Same exposure, different allergic reactions. Why?

Original broadcast date: January 13, 2008

Why do some people suffer a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis while others do not when both are exposed to the same allergen? From a clinical standpoint, anaphylaxis can be difficult to diagnose because it is highly variable in its presentation and its signs and symptoms overlap with life-threatening conditions.

A study from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto published in the Jan. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine sheds light on the process that leads to a severe allergic reaction. The results may lead to a means of quicker diagnosis and treatment.

  • Dr. Peter Vadas,  Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, University of  Toronto  Director, Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, St. Michael’s Hospital and  Head, Section of Anaphylaxis, Canadian Society of Allergy and Immunology

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