Allergy Testing Caution

 

UniCAP® Serum Allergy Test (SAIGE test)
Update Re: Food Allergies 

The following is intended to clarify the value of the UniCAP serum allergy test when investigating patients for the continued sensitivity to food allergens, including peanuts.

If a patient is being considered to no longer be sensitive to a food allergen then the following might be a diagnostic approach:

  1. Skin Test
    This may continue to be positive even though the patient is no longer sensitive
  2. UniCAP® Serum Allergy Test (SAIGE test)
    If the result is low then this may mean that the patient is no longer allergic. This will need confirmation by further testing, see #3.
  3. Oral Challenge Test
    To be done in a controlled medical environment, usually by an experienced allergist, due to the risk of a hypersensitivity reaction. If negative the patient may be considered to no longer be sensitive to the allergen.

The value of the UniCAP Serum Allergy Test is in better triaging of patients who may benefit from an oral challenge test.

This test must not be used in isolation to determine whether the patient has outgrown a food allergy.

References:

  1. The natural history of peanut allergy. Skolnick HS, Conovoer-Walker MK, Koerner CB, Sampson HA et al.. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001; 107: 367-74
  2. Utility of food-specific IgE concentration in predicting symptomatic food allergy. Sampson HA. . J Allergy Clin Immunol 2001; 107: 891-6

UniCAP® is a registered trademark of Pharmacia & Upjohn Diagnostics