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New blood test helps clinicians identify potentially life-threatening Ara h 6 peanut sensitization

A new test from Thermo Fisher Scientific helps allergists and other medical providers better predict which patients may be at risk for life-threatening sensitization to Ara h 6, a protein component in peanuts that can cause severe allergic reactions in certain individuals. Thermo Fisher’s ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood test for Ara h 6, part of a line of assays for detecting specific peanut allergen components, has been cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for in vitro diagnostic use. Results from Ara h 6 ImmunoCAP testing can act as an aid to help specialists and other clinicians better understand patients’ risk factors as part of tailored allergy treatment or management plans. In some cases, it could reduce the need for oral food challenges, a testing method where a healthcare professional feeds a patient food in measured doses to see if it triggers an allergic reaction. 

“Testing a patient’s sensitivity to Ara h 6 can play a critical role in understanding the likelihood of a future life-threatening reaction,” said Rebecca Rosenberger, MMSc, PA-C, senior manager, clinical affairs and education, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Adding the Ara h 6 test to the existing ImmunoCAP peanut component assays enables us to provide a more complete view of a patient’s overall peanut sensitization, including whether a patient is at risk for cross-reactivity.” Advanced diagnostic capabilities for peanut allergies can contribute to better outcomes for allergy sufferers, especially young children. Patients should consult with their healthcare professional or healthcare provider to get tested for individual peanut components. This knowledge helps the clinician understand potential risks, leads to more informed allergy management, and provides renewed peace of mind for patients and parents. The newest addition to the ImmunoCAP line of component allergy tests also includes assays for cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCD) and profilins, which are both allergens contained in various plants, pollens and foods. Sensitization to CCD and/or profilin usually does not cause any symptoms but is due to cross-reactivity with certain plants and pollens. ImmunoCAP blood testing is the most widely used specific IgE blood test, and its accuracy has been documented in more than 4,000 peer-reviewed publications. The tests can identify allergic sensitization to common environmental allergens – seasonal and perennial, indoor and outdoor – as well as common food allergies such as peanuts, eggs and milk. ImmunoCAP tests, which are available in most major U.S. laboratories, can be ordered for patients of any age regardless of skin condition, current medication, symptom, disease activity or pregnancy status.