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Allergy-provoking substance

An antigen (substance that elicits an antibody response) is responsible for producing allergic reactions by inducing IgE formation. IgE antibodies, bound to basophils in circulation and mast cells in tissue, cause these cells to release chemicals when they come into contact with an allergen. These chemicals can cause injury to surrounding tissue - the visible signs of an allergy. An allergen can be almost anything which acts as an antigen to stimulate such an immune response.

Common allergens

  • Food . The most common are milk , fruit , fish, eggs and nuts.
  • Pollen , especially ragweed, which causes hayfever.
  • Mould from plants and food, which are most likely to cause asthma.
  • House dust , which contains mites as well as dander from housepets.
  • Venom from insects (such as bees, wasps and mosquitoes) or scorpions.
  • Plant Oils, especially poison ivy, oak or sumac.
  • Additionally, feathers, wool, dyes, cosmetics and perfumes may also act as allergens.



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    Last modified: Fri Jun 28 2002