, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 58-63
Date: 26 Sep 2012

Allergen Component Testing for Food Allergy: Ready for Prime Time?

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Abstract

Food allergies can cause life-threatening reactions and greatly influence quality of life. Accurate diagnosis of food allergies is important to avoid serious allergic reactions and prevent unnecessary dietary restrictions, but can be difficult. Skin prick testing (SPT) and serum food-specific IgE (sIgE) levels are extremely sensitive testing options, but positive test results to tolerated foods are not uncommon. Allergen component-resolved diagnostics (CRD) have the potential to provide a more accurate assessment in diagnosing food allergies. Recently, a number of studies have demonstrated that CRD may improve the specificity of allergy testing to a variety of foods including peanut, milk, and egg. While it may be a helpful adjunct to current diagnostic testing, CRD is not ready to replace existing methods of allergy testing, as it not as sensitive, is not widely available, and evaluations of component testing for a number of major food allergens are lacking.