Project

Prevention and desensitising capacity of birch sap to birch pollen allergy

Publisher

Supervisor

Location

Greater Copenhagen area

Pollen allergy has a remarkable clinical impact and there is a body of evidence suggesting that the prevalence of respiratory allergic reactions induced by pollen has been on the increase in the past decades. Birch is the major pollen-allergen-producing tree in North and Central Europe, resulting in birch pollen allergy-associated food allergy being the most common form of food allergy. Primary inhalant sensitisation to the major allergen in birch pollen, and subsequent IgE cross-reactivity to homologous proteins might explain adverse reactions of birch pollen allergic individuals to many foods. Across Scandinavia, many birch pollen allergy suffers have reported mitigation of their symptoms after drinking birch sap. However, there is no scientific evidence supporting the use of birch sap as a treatment of pollen allergy. We hypothesise that birch sap might contain proteins that are homologous and immunologically cross-reactive to the major birch pollen allergens and therefore birch sap could induce tolerance towards birch pollen allergy.

The aim of this project is to examine if birch sap may induce tolerance to birch pollen and if it can be used as a natural product for prevention and treatment of birch pollen allergy.

To achieve this objective, we will:

1)    Investigate the protein composition of birch sap and identify immuno-reactive epitopes. Cross-reactive proteins in birch pollen will be also detected. In addition, we will evaluate the effect of long-term conservation methods on protein content and allergenicity. Proteomic, immunological and in silico analysis will be performed.

2)    Evaluate the tolerance and desensitising capacity of birch sap to birch pollen allergy and related food allergies, as well as perform mechanistic studies. Animal models, that resemble atopic humans in their predisposition to develop allergic diseases, will be applied. The following analysis will be implemented: a) IgG and IgE specific antibody levels and avidity, b) Cross-reactive food IgG and IgE antibodies, c) Ear swelling test, d) Basophil activation e) Cytokine profiling and f) Homing of immune cells.

Requirements

immunology, biochemistry, protein chemistry

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Contact

Company / Organization

DTU Fødevareinstituttet

Name

Ana Isabel Sancho Vega

Position

Postdoc

Mail

anasa@food.dtu.dk

Supervisor info

MSc in Biotechnology

Supervisor

Ana Isabel Sancho Vega

ECTS credits

30

Type

MSc thesis

Must be completed

immunology, biochemistry, protein chemistry

MSc in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Supervisor

Ana Isabel Sancho Vega

ECTS credits

30

Type

MSc thesis

Must be completed

immunology, biochemistry, protein chemistry

MSc in Food Technology

Supervisor

Ana Isabel Sancho Vega

ECTS credits

30

Type

MSc thesis

Must be completed

immunology, biochemistry, protein chemistry

Technical University of Denmark

For almost two centuries DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has been dedicated to fulfilling the vision of H.C. Ørsted – the father of electromagnetism – who founded the university in 1829 to develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society.


Today, DTU is ranked as one of the foremost technical universities in Europe, continues to set new records in the number of publications, and persistently increases and develops our partnerships with industry, and assignments accomplished by DTU’s public sector consultancy.

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Denmark



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CVR-nr. 30 06 09 46

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