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Treatment & Services /  Allergy and Environmental Illness /  How do antigen vaccines work? /

How do antigen vaccines work?

Read Dr Jean Monro's medical paper which explains the biological effects of neutralising vaccines...
Glossary of Terms
  Allergy: the reaction between the allergen and the antibodies.
Allergen: substances that cause the body to react.
Antibody: a protein manufactured by the white blood cells to neutralise allergens.
Antigen: a protein, which is usually foreign to the body, that stimulates an immune response resulting in production of an antibody.

It is generally believed that an antigen is a substance that can cause an immune response, resulting in production of an antibody, which neutralises the antigen in the body. The antigens are usually foreign proteins not found naturally in the body.

The first step in using low-dose immunotherapy (also known as the provocation/neutralisation technique) is to challenge the body. This is done by intradermal skin tests where a small concentration of antigen vaccine is injected just under the first few layers of skin. As the body reacts to the initial concentration of antigen vaccine, a bump or “wheal” will appear at the injection site. After a few minutes, the wheal will be either remain active or will dissipate. If the wheal and symptoms are still active after 10 minutes, a sequentially lower concentration of antigen vaccine will then be injected at an adjacent site and, after another waiting period, the new wheal will be evaluated for reaction. This process is repeated with the sequentially lower concentrations of antigen vaccine until a satisfactory wheal is obtained. This neutralising concentration of antigen vaccine is termed the “end-point”.

The second step of the technique is maintenance by continuing to neutralise the allergic reactions by repetitive injection of antigen vaccines. That means that patients must inject the antigen vaccine at least once per day, sometimes more frequently, to help maintain the balance of antibodies produced. By stimulating the production of antibodies using the antigen vaccines, when the allergen is next encountered, the body is already prepared to deal with it and this often stops any symptoms provoked by the substance.

Periodically the end-point numbers have to be adjusted, depending on circumstances, conditions and undetermined factors. When allergy symptoms return, it is time to redo the first step and re-test the antigen vaccines, determine the new end-points and regain the harmonising balance.

Antigen vaccines may be taken by daily injections or by drops under the tongue 2 to 3 times per day. The antigen vaccines used for treatment must first be individually tested by injection into the skin (intradermal testing) or by using drops under the tongue (sublingual testing).

A “neutralising cocktail” is a mixture of several neutralising doses (end-points) together in a solution. It may contain end-points for up to twenty-five substances. These antigen vaccines should be kept frozen (in the ice-box or deep-freeze) and last for three months.

Note:  It is important that new patients are aware that Breakspear Medical Group's allergy and sensitivity treatment programme is not a one visit programme; patients often require regular testing (as often as once every 3 months) and self-administered treatment will be on-going.

 

 

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