Using a specially designed molecule (HBL), researchers at Notre Dame believe they have found a way to block allergic reactions. The molecule can be introduced into the blood stream at which point it attaches to mast cells, so the offender (food protein, medication, insect venom) is unable to attach and set off the chain reaction that can lead to an allergic reaction.
"We believe HBL has a very high potential to be developed as a preventative medication," said Tanyel Kiziltepe, a research professor at Notre Dame.
At the present time, researchers believe the molecule will be most helpful in emergency situations such as when emergency room doctors don't know if a person is allergic to a medication. They could administer the medication and the molecule at the same time to perhaps prevent a reaction.
The full article is in the September issue of Chemistry and Biology and is available for purchase.