Sensitization (immunology)

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If there is a sensitization (Latin sensibilis , perceptible), the organism has built up a specific immune response after the first contact with a foreign substance (often an allergen ) . In the event of renewed contact, an allergic reaction can occur, which can manifest itself imperceptibly or even up to allergic shock .

Not every sensitization means that the organism also reacts with complaints, but skin tests (e.g. prick test ) or the determination of the specific IgE in the blood can prove that sensitization has taken place.

If symptoms arise for which a foreign substance or an allergen has been proven to be the clinical cause, but no sensitization can be proven, one speaks of intolerance or intolerance .

  • Proof of sensitization and reaction of the body = allergy
  • Unsuccessful search for sensitization, but the body's reaction = intolerance or intolerance

A list of substances causing sensitization can be found in the category: Sensitizing substance ; it is based on the classification with H-phrases 317 or 334 according to GHS .


  • M. Migueres, I. Dávila, F. Frati, A. Azpeitia, Y. Jeanpetit, M. Lhéritier-Barrand, C. Incorvaia, G. Ciprandi: Types of sensitization to aeroallergens: definitions, prevalences and impact on the diagnosis and treatment of allergic respiratory disease. In: Clinical and translational allergy. Volume 4, 2014, p. 16, doi : 10.1186 / 2045-7022-4-16 , PMID 24817997 , PMC 4016618 (free full text) (review).


  • Nikolaus Konietzko, H. Wendel, Bernhard Wiesner (Hrsg.): Diseases of the lungs. de Gruyter 1995, ISBN 978-3-11-012130-8 , p. 162.