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New Blood Test Helps Clinicians Pinpoint Sensitization to Insect Stings

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ImmunoCAP Specific IgE Stinging Insect Allergen Components have been cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for in vitro diagnostic use. Results from these component tests can act as a diagnostic aid to help specialists and other healthcare providers discriminate between true sensitization and cross reactivity, identify culprit insect(s) in patients with inconclusive patient history, and may help guide the selection of future therapy. ImmunoCAP Stinging Insect Allergen Components analyze patients’ sensitivity to up to eight different proteins found in the venom of bees and wasps.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, there are between 90 to 100 deaths per year caused by insect sting anaphylaxis. Stinging Insect allergy is one of the allergies most frequently associated with anaphylaxis in both adults and children.

“People who have experienced an allergic reaction to an insect sting have a 60 percent chance of a similar or worse reaction if stung again,” said Dr. Lakiea Wright, MD MAT MPH, medical director of U.S. clinical affairs at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Anaphylaxis can occur within minutes. Testing a patient’s sensitization to venom proteins may play a critical role in helping clinicians devise plans for future therapy.”

ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood testing is the most widely used specific IgE blood test, and its use is documented in more than 6,000 peer-reviewed publications. The tests can identify allergic sensitization to common environmental allergens – seasonal and perennial, outdoor and indoor – as well as common food allergens such as peanut, egg and milk. The ImmunoCAP Specific IgE Pet Allergen Components were also recently cleared by the FDA and can help improve the diagnosis of dog, cat and horse allergies. ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood tests, which are available in most major U.S. laboratories, can be ordered for patients of any age regardless of skin condition, current medication, disease activity or pregnancy status.

“Coupling ImmunoCAP Specific IgE Stinging Insect Components with whole allergen testing and a comprehensive clinical history allows clinicians to better analyze patients’ sensitivity to bee and wasp venom,” said Jay Portnoy, M.D., director of the division of allergy, asthma and immunology at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. “Determining which insect and if there is any cross reactivity among the different allergens can help healthcare providers be more precise in their diagnosis and management recommendations.”