H J Hoffmann 1 , A F Santos 2 , 3 , 4 , C Mayorga 5 , A Nopp 6 , B Eberlein 7 , M Ferrer 8 , P Rouzaire 9 , D G Ebo 10 , V Sabato 10 , M L Sanz 8 , T Pecaric-Petkovic 11 , S U Patil 12 , O V Hausmann 13 , 14 , W G Shreffler 12 , P Korosec 15 , E F Knol 16
The basophil activation test (BAT) has become a pervasive test for allergic response through the development of flow cytometry, discovery of activation markers such as CD63 and unique markers identifying basophil granulocytes. Basophil activation test measures basophil response to allergen cross-linking IgE on between 150 and 2000 basophil granulocytes in <0.1 ml fresh blood. Dichotomous activation is assessed as the fraction of reacting basophils. In addition to clinical history, skin prick test, and specific IgE determination, BAT can be a part of the diagnostic evaluation of patients with food-, insect venom-, and drug allergy and chronic urticaria. It may be helpful in determining the clinically relevant allergen. Basophil sensitivity may be used to monitor patients on allergen immunotherapy, anti-IgE treatment or in the natural resolution of allergy. Basophil activation test may use fewer resources and be more reproducible than challenge testing. As it is less stressful for the patient and avoids severe allergic reactions, BAT ought to precede challenge testing. An important next step is to standardize BAT and make it available in diagnostic laboratories. The nature of basophil activation as an ex vivo challenge makes it a multifaceted and promising tool for the allergist. In this EAACI task force position paper, we provide an overview of the practical and technical details as well as the clinical utility of BAT in diagnosis and management of allergic diseases.