Help Needed Understanding Allergy ELISA Results
Steven Joseph Szarka
sjszarka at acs.ucalgary.ca
Thu Jun 1 13:22:15 EST 1995
Several members of my family have had ELISA tests done to screen for
blood IgG4 and IgE against a list of potential food allergens. The
results were presented in tabular form with a numerical values attached
to each food sample. The results are then divided into 4 columns
depending on the numerical rating:
1. essentially no detection
2. low (10-50)
3. intermediate (50-300)
4. High (300-3000)
To help understand what foods (all, certain, or none) should be avoided I
have the following questions:
1. Does any amount of detectable IgE indicate a food allergy or is there
a cut-off (eg. only those in the high column)? If there is a cut-off; is
it arbitrary or physiologically based?
2. I assume the RAST (Radioactive equivalent?) is more sensitive; is this
higher sensitivity necessary to identify all allergies?
3. Would continual exposure to a low reactive food item increase the IgE
signal so that eventually it moves into the 'high' category and becomes a
problem (assuming the 'low' foods are presently not a problem)?
4. Based on the experience of people who perform these tests; what is the
ELISA pattern generally seen in the population?
Do most people show:
i. no reaction
ii. low reaction to many items
iii. a high reaction to a few items combined with either i. or ii.
5. Is the response to question 4 different for children compared to adults?
Thanks to all those who can offer information
Steven Szarka Botany Division
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Email: sjszarka at acs.ucalgary.ca University of Calgary
FAX: (403) 289-9311 2500 University Drive NW
Phone: (403) 220-7907 Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
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