Allergy is a serious problem, which gradually becomes one of the major threat to health and normal life of many people. In fact, in the result of technological development, pollution of the environment, and the use of various chemical components in different industries, including food industry, the risk of allergic reactions has increased dramatically.
Nowadays, people are more exposed to allergens than they have ever been before. In such a situation, it is extremely important to understand how the mechanism of allergic reaction works in order to prevent negative effects of allergy, which sometimes may lead to fatal outcomes.
On analyzing the problem of allergic reactions, it should be primarily pointed out that allergy often occurs unexpectedly and it is really difficult to predict when a person can suffer from allergy that means that people suffering from allergy very careful. Basically, the allergic mechanism works on the cell level and the pathophysiology of allergic responses can be divided into two distinct phases: the acute response that occurs immediately after the contact of a patient with allergen and late-phase response that may occur within two – twenty-four hours after the exposure to allergen.
In fact, the allergic reaction occurs on the cellular level. As the allergen contacts with human organism, a response reaction begins. The response reaction starts in a type of immune cell known as a Th2 lymphocyte, which belongs to a substitute of T cells that produce a cytokine, interleukin 4. These Th2 cells interact with other lymphocytes, B cells, which produce antibodies. Coupled with signals provided by interleukin 4, this interaction stimulates the B cell to begin production of a large amount of a particular type of antibody, known as IgE. Secreted IgE circulates in the blood and binds to an IgE-specific receptor on the surface of other kinds of immune cells called mast cells and basophils, which are both involved in the acute inflammatory response. The IgE-coated cells are sensitized to the allergen (Galli, 94).
If the later exposure to the allergen occurs, the allergic reaction grows stronger and may lead to more destructive results than allergic reaction at the early stage of its development. The binding of the allergen to IgE molecules activate mast cells and basophils, which undergo the process of degranulation, during which they release histamine and other inflammatory chemical mediators from their granules into surrounding tissues. As a result, this leads to allergic effects such as itching, vasodilation, nerve stimulation, smooth muscle contraction, and others (Swert, 92).
However, after the acute phase of allergic reaction, the late-phase response may also be observed, which basically occur when the chemical mediators of the acute response subside in the result of migration of other leukocytes, such as neutrophils, eosinophils, and others. The late-phase response may occur within twenty-four hours after the original reaction.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the allergic reactions, which occur on the cellular level, may be of a pathologic nature and lead to severe effects that sometimes can lead to the death of a patient.