Shreffler: Buhlmann PNOIT

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Basophil activation test done using assay kit provided by Buhlmann/Alpco immunoassays. Assay calls for use of peripheral blood, and is quick and dirty compared to other basophil stimulation protocols (completely fine due to qualitative rather than quantitative nature of BAT).

This protocol is modified to use serum-removed cell samples.


  • Flow2 CAST kit provided by Buhlmann/Alpco (FK-CCR, Buhlmann)
  • Allergens of interest, provided by Buhlmann/Alpco
  • Venipuncture tubes for collection of peripheral blood
  • 5 mL polypropylene tubes (Falcon, 352002)
  • 5 mL polystyrene tubes for flow cytometer acquisition (Falcon, 253008)
  • DI water

Preparation of supplied reagents

  • Stimulation Buffer (B-CCR-STB) - reconstitute w/ 50 mL DI water
  • Stimulation Control (anti-FceRI mAb) (B-CCR-STCON) - reconstitute w/ 1.5 mL stim. buffer
  • Stimulation Control (fMLP) (B-CCR-FMLP) - reconstitute w/ 1.5 mL stim. buffer
  • Lysing Reagent (B-CCR-LYR) - dilute w/ 225 mL DI water


  • For more detailed information, refer to Flow2 CAST guidebook included in Buhlmann kit
  1. Label PP tubes as follows:
    • PB = patient background
    • PC1 = stimulation control with anti-FCeRI ab
    • PC2 = stimulation control with fMLP
    • desired allergen panel/dilutions
  2. Add 100 µL stimulation buffer to each tube.
  3. Add 50 µL of each stimulant to appropriate tube
  4. Add 50 µL of patient's whole blood to each tube
  5. Add 20 µL staining reagent to each tube (cocktail of CCR3/CD123-PE and CD63-FITC, included in kit)
  6. Mix gently by tapping each tube with finger
  7. Incubate at 37ºC for 15 minutes if in water bath, 25 minutes if using incubator
  8. Add 2 mL pre-warmed (18-28ºC - room temperature) lysing reagent to each tube, mixing gently on vortex while adding lysing reagent
  9. Incubate for 10 minutes at RT
  10. Centrifuge tubes for 5 minutes at 500 x g
  11. Decant supernatant by pouring into sink with one swift motion, making sure not to disturb/resuspend pellet
  12. Transfer resuspended samples to labeled PS tubes for data acquisition on flow cytometer. Samples can be stored for a few hours protected from light and at 2-8ºC, but acquisition should be done within the same day