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Mugwort Allergy: An Essential First Step Toward Causal Therapy

According to experts, about ten percent of people in this country are affected by mugwort allergy. Contact with the pollen of this grass triggers the typical symptoms of hay fever, which can lead to a serious impairment of general well-being and quality of life. But now there is hope: researchers have created the basis for a vaccine.

A research team from the Medical University (MedUni) Vienna has discovered the central mechanisms of the widespread mugwort pollen allergy and at the same time laid the foundation for the development of the world's first vaccine. The new findings are an essential first step towards causal therapy and prevention. The study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Excessive immune response

According to a recent announcement, scientists have begun their preclinical research work on the origin of mugwort allergy.

Researchers have discovered where and how immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies recognize the major mugwort allergen (type v 1) and trigger the excessive immune response.

At the same time, it has been shown that the building blocks of the proteins of the main mugwort allergen are such that they can be blocked by IgG (immunoglobulin G) antibodies.

With these findings, the team led by Maja Zabel and Winfried Pickl, in collaboration with the team of Rudolf Valenta (all from the Center for Pathophysiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology of MedUni Vienna), created the basis for developing a vaccine against the mugwort allergy.

Pathogenic IgE antibodies

“Our study shows how fragments of the main mugwort allergen can be used for effective and safe therapy,” says Winfried Pickl, study leader.

"Our observations on the mode of action of the vaccine show that one end of the main mugwort allergen provides important binding sites for pathogenic IgE antibodies of allergy sufferers, which can be used for a new type vaccination", explains the researcher. .

About ten percent of the population is affected

Mugwort is widespread in the northern hemisphere, where pollen from its flowers causes symptoms from July to September in people with allergies, including asthma.

Reportedly, the roughly 10% of people in the population who are sensitized to mugwort currently have only treatment options to relieve their symptoms.

The current study is an internationally recognized first step towards causal therapy and prevention. “Then we will use the results of our research to produce a synthetic vaccine that can be tested in a clinical study,” explains Rudolf Valenta. (ad)

Author and source information

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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


Medical University of Vienna: Mugwort allergy: MedUni Vienna study creates basis for vaccine, (Accessed: June 26, 2022), Medical University of ViennaMaja Zabel, Milena Weber, Bernhard Kratzer, Cordula Köhler, Beatrice Jahn -Schmid, Gabriele Gadermaier, Pia Gattinger, Urška Bidovec-Stojkovič, Peter Korošec, Ursula Smole, Gert Wurzinger, Kuan-Wei Chen, Carmen Bunu Panaitescu, Ludger Klimek, Isabel Pablos, Katarzyna Niespodziana, Alina Neunkirchner, Walter Keller, Rudolf Valenta and Winfried F. Pickl: v 1 IgE epitopes from patients and humanized mice are conformational; in: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, (published: 06/20/2022), Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Important Note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.