Kalamazoo’s Thermo Fisher Scientific Develops Blood Test to Better Detect Peanut Allergies

Thermo Fisher Scientific has developed a blood test to better predict which patients may have peanut allergies.

Thermo Fisher Scientific, which has a site in Kalamazoo, has developed a test to better predict which patients may be at risk for life-threatening peanut allergies.

The blood test, called “ImmunoCAP Specific IgE blood test for Ara he 6,” detects which patients may be at risk for life-threatening sensitization to Ara h 6, a protein component in peanuts that can cause severe allergic reactions. It is part of a line of assays for detecting specific peanut allergen components and has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for in vitro diagnostic use.

Results from the test can help specialists better understand patients’ risk factors as part of tailored allergy treatment or management plans and could reduce the need for oral food challenges, a testing method in which health-care professional feeds a patient food in measured doses to see if it triggers an allergic reaction.

Advanced diagnostic capabilities for peanut allergies can contribute to better outcomes for allergy sufferers, especially young children.

“Testing a patient’s sensitivity to Ara h 6 can play a critical role in understanding the likelihood of a future life-threatening reaction,” says Rebecca Rosenberger, senior manager of clinical affairs and education at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Adding the Ara h 6 test to the existing ImmunoCAP peanut component assays enables us to provide a more complete view of a patient’s overall peanut sensitization, including whether a patient is at risk for cross-reactivity.”

The newest addition to the ImmunoCAP line of component allergy tests also includes assays for cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants and profilins, which are allergens contained in various plants, pollens, and foods. Sensitization to these usually does not cause any symptoms but is due to cross-reactivity with certain plants and pollens.

ImmunoCAP blood testing is the most widely used specific IgE blood test, and its accuracy has been documented in more than 4,000 peer-reviewed publications. The tests can identify allergic sensitization to common environmental allergens and food allergies. ImmunoCAP tests are available in most major U.S. laboratories and can be ordered for patients of any age.

Thermo Fisher Scientific is based in Massachusetts.