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Immunoglobulin E

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Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is one of a class of antibodies found in mammals that plays a key role in allergic responses. When the immune system encounters a foreign substance in the body that it deems dangerous it will prompt the release of IgE. IgE will then circulate through the bloodstream and prime mast cells and basophils to release massive amounts of histamine and other inflammatory response chemicals at the site of the allergic attack. In hayfever, as soon as the pollens, moulds or spores are breathed in and alert the immune response, these inflammatory chemicals will flood to the mucus membranes around the nose, eyes and throat. This is what causes the watery eyes and nose, the itching, the sneezing and coughing, and the inflammation.