In Allergies, Allergology

The Danish company REFLAB became a member of the R-Biopharm group on January 1, 2010. As a supplier of test kits for the detection of autoreactive urticaria and histamine release tests for the detection of type I allergies, REFLAB is expanding R-Biopharm’s product portfolio in an ideal manner.

A glass fiber matrix for selective histamine binding, which was developed by REFLAB, is the underlying basis of both tests. HISTAREADER 501, a highly sensitiveflow-through fluorometer, is used to quantitatively measure the bound histamine. This technology permits functional diagnosis of autoreactive urticaria, which – according to the recommendations of the EAACI/GA2LEN Task Force Consensus Report (Allergy 2009; 64: 1256 – 1268) – should be performed for confirmation of positive autologous serum skin test (ASST) results. Moreover, it is the only detection method that permits functional detection of autoreactive antibodies directed against human IgE and their receptors on basophils or mast cells. A service laboratory to which patient’s serum samples can be submitted for testing was set up by Professor Marcus Maurer of the Department of Dermatology and Allergology at the Charité University Medical Center in Berlin. The contact person is Dr. Sabine Altrichter at the Charité or Mr. Joachim Zehender, Product Manager for Allergy Diagnostics at R-Biopharm (j.zehender@r-biopharm.de).

In contrast to conventional histamine release tests, the fluorimetric-based method dispenses with the need for quantitative ELISA for determination of released histamine, making the test very simple and userfriendly. Its simplicity and capacity to provoke histamine release from the patient’s basophils using the test allergens separate from the actual measurement of released histamine makes it possible to perform this diagnostically valuable histamine release assay in any laboratory, no matter how small. Flexibly usable test kits for investigation of histamine release will soon be available for a wide range of allergens.

R-Biopharm AG and REFLAB are currently working together to develop a method for application of this technology for the detection of histamine in foods such as fish and fish meal.

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