Portage, MI—December 6, 2010—Today Phadia, the global leader in allergy testing, commented on the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States issued by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
The new guidelines support the significant role of ImmunoCAP® specific IgE testing in the diagnosis and management of food allergy. The new guidelines recommend specific IgE tests for identifying foods that potentially provoke IgE-mediated allergic reactions, while cautioning that they must be used in concert with other information and tools such as patient history and food challenge testing.
Guideline 7 of the NIAID report says, “Food allergen-specific IgE tests are very useful for detecting the presence of specific IgE antibodies.” The guideline affirms the significant value of specific IgE testing by asserting the sensitivity of in vitro IgE tests is comparable to that of skin prick tests and the absolute levels of specific antibodies may directly correlate with the likelihood of clinical reactivity when compared to oral food challenges for the identification of foods provoking IgE mediated food allergy. Finally, the guideline also highlights the advantages of ImmunoCAP specific IgE testing compared to other technologies by stating “the predictive values associated with clinical evidence of allergy for ImmunoCAP cannot be applied to other test methods….”
David Esposito, President and General Manager of Phadia US, says, “The NIAID guidelines are a welcome addition to the body of information surrounding the diagnosis, treatment, and care of patients with food allergies. We have long believed that ImmunoCAP plays a key role in the toolkit of allergists and primary care physicians. We are grateful that the coordinators of the guidelines acknowledged the important role that ImmunoCAP can play in food allergy diagnosis and its benefits over competing specific IgE tests.”
The data presented in the guidelines suggests that food allergies are over-reported by patients. For example, 13 percent of adults self-report allergy to peanut, milk, egg, fish, or shellfish, but specific IgE testing, skin testing, and challenge testing indicate the true percentage of adults with food allergy to be closer to 3 percent. This overdiagnosis can have significant negative impact on quality of life for patients who believe they have food allergy, leading to inappropriate diet restrictions.
In addition, food allergy is challenging for allergists and primary care physicians to diagnose, manage, and treat. Because food allergy is frequently self diagnosed or confused with food intolerance, overdiagnosis is rampant and hysteria sometimes prevails due to fear of severe anaphylactic reaction. The guidelines formulate and clarify best practices for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of food allergies.
David Esposito, adds, “We commend the NIAID for spearheading this important initiative. Food allergies are often misunderstood, and the effort to develop best practices will help allergists as well as primary care physicians, who are treating more and more allergy patients every year. With consistently-applied diagnostic tools and treatment plans, the impact of food allergies can be lessened and patient care will improve nationwide.”
Nancy Sander, president and founder of Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA), adds, “The new NIAID guidelines will help bring patients peace of mind by offering clear, consistent standards of diagnosis, prevention and treatment. We're currently working on a number of projects to inform people about anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. Working together, we can improve patient care nationwide and save lives.”
Phadia’s focus on innovation continues with development of ImmunoCAP Molecular Allergy
Phadia is committed to advancing the understanding of immunology with the development of in vitro tests that enhance allergy diagnosis and care. ImmunoCAP Molecular Allergy brings food allergy testing to the molecular level by measuring the body’s allergic reaction to specific protein components within the allergen.
Clinical studies published in the European Journal Allergy (Wickman, April 2010) and the Journal of Clinical Allergy and Immunology (Custovic, January 2010) specifically highlighted Allergen Component Testing as an important new tool that could help reduce misdiagnoses of food allergies.
ImmunoCAP Allergen Component Tests are already widely used in Europe and are now available in the U.S. to allergy specialists as a laboratory-developed test through the Phadia Immunology Reference Laboratory (www.pirllab.com).
Dr. Jacqueline S. Eghrari-Sabet, M.D., Founder and Medical Director of Family Allergy & Asthma Care, adds, “I have seen firsthand the benefit of component testing in the care of patients with food allergies. This new diagnostic tool enables me to precisely identify those patients who are at risk for severe food allergy reactions and provide appropriate counsel. Phadia’s role at the leading edge of allergy testing research and development is to be commended.”
Phadia is setting the standard as the global leader in allergy and autoimmune blood testing. The ImmunoCAP® Specific IgE blood test delivers Results You Can Trust. The accuracy, precision and clinical utility of ImmunoCAP is supported in over 3,000 peer-reviewed publications. EliA autoimmune assays represent Excellence in Autoimmunity. The fully automated, cutting edge Phadia Laboratory System technology platforms offer walk away convenience. Learn more about the EliA autoimmune assays as well as why the ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood test is the worldwide leader for serologic, specific IgE testing by visiting www.phadia.us.