By Henry Ehrlich
A recent article on boston.com, which is the online presence of the Boston Globe, had this headline: “When it comes to allergies, newer blood tests show that many children are misdiagnosed.” What are these miracle tests and where can I get them?
The article had more good news:
“Some allergists have begun using newer tests — like those that look for reactions to birch pollen allergens — to distinguish between pollen allergies and true food allergies. [Shoshana] Blumenfeld’s father, Josef, said the test wasn’t covered by his insurance but was the ‘best $300’ he’d ever spent.
“’To hear she wasn’t allergic to all these foods?’ he added. ‘It was incredibly liberating.’”
The funny thing is, the name of the test is never mentioned in the text. I don’t know why.
It seems to me that if the tests are news, the name ought to be part of the story. It’s not like they would be publicizing one test over another. There’s no competition at the moment and the tests are becoming part of standard operating procedure in a growing number of studies at top research centers in addition to clinical practices.
Here’s the scoop: the tests are called ImmunoCap and they are made by ThermoFisher Scientific (formerly Phadia). They help ascertain which components of a food protein you or your child is allergic to, and depending on which ones, you will likely have a greater or lesser reaction. We like them at AAC.com. Dr. Ehrlich wrote about the tests here. In the interests of full disclosure, for a few months I received money from the company to supply general news from the world of allergies and asthma for their isitallergy blog, although I don’t currently. I would happily do so again, but regardless, part of my job is to report on these tests because until something better comes along, they are state of the art. As I have said to their reps, I don’t see how you can report on the future of allergy treatment without mentioning ImmunoCap. Anything that can reduce the pressure of managing an allergic diet is a good thing. ImmunoCap can do that.