Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 101–109 | Cite as

Update on the Performance and Application of Basophil Activation Tests

  • Emily C. McGowan
  • Sarbjit SainiEmail author


The basophil activation test (BAT) is a flow-cytometry-based functional assay that assesses the degree of cell activation after exposure to a stimuli. Though no standardized technique currently exists, recent advances have improved the performance of this assay, including identification of new basophil-specific markers and comparisons of the expression of CD63 to CD203c during activation. The basophil activation test has also been validated for many IgE-mediated disease conditions, which have been extensively reviewed elsewhere. This review focuses on the most recent applications of this test to the diagnosis of allergy to drugs, foods, venoms, and pollens, and the evolving role of the BAT in monitoring immunotherapy.


Basophil activation test Basophil CD63 CD203c CCR3 Food allergy Drug allergy Venom hypersensitivity Immunotherapy 



No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Allergy and Clinical ImmunologyJohns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy CenterBaltimoreUSA

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