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Allergy Research Centre Antwerp University Hospital (ARCUZA) (Edegem, Belgium)

Allergy Research Centre Antwerp University Hospital (ARCUZA)

  

The Department of Immunology and Allergology of Antwerp University, Antwerp University Hospital and its satellite outpatients’ clinics of the AZ Jan Palfijn Hospital Ghent, play a prominent role in education, research and patient care in Belgium. Actually, the Antwerp University is one of the sole Flemish Universities to offer Allergology in the core curriculum of medicine and both the Department Immunology and Allergology of the Antwerp University Hospital and its satellite in Ghent provide a multidisciplinary approach of patients with allergies and immunologic diseases (?).

Clinical care paths: dedicated, specialized and multidisciplinary

For approximately four decades, the Antwerp University Hospital (UZ Antwerpen, UZA) and for about 20 years its Ghent’s satellite, have organized a dedicated allergy – immunology – rheumatology clinic with specialized multidisciplinary care paths. Along with respiratory and food allergy, it has organized specialized consults for Hymenoptera venom allergy, drug hypersensitivity, mastocytosis, hereditary angioedema, hypereosinophilia, immunodeficiencies, autoinflammatory conditions and inflammatory arthropathies for children and adults. Because of their close collaboration with the Antwerp University and international partners of many Immunological, Allergological and Rheumatological organizations, these care paths are capable to offer personalized precision approaches including innovative diagnostics and treatments via (inter)national clinical trials. Practically, the Department of Immunology – Allergology – Rheumatology and Pediatric Immunology – Allergology are organized as an integrated entity with an outpatients’ clinic and hospitalization facility for children and adults, and a large dedicated daycare hospital for specialized diagnostics (skin testing, challenges) and treatments (biologicals, immunoglobulins, immunotherapy, desensitization).

Research: basophil and mast cell biology  

The Laboratory of Immunology of the Antwerp University is part of the Inflamed Centre Of Excellence of the Antwerp University (https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/research-groups/infla-med/) that conducts fundamental and translational research in inflammatory processes. Our main interest goes to the mechanisms that govern basophil and mast cell activation and degranulation in clonal mast cell diseases and allergy (cannabis sativa, perioperative anaphylaxis, hypersensitivity to antibiotics). The topics, quality and innovative character of this research are best illustrated by our numerous peer reviewed publications and participation to international congresses. Briefly, our expertise mainly lies in functional flow cytometry with analyses of basophil and mast cell responses to different secretagogues and the development and validation of novel diagnostics such as basophil activation tests and the HistaFlow. For more info: https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/staff/didier-ebo/research/

Education

Although Clinical Immunology and Allergology, unfortunately, are not recognized as a specialty in Belgium, for about three decades the Antwerp University has been offering dedicated courses in the core curriculum of medicine (Bachelor and Master): see https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/staff/didier-ebo/education/. These courses cover basic immunology, allergology, environmental etiology of organ pathology and an elective course in advanced immunology. We also host many fellowships via different exchange programs (e.g.       

Partner and memberships

European Association of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), American Academy Asthma Allergy Immunology (AAAAI), Belgian Society Allergy Clinical Immunology (BelSACI), World Allergy Organization (WAO), European Competence Network Mastocytosis (ECNM), Belgian Primary Immune Deficiency Group (BPIDG), Belgian Network Autoinflammatory Diseases (BNAID), The International Suspected Perioperative Allergic Reaction Group (ISPAR) and the Research and Outreach Committee (ROC) of EAACI. 

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