Scientists have developed a test to determine the risk of anaphylaxis in individuals

Dr Andrew Walls, working at the University of Southampton with doctors at Southampton General Hospital, has developed a test to measure the enzyme in blood which is involved in allergic reactions that can cause potentially fatal anaphylactic shock.

Allergic reactions to foods such as peanuts, tree nuts and fruit, as well as to drugs, are rising, and the number of allergy cases is rising by five percent a year. Children and adolescents are particularly susceptible to allergic reactions.

This test measures blood levels of an enzyme called CPA3, and levels of this enzyme are much higher in the blood of someone more prone to life-threatening allergic reactions. The test will allow clinicians to identify and therefore advise those more likely to have an anaphylactic shock – instructing them to avoid the problem foods and carry an EpiPen in order to safely administer the epinephrine needed to treat such a severe reaction.

The test may dramatically alter how doctors view anaphylaxis – often called severe asthma by doctors – and allow severe reactions to be recognised, aftercare provided and advice on prevention of future reactions.

Source: Daily Mail

First published in October 2012


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