Use of basophil activation test in the investigation of adverse effects to vaccines.
Hum Vaccin. 2011 Aug 1 ;7(8). Epub 2011 Aug 1. PMID: 21785282
Department of Pathology and Diagnostics, Unit of General Pathology; University of Verona; Verona, Italy.
Diagnosis of adverse effects caused by vaccines mainly includes investigative approaches based on skin tests, histamine, tryptase and serum IgE levels which should allow to diagnose an IgE-mediated allergy reaction, most caused by additive components. Incidence of vaccine-related allergy and anaphylaxis due to vaccination are very poorly represented among population, based on the latest epidemiological and safety reports. Notwithstanding, routinely allergy diagnostic tools show many pitfalls and contradictory results when used to highlight an allergy onset or a clinical manifestation recalling an hypersensitivity reaction. Furthermore, adjuvants in vaccines may trigger innate cells response by toll-like receptors, thus eliciting a possible non-IgE mediated allergy phenomenon or causing B-cell activation and autoimmunity. A cellular test, such as a basophil activation test, or more widely a flow cytometry analysis of immune cells, might add new insights to the comprehension of allergy due to vaccination , thus ameliorating the diagnostic endowment in the hand of physicians.