particular, there are five components that are especially relevant for allergy sufferers," Blank explains. "In our current investigation of commercial preparations, however, we were able to show that these so-called major allergens are not present everywhere at sufficient levels, and some allergens are seriously underrepresented!"
While some preparations contained uniform levels of all venom components, in others up to three of the five allergens were present at levels that were too low, according to the authors. The scientists cannot concretely state exactly what this means for the therapeutic success. "So far, studies have not been able to prove how significant this is for the treatment. Because more than six percent of the patients are sensitized only against these three allergens, however, their underrepresentation could affect the treatment success, at least for these patients."
Customized immunotherapy against bee stings?
Consequently, if patients react to specific allergens in bee venom but these are possibly not found in the preparations at sufficient levels, the question that must be asked is what good does immunotherapy against bee stings do for the individual.
ZAUM Director Prof. Dr. Carsten Schmidt-Weber sees it like this: "The vast majority of patients benefit from such a treatment. A desirable objective that results from this work, however, would be for patients to receive a customized treatment in the future. This would be a preparation with exactly the allergens to which the particular patient actually reacts." Due to costs and the relatively small number of patients, however, such developments are still a long way off.
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Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Immunotherapy Against Bee Stings in Some Cases Incomplete
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 03:12:42 pm »
Interesting. I also read somewhere that if you are going to get allergic to bee stings somewhere you usually will do it by your first could years of keeping bees.

Offline JackM

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Re: Immunotherapy Against Bee Stings in Some Cases Incomplete
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2017, 09:07:48 am »
The allergy is not something we are born with.  We need the allergen introduced.  It is almost impossible to have an allergic reaction on the first KNOWN introduction of the allergen.  One may have gotten it from their mother's breast milk so nothing is in concrete.

The body sees the insult and for the next time (for lack of better terms just go with the flow) and says whoa, this is bad stuff, sent out the defense system.  These are cells that 'attack' the allergen and in the process die and throw out histamines with really are the cause of the reaction.

Each time this happens it gets worse with a bigger and bigger response.

The immunotherapy is not 100% but what it does do is keep dosing the body with very minute amounts of the allergen and the body starts to learn that this is not a serious problem, we don't need to send out those killer cells that actually cause the histamine release.  (Anti-histamine make sense now?)

Folks getting immunotherapy usually have to carry around an epi pen during the time they are getting the shots.  Wise to carry one anyhow, but that is another topic in itself.

And, it isn't that the immunotherapy is incomplete, the body just didn't go far enough to develop the path of ignoring the problem
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