June 16, 2024

Uncovering the Role of Rare Immune Cells in Predicting Treatment Effectiveness for Recurrent Hives: A Groundbreaking Study

A groundbreaking study published in the prestigious journal Allergy by researchers from Trinity College Dublin sheds light on the connection between rare immune cell types and the response to treatments in individuals with chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU). This condition, characterized by recurrent, unpredictable hives and skin swellings, is led by Professor Niall Conlon, Clinical Professor at the School of Medicine and Consultant Immunologist at St. James’s Hospital, and Ireland’s only UCARE center for urticaria management.

CSU, which affects 1-2% of the population, is often underreported due to a lack of awareness about the condition. Diagnosis can be challenging, and those affected may experience various frustrations, including difficulties at work and in personal relationships, Sleep disturbances, low mood, and anxiety. Although similar to food allergies, CSU is not caused by an allergy to food or medicines.

The research team, which includes Dr. Barry Moran from Trinity Biomedical Science Institute (TBSI), examined a rare form of mast cells called myeloid progenitors in the blood of patients with CSU. They compared these cells between individuals with CSU and healthy controls and assessed treatment response to the anti-IgE therapy omalizumab. The study revealed that individuals who had a quick response to omalizumab had higher numbers of myeloid progenitors in their blood compared to those who had a slow or no response.

This study opens up the intriguing possibility of using these cell types to predict who might benefit from anti-IgE therapies, offering a potential solution for personalized treatment approaches for individuals with CSU. Dr. Moran, who contributed to the study, stated, “We developed a flow assay to identify this rare cell type. We were thrilled to find that our findings were supported by transcriptomic data.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it.