Apr 6, 2014
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An immediate (and potentially health- or life-threatening) hypersensitivity reaction produced by the body’s immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to a foreign substance (antigen); the affected tissues release histamine which causes local or systemic attack. An example is the pain, swelling, eruption, fever and sometimes collapse that may occur after a wasp sting or ingestion of peanut in a particularly sensitive person. Some people may suffer from anaphylaxis as a result of allergy to other foods or substances such as animal hair or plant leaves. On rare occasions a person may be so sensitive that anaphylaxis may lead to profound SHOCK and collapse which, unless the affected person receives urgent medical attention, including injection of ADRENALINE, may cause death. (See also ALLERGY; IMMUNITY.)

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Medical Dictionary

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