∞ generated and posted on 2016.03.20 ∞

Medical procedure aimed towards increased production of IgG antibodies which can block IgE binding to specific antigens.

Desensitization involves injection under the skin (subcutaneous) of increasing quantities of a specific allergens, once identified, that is done in a manner that is somewhat equivalent to vaccination. The goal is to induce a specific humoral response against those antigens such that they are no longer available to generate a type I hypersensitivity, i.e., an allergic reaction/anaphylaxis.

The result, if successful, is literally a de-sensitive-ization of an individual towards an allergen, though note that such success is not 100% assured.

Recall that type I hypersensitivity reactions occur when IgE, which has been bound to mast or basophil cells, comes into contact with antigens to which the IgE is specific (i.e., allergens). This gives rise to a degranulation of these cells and associated release of hypersensitivity facilitator such as histamine.