Friday, July 30, 2021

Penicillin Allergies May be Linked to One Immune System Gene


    Penicillin is one of the most popular antibiotics but it is also one of the most common drug allergy causes. The effects of this Penicillin allergy include wheezing, hives, and more. Scientists have linked this Penicillin allergy with a genetic variation on the immune system gene HLA. Genetic variations within this gene were also linked with adverse reactions to HIV/AIDS medicine. To find this correlation between the variation in the HLA gene and allergy to Penicillin researchers looked through genetic records of people who reported that they shared this allergy. The researchers combed through the DNA of these people and found one thing in common among all of them, a variation on the same spot of chromosome 6. This variant was named HLA-B*55:01. These findings were then confirmed when researchers cross referenced their findings with genetic data from "23 and Me" that further confirmed the genetic variation in the HLA gene. Scientists are optimistic about these findings because they can use them to help people overcome their allergies to Penicillin and other antibiotics. Scientists now need to come up with a way to override the variation on the HLA gene in chromosome 6 to prevent this resistance from occurring.

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  1. This is excellent news! Food allergies are a big concern, and allergies to medicine such as penicillin are as well. It’s incredible how scientists now know that a genetic variation in the HLA gene causes allergies to penicillin. I hope scientists will use this information to help people overcome their allergies to penicillin and other antibiotics soon.

  2. As a person with this allergy, and being allergic to other antibiotics as well, a method to fix this gene would be amazing. If anything ever happened and antibiotics were needed immediately, its a scary thought that doctors could accidentally give you an antibiotic you are allergic to, harming you more when you need help. It would be much easier if this could be fixed and all antibiotics were equally effective with no backlash.