IgE-mediated food allergies are an important public health problem, affecting 5 % of adults and 8 % of children, with numerous studies indicating that the prevalence is increasing. Food allergic reactions can range in severity from mild to severe and life threatening. Accurate diagnosis of food allergy is necessary not only to provide appropriate and potentially life-saving preventive measures but also to prevent unwarranted dietary restrictions. The diagnosis of food allergy has traditionally been based on clinical history and food specific IgE (sIgE) testing, including skin prick testing (SPT), serum tests, or both. These tests tend to be extremely sensitive, but positive test results to foods that are tolerated are common. Studies of allergen component-resolved diagnostics (CRD) show that adjuvant use of this modality may provide a more accurate assessment in the diagnosis of food allergy, though the reported benefits are questionable for a number of major allergens. Furthermore, diagnostic cutoff values have been difficult to determine for allergens where component testing has been demonstrated to be beneficial.
- Component-resolved diagnostics
- Food allergy
- Food specific IgE
- Oral food challenge
- Skin prick testing