Novel test may be able to predict peanut allergy intensity

the Clinical Advisor take:

A new test that is capable of determining the potential intensity of a patient's allergic reaction may be on the way, according to research published in Analyst.

Although an estimated three million patients in the United States are allergic to peanuts, current allergy tests are not very reliable when it comes to diagnosing a patient's reaction.

“A patient who has a serious allergy and gets exposed to an allergen protein will form antibodies in their body that should stay there for awhile,” said James Rusling, PhD, of the Unversity of Connecticut, in a university press release.

“Our theory is that the level of those antibodies can be used to predict how severe a patient's allergy is at any one point in time.”

Traditional methods for measuring these antibodies uses a mixture of all the peanut proteins, not the individual parts, and that mixture sometimes contains antibodies that can lead to false readings, noted the investigators.

To examine if a new allergy test screens out other biomolecules and measures the presence of antibodies that bind to very specific protein fragments, the investigators tested three components from the most potent peanut allergen.

The scientists injected blood serum from patients known to have peanut allergies into the array. As the blood serum floated over the samples, IgE antibodies were pulled down by the allergens and bound by them. They could then measure the quantity of antibodies to determine how strong a reaction a person would have to peanuts.

“Our hope is that this could be used as an analytical tool to investigate the actual biology of the allergic response to peanuts and other food items in general,” said Rusling.

  • Allergic reaction
  • Urticaria
  • Rash
  • Angiodema
  • Skin prick testing
  • Food challenge
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Food Allergies

Novel test may be able to predict peanut allergy intensity
Novel test may be able to predict peanut allergy intensity

Current peanut allergy tests are not very reliable when it comes to diagnosing the severity of an individual's allergic reaction, which can range from hives to life-threatening anaphylactic shock.

With an estimated three million people in the United States allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, having a more precise and reliable allergy test could prevent hospitalizations and allow for better monitoring of individuals suffering from peanut allergies.

Three chemists at the University of Connecticut (UConn) are developing a more advanced peanut allergy test that, based on initial results, is many times more sensitive than current procedures. The new test is capable of determining the potential intensity of a patient's allergic reaction through just a few drops of blood.

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