Hymenoptera venom allergy--new diagnostic methods.

Beatriz Tavares


During the past years, the number of patients with both anaphylaxis to hymenoptera sting and negative IgE detected by conventional methods has been increasing. To obviate this problem new assays have been tried, such as Western blot and in vitro challenge tests involving basophil activation, with either the measurement of histamine and sulphidoleukotrien released (CAST--Cellular Antigen Stimulation Test) or the detection of activation markers on the cell surface with flow cytometric analysis (Flow CAST). In this paper the principles of these assays as well as their diagnostic value in hymenoptera allergy are briefly reviewed.

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