REVIEW – February 2016

Establishment of the cause of allergy using molecular methods

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Abstract

Availability of allergenic molecules has ushered in a new phase of diagnostics, termed molecular-based allergy diagnostics, which allows to improve the management of allergic diseases. Instead of allergeen extracts, purified natural or recombinant allergenic molecules are used.

Molecular diagnsotics allows to resolve genuine versus cross-reactive sensitization in polysensitized patients; to estimate the risk of severe, systemic versus mild, local reactions in food allergy, thereby reducing unnecessary reductions in the diet; to identify patients and triggering allergens for specific immunotherapy (SIT) in case the reaction to an allergen extract has been weak or negative.

The aim of this overview was to introduce the possibilities of molecular diagnostics in allergology and to provide some practical guide for clinical practice.