What is immunoglobulin E?

The immune system can recognize foreign substances or pathogens, so-called antigens, and produces antibodies specific to their defense. These antibodies are called immunoglobulins and differ in their structure and function from each other.

Immunoglobulins are antibodies

Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is a highly specialized antibody that plays a major role in the prevention of worm infections and allergies. It comes from the lymphoid tissue, which is located near the respiratory tract and the digestive tract. From there it gets into the blood. IgE is detectable only in minute amounts, only 0.001 percent of all immunoglobulins are IgE. Nevertheless, it is significantly involved in over 90 percent of all allergic processes.

Important antibody in allergies

IgE, like all immunoglobulins, is a protein. It can easily attach to other body cells. IgE is mainly found in the skin and mucous membranes. If allergens come into contact with IgE there, the IgE causes a change in the function of different cells. These changes lead to the release of substances from the cells, which cause an inflammatory reaction. These substances are called mediators or mediators. The best known mediator is the histamine. The mediators then trigger, for example, redness, itching, runny nose or asthma.

A blood test gives information

There is also a specific immunoglobulin E for each allergen. In the case of an allergy, a blood test that examines various types of IgE can very accurately detect which substance has triggered the allergy.

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