A “promising” test to help diagnose allergy and predict the likelihood of an allergic reaction cannot be used until further research has been carried out, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommended today.
In the UK it is reported that there are approximately 21 million adults with at least one allergy, and 10 million of those have two or more allergies. The younger the child is when the first allergic condition appears, the more likely it is that they will develop multiple allergy conditions.
“A test available in the NHS that could help identify multiple allergens simultaneously would therefore be an important development,” Mirella Marlow, device and diagnostics systems programme director at NICE, said.
The ImmunoCAP ISAC 112 test (Thermo Fisher Scientific), used with standard clinical assessment, is designed to identify antibodies in the blood to 51 allergens, and predict the likelihood of an allergic reaction in people with allergy that is difficult to diagnose.
Allergy is a form of exaggerated sensitivity (hypersensitivity) to a ‘foreign’ substance such as pollen, food proteins or insect venom, that is either inhaled, swallowed, injected, or comes into contact with the skin, eye or mucosa.
The NICE Committee concluded that, “although the test shows promise, more research is needed to demonstrate its clinical effectiveness in helping healthcare professionals diagnose and assess suspected allergy”.