Development of a nanotechnology-based innovative assay for the diagnosis of allergy to Betalactams

Financed by: European Union


Grant agreement ID: 101027955

Start date: 10/09/2021

End date: 09/09/2024

Beneficiary: Cecilia Frecha

Supervisor: María José Torres Jaén

Implementation centre: Hospital Regional Universitario de Málaga

Research group of IBIMA involved: Drug and Allergen Allergic Diseases


Betalactams (BL) are the most widely used antibiotics and the first-choice drugs to control several bacterial infections, however, they can lead to serious allergic reactions in up to 10% of the general population. The current diagnosis of allergy to BL includes skin test and/or drug provocation tests, which are invasive and carry a risk of anaphylaxis requiring hospitalisation. Basophil activation test (BAT) is one of the best options for diagnosis of allergy because it is free of risk and at a reduced cost for health care. The ASSERT project will bring a nanotechnology-based BAT assay specific for allergy to BL with higher sensitivity and specificity, which are the main weakness of the current assays. Of importance, the number and conformation of displayed antigens at the nanoparticle surface will be controlled to assure standardisation and increase precision and reproducibility of the assay. In addition, a complete validation plan is envisaged to fit the standards for clinical diagnostics. The two factors for the success of the project are, one one hand, the solid experience of the host lab in immunology, specially allergy and nanoparticle technology and, on the other hand, the expertise of the candidate in
immunology, molecular biology and test validation design for clinical diagnostics. Moreover, the the two way of transfer of knowledge is assured, which will help the candidate to restart her research career in the European Union. Finally, the expected results of the project will contribute to enlarge the basic knowledge about allergen-specific activation of basophils, and will give rise to an optimised BL-BAT assay with the required clinical and analytical validation to be used in diagnostics.

Communication Actions

Participation of Dr Cecilia Frecha in European Researchers’ Night

                                                                                                      Click on the picture for the full news                

Interview in the local media “La Opinion” to Dra.Frecha about her project with IBIMA

                                                                                                      Click on the picture for the full interview                

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