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Which allergens are available for testing?
- There is no limit to the number of allergens that can be tested. However, most allergies are caused by a restricted number of allergens (common allergic proteins). These include food allergens and respiratory allergens.
- Food allergies that we test for include: Egg white, cow’s milk, peanut, sesame, codfish, wheat, soy and kiwi. We also frequently test for tree nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut, brazil nut, cashew nut, pistachio, macadamia nut, pecan nut and pine nut); if you wish to test to a wide range of fish and shellfish we may ask you to bring small pieces of individual fish and shellfish to the clinic, as it is more accurate using the fresh food.
- Respiratory allergies (those that cause hay fever and asthma) typically include house dust mites, cat, dog, horse, moulds, grass, weeds and tree pollens. More detailed panels can be tested to a wide range of animal danders (e.g. mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits). Specific pollens present only in countries outside the UK can also be tested (e.g. Ragweed in the United States, Parietaria and Olive pollen in Mediterranean countries)
- Drug allergy testing is more limited. Very often, no blood test or skin test is available and a challenge in hospital may be required in order to make a diagnosis.