National Jewish Health receives patent for diagnostic method of autoimmune chronic urticaria

November 1, 2010, National Jewish Health

National Jewish Health has received a US patent for a method of detecting autoimmune chronic urticaria, which will help assure many patients that dramatic changes in lifestyle are not needed to treat the condition. Ronald Harbeck, PhD, Medical Director of the Advanced Diagnostic Laboratories at National Jewish Health, and colleagues Drs. Karen Andrews and Donald MacGlashan, Jr. developed the diagnostic assay, which makes use of the protein CD203c as a marker for the condition. The test, offered by the diagnostic laboratories at National Jewish Health, has been highly successful, with 250 to 300 tests run every week for patients around the nation.

Chronic urticaria is recurrent hives that last for six weeks or longer. They can be caused by allergic and non-allergic reactions. It is often difficult to pin down a specific cause. Without a known cause, many patients will try various adjustments to their lifestyles in an often unsuccessful attempt to cure the hives.

"Patients will often try eliminating foods from their diet or pets from their homes and alter their medications, believing they are suffering from ," said Dr. Harbeck.

Approximately 40 percent of chronic urticaria patients have an autoimmune form of the disease, which is essentially a malfunction of the immune system and has no external cause. Doctors can prescribe a variety of treatments for chronic urticaria, based on symptoms, but rarely prescribe a significant change in lifestyle. The recently granted patent describes a method for detecting this autoimmune form of chronic urticaria.

"This diagnostic method will allow some patients to continue their normal, daily lives knowing that they are not suffering from an allergic condition," said Dr. Harbeck.

The invented method includes detecting the expression of the protein CD203c on cells in the presence of the antibody present in chronic urticaria patients.

"The creation of this diagnostic test is a reflection of the quality of research performed by our scientists and the commitment from National Jewish Health to support the advancement of research discoveries towards clinical applications in the spirit of our brand promise, Science Transforming Life," said Emmanuel Hilaire, PhD, Manager of the Technology Transfer Office at National Jewish Health.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Researchers illustrate how muscle growth inhibitor is activated, could aid in treating ALS

January 19, 2018
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine are part of an international team that has identified how the inactive or latent form of GDF8, a signaling protein also known as myostatin responsible for ...

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study

January 17, 2018
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent Yale-led study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure ...

The HLF gene protects blood stem cells by maintaining them in a resting state

January 17, 2018
The HLF gene is necessary for maintaining blood stem cells in a resting state, which is crucial for ensuring normal blood production. This has been shown by a new research study from Lund University in Sweden published in ...

Magnetically applied MicroRNAs could one day help relieve constipation

January 17, 2018
Constipation is an underestimated and debilitating medical issue related to the opioid epidemic. As a growing concern, researchers look to new tools to help patients with this side effect of opioid use and aging.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.