A shrimp allergy test delivered with a dab of shrimp extract in the nostril is safe and reliable, Barcelona researchers report.
For those patients who fear anaphylactic shock during a food challenge test, this could prove game changing.
Shrimp is one of the main causes of food allergy, with a worldwide prevalence of 5.4% but Sònia Gelis, PhD candidate at the University of Barcelona, Spain, explained, "We don't normally do an oral food challenge for shrimp - it's expensive and can lead to anaphylaxis. Most patients who are sensitized simply avoid it."
However the new test would provide proof of who is shrimp-sensitized, who is shrimp-allergic, and who is not allergic, offering patients better understanding of their status and tolerance, she said.
The research team is already using the nasal challenge in practice at the University of Barcelona hospital. "The next step will be to make this test available to more people and other centres. It has the potential to help diagnose shrimp allergy around the world," Gelis said.
The new shrimp nasal challenge test was described in a live presentation at the online FAAM-EUROBAT Digital meeting on October 16 2020.
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