To ascertain a food or respiratory allergy it is not enough to stop “at the skin”, that is, to check if a substance causes a skin reaction. To understand the exact nature of allergies it is necessary to identify the specific molecular components of the allergenic substances which can even be different within the same food or plant. An innovative approach to understanding and treating allergies made possible by new molecular tests, latest generation blood tests that make the diagnosis made with the skin test (prick test) and the dosage of specific IgE (RAST test) more precise and accurate. ). Their goal is to identify exactly the pollen and food molecules that trigger allergies, in order to establish the patient’s personalized allergenic profile. An innovative tool especially for the most complex allergy cases, but which only one specialist in three knows and uses in Italy.
It is essential that the allergist-immunologist deals with it, combining traditional clinical knowledge with the increasingly advanced knowledge of biochemistry applied to the functioning of the immune system.
The new molecular approach is like a zoom that allows the specialist to see the real trigger of the allergy at very high resolution. These are generally proteins, which can be specific to a single pollen or food or can be present in different elements with more or less important structural variations, explains Mario Di Gioacchino, President of SIAAIC, the Italian Society of Allergology, Asthma and Clinical Immunology , on the occasion of their ongoing conference. “To identify them, a simple blood test is sufficient, which is specifically prescribed by the allergist-immunologist. However, we are talking about a third level test, which is done in targeted cases after the initial skin reaction test (prick test) and the measurement of specific IgE (RAST test)”. Unlike the old tests, these new tests do not use an allergenic extract derived from a plant or food in its entirety, but only a purified or recombinant part.
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