New approach to peanut allergy testing

A new approach to diagnosing peanut allergy is more accurate than traditional testing, and could help many patients avoid an oral food challenge, research finds.

The strategy is based on serum testing for the predominant peanut allergen, Ara h 2 immunoglobulin E (IgE), as opposed to whole peanut IgE.

In a study of 200 infants, Melbourne researchers showed Ara h 2 IgE testing correctly identified 60% of patients with true peanut allergy compared with only 26% using the whole peanut IgE test.