Basophil histamine release in response to allergens (e.g., antigen E or Amb a1, Fel d1) correlates well with the severity of clinical symptoms suffered by individuals who are allergic to these proteins. In fact, allergen sensitivity is related to the serum of specific IgE, with very low concentrations of allergen often causing basophil histamine release in vitro when allergen-specific IgE antibody levels are high. As a result, release of histamine from basophils in vitro can serve as a dependable and precise indicator of an individual's allergic status, with few false-positive results when compared with skin testing techniques. Also, because many dilutions of antigens can be readily tested for reactivity, the assay can be more quantitative than skin testing, which often relies on a somewhat less precise endpoint.
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