New Type of Peanut Allergy Test Yields Hope
Posted by kevvyg on Friday, March 23, 2012
New Peanut Allergy TestFood intolerances and allergies can be some of the most painstaking and dangerous to accurately pin down. While a definitive method, a food challenge, exists, it consumes a great deal of time and expense. Worst of all, it requires patients to consume the food that they are possibly allergic to, and that can potentially lead to anaphylaxis. A recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has shown that there might be a better way.

Researchers in Australia have found a new two-step approach to testing for food allergies, and the hope is that this can reduce some of the cost and time now spent in diagnosing peanut allergies. Unlike the food challenge, this new series of tests could be done without having to expose potential allergy sufferers to the allergen.

A peanut protein, identified as 'Arah2', is proving to be an accurate identifier in this new 2 stage approach. How it would work is the patient would go through a blood test followed by the Arah2 screening. The results of these two combined have been shown to be very accurate and predictive of a true peanut allergy, moreso than either test alone.

Longer term, this testing procedure could reduce the number of food challenges by four fold. This means four times as few people being put at risk of anaphylaxis, in addition to a reduction in the time and cost required for an accurate diagnosis.

There is also a unique upside for children. Increasingly, more and more parents are waiting to allow their children to eat peanuts and other possible allergens for fear of a reaction, and this is particularly true if there is a family history of the allergy. This test could accurately predict a peanut allergy without ever having to expose the child to peanuts.

Overall, better and more accurate tests can help get millions of allergy sufferers the relief that they need sooner. And who knows, if this test holds out to be a viable and accurate alternative, perhaps it could be adapted to test for other allergies?

For more information on Food Allergy products.

On 8/15/2012 Doylenn Chastain wrote:
I would love to get my test for my daughter. Can you give me any information on how to go about getting it?
On 8/22/2012 Kevin wrote:
Right now it is still in the experimental stages. Factor in layers of government and medical industry bureaucracy and you're likely looking at something that is at least a couple years away. Granted, if this test can be proven to work in multiplicity, it would face fewer detractors and adoption could be sooner since it is essentially an extension of existing testing methods. Consult your local allergist, in reference to the protein being measured (Arah2) and the study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and s/he may be able to give you a better idea of when and how soon this type of test may be implemented.
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