New Test For Food Allergy

October 31st, 2014 by

The prevalence of food allergies certainly appears to be on the rise. In 2008, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reported an 18% increase in food allergy among children between 1997 and 2007. Accordingly, there is much ongoing research in the area of food allergies. Current diagnostic testing for food allergy consists of skin tests and blood tests. These tests provide information that can tell us the likelihood that a patient may or may not have a food allergy to a specific food. The shortcoming is that it does not tell us the severity or the likelihood of persistence of their food allergy. We know that some patients may not be at risk for life threatening reactions after ingesting a food that they are allergic to. With the currently available tests, we cannot identify who these patients are. As a result all patients with a food allergy are treated as if they are at risk of having a life threatening food reaction and must carry an epinephrine auto-injector. Fortunately there is much ongoing work in this area. Component resolved diagnostics, epitope recognition patterns, and several functional assays are being investigated to address these shortcomings in assessing food allergy severity and persistence. At this time these tests have not been universally accepted for these purposes. More research is necessary but hopefully in the near future these tests will be useful for predicting the severity of a food allergy and/or the likelihood of persistence of the food allergy.

Contact Us