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Basophil activation testing in occupational respiratory allergy to low molecular weight compounds

Vera-Berrios, Rosialzira Natashaa; Feary, Johannab; Cullinan, Paulb

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: April 2019 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 92–97
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0000000000000506
OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE: Edited by Susan M. Tarlo and Piero Maestrelli

Purpose of review There is an unmet need for better immunological tests in cases of suspected occupational asthma to many workplace chemicals; here we consider the basophil activation test (BAT), a potential alternative to the detection of specific IgE antibodies.

Recent findings BAT is fairly widely used in general allergy services; and there is increasing experience of its use in the diagnosis of occupational allergy to low molecular weight agents and chemicals including wood dusts, persulphates, antibiotics and latex.

Summary There is potential for BAT to become a useful tool in the clinical consideration of occupational asthma and of its mechanisms, and even to take a place in a Bayesian-based diagnostic algorithm. Further development will only occur if specialist centres with appropriate facilities, and preferably in collaboration, contemplate its use.

aFundación Jimenez Diaz University Hospital, Los Reyes, Madrid, Spain

bDepartment of Occupational Lung Disease, Royal Brompton Hospital, London SW3 6LR

Correspondence to Johanna Feary, Department of Occupational Lung Disease, Royal Brompton Hospital, London SW3 6LR. Tel: +44 20 7594 7968; e-mail:

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