A Safer Peanut Allergy Test
Scientists at the University of Melbourne have created a new way of testing for peanut allergies using a simple two-step screening process.
The newly devised method involves a blood test followed by a screening process that uses Arah2, a key part of the peanut protein, to identify patients with nut allergies in an accurate and highly predictive manner.
Presently, oral food challenges are the standard for diagnosing peanut allergies, but these tests - while definitive - can be time-consuming, expensive and run the risk of creating severe reactions among patients.
The team believes this new method could also alleviate the strain and demand placed on clinical allergy services, while minimising the risk of over-diagnosis.
NHS data shows that peanuts are one of the most common causes of allergic reactions among both children and adults.