Identifying Region-specific Allergy Sensitization Clusters to Optimize Diagnosis and Reduce Costs

Numan Oezguen, Nicholas L. Rider, Michael Dowlin, Ila Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To delineate quantitatively the allergen sensitization patterns in a large pediatric cohort and inform the selection of a region-specific panel of allergen tests for timely and cost-effective in vitro atopy screening. Study design: IgE levels for specific allergens from patients in the Texas Children's Health System were analyzed retrospectively. Statistical and network analyses were conducted to reveal sensitization patterns. Results: Network analysis of 114 distinct allergens among 12 065 patients identified 2 main groups of allergens: environmental and food. Approximately 67.5% of patients were sensitized to environmental allergens, 47.2% to food allergens, and 7.3% to at least 1 allergen from both groups. We identified a novel panel of 13 allergens that could detect sensitization in 95% of patients, whereas panels of 7 allergens within each category effectively identified sensitization in 95% of patients with specific sensitivities. This data-driven approach is estimated to reduce overall testing costs by 52%. In agreement with literature, we observed correlations among allergens within specific categories, such as pollen, shellfish, nuts, and dairy allergens. Conclusions: This study provides insights into allergen sensitization patterns informing an algorithmic testing approach tailored for primary care settings. The use of a region and population-specific test panel can efficiently identify atopy, leading to more targeted testing. This strategy has the potential to refine laboratory testing, reduce costs, and improve the appropriateness of referrals to allergy specialists, ultimately enhancing diagnostic accuracy and resource allocation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113999
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Jul 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • IgE
  • allergy panel
  • environmental allergen
  • food allergen
  • pediatric allergy
  • respiratory allergen


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