Friday 18 April 2014

UK scientists develop pioneering allergy test

A TEST to indicate which people are most at risk from life-threatening allergic reactions has been developed by British scientists.

The procedure measures levels of an enzyme in the blood which is involved in allergic reactions that can cause potentially fatal anaphylactic shock.

It was developed by the University of Southampton's Dr Andrew Walls working with doctors at Southampton General Hospital to help combat a rise in serious allergic reactions to such things as peanuts.

The test is attracting interest from around the world and has been used extensively in clinical research studies with patients in Southampton, as well as in complex cases from around the UK.

Medics hope it could become the gold standard test for the diagnosis of severe allergic reactions across the world.

"Allergic reactions to drugs are increasingly common and reactions to food such as peanuts, tree nuts and fruit are also a concern, particularly in children and adolescents," said Dr Walls, a reader in immuno-pharmacology.

This test could radically change the way clinicians manage those affected.

Irish Independent

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