IgE-mediated food allergy is a major and increasing health issue with significant impairment of quality of life and significant morbidity and mortality. It affects children, as well as adolescents and adults. This review focuses on novelties in the diagnosis of food allergy.
Correct diagnosis relies upon history supplemented by quantification of specific IgE (sIgE) antibodies and/or skin tests. Unfortunately, as these tests do not demonstrate absolute predictive values, controlled oral provocation tests are needed to confirm/exclude diagnosis. To a certain extent, novel in vitro diagnostics in the form of allergen component-based sIgE assays and flow-assisted quantification of in vitro activated basophils might help to discriminate between genuine allergy and merely sensitization. Furthermore they make it possible to establish individual risk profiles, to predict persistence of allergy, and facilitate therapeutic approach.