Discovery offers key to prevent severe allergic reactions

A team of scientists report that they've made a key breakthrough on a new therapy that can prevent anaphylactic shock--a severe allergic reaction that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death.

The Glasgow University group of scientists first concluded that the cytokine IL-33 is present in high levels in patients who experience an anaphylactic reaction, which could be triggered by bee stings or a food allergy. They then created a mouse model for IL-33, blocked the molecule and found that they could prevent the allergic reaction.

"Our study suggests that patients with the most severe anaphylactic reactions have very high levels of IL-33 in their system," said Dr. Alirio Melendez, who co-led the study.

- read the story from the BBC