Allergic Reaction to Peanuts: Can We Predict Reaction Severity in the Wild?
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- Flinn, A. & Hourihane, J.O. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep (2013) 13: 645. doi:10.1007/s11882-013-0369-5
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Peanut allergy (PNA) is the main cause of food-induced anaphylaxis. Severe allergic reactions are more likely to occur in older patients and those with underlying asthma. Skin prick testing and measuring serum-specific IgE and recombinant peanut protein levels have been shown to be useful in the diagnosis of PNA and prediction of reactivity, but these tests are less consistent and reliable in terms of predicting the severity of reactions. Recent research has examined the role of biological mediators in allergic reactions such as platelet-activating factor. These may provide a future tool in predicting those at risk of severe reactions. Currently, there are no parameters that can predict with certainty those at risk of anaphylaxis, and management of PNA should continue to focus on patient and family education.