The diagnosis of IgE-mediated food allergy in childhood

Authors

  • G. Du Toit,

    1. MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, King’s College London, London, UK,
      Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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  • A. Santos,

    1. MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, King’s College London, London, UK,
      Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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  • G. Roberts,

    1. Paediatric Allergy and Respiratory Medicine, University Child Health, Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust, Southampton, UK
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  • A. T. Fox,

    1. MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, King’s College London, London, UK,
      Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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  • P. Smith,

    1. Clinical Medicine, Bond University, Robina and Griffiths University, Southport, Qld, Australia
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  • G. Lack

    1. MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, King’s College London, London, UK,
      Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
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George Du Toit, MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, King’s College London, London, UK
Tel.: +44 (0) 20 718 89781
Fax: +44 (0) 20 718 89782
E-mail: georgedutoit@gmail.com

Abstract

IgE-mediated food allergy is a common condition in childhood and a recognized public health concern. An accurate diagnosis of food allergy facilitates the avoidance of the allergen – and cross-reactive allergens – and allows for safe dietary expansion. The diagnosis of food allergy relies on a combination of rigorous history, physical examination, allergy tests [skin prick tests (SPT) and/or serum-specific IgE] and oral food challenges. Diagnostic cut-off values for SPT and specific IgE results have improved the diagnosis of food allergy and thereby reduced the need to perform oral food challenges. This clinical case series seeks to highlight a contemporary approach to the diagnosis of food allergy in children strategies.

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