Researchers at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the University of Melbourne have been looking for a better way to diagnose peanut allergy. Currently, the best method is through an oral food challenge in a medical setting. This is the practice whereby someone with a suspected food allergy eats the food to see if there is a reaction. Not only is this a costly and lengthy process, it can also lead to an anaphylactic reaction.
This study found that measuring Ara h 2, which is the dominant peanut allergen detected in 90% to 100% of people with peanut allergy, appears to provide a higher diagnostic accuracy for peanut allergy. This two-step blood test would provide clearer results in a more cost-effective and convenient way. It would also reduce the number of oral food challenges and could minimize the over-diagnosis of peanut allergy.