Investigator: Dr Alexandra Santos, senior clinical lecturer and children's allergy consultant
Contact: Harriet Woodhead, research nurse
Tel: 020 7188 9784 or 020 7188 8888, extension 89784
Why is the study running?
The current gold standard for diagnosing IgE-mediated food allergies is an oral food challenge. The Basophil Activation Test (BAT) is a new blood test for food allergy which has shown to be useful in the diagnosis of peanut allergy. It has shown to reduce the number of oral food challenges needed to confirm peanut allergy. It would be very useful to have a similar test for other common food allergies such as milk, egg, cashew and sesame.
What is the study trying to achieve?
The study aims to determine if the BAT can predict whether a participant is allergic or tolerant to the allergen of interest (milk/egg/cashew/sesame) and how the BAT results compare to the current gold standard for diagnosing a food allergy, which is an oral food challenge. As most milk and egg-allergic children can tolerate egg and milk as an ingredient in baked products, the study also aims to determine if the BAT can differentiate between those who can tolerate the baked form of these foods and those who are allergic to all forms of milk or egg.
What does the study involve?
The study involves a visit to the Evelina London Children’s Hospital for an oral food challenge, skin prick tests and a blood sample for specific IgEs and the Basophil Activation Test as well as a couple of phone calls. For the patients being assessed for milk and/or egg allergies, it also involves a short online food frequency questionnaire on the allergen of interest which is to be completed every two months for two years.
What is the study's goal?
The goal of the study is to assess the accuracy of the BAT in diagnosing IgE-mediated food allergy and potentially reduce the number of oral food challenges required to diagnose milk, egg, cashew and sesame allergies in the future. It will also allow us to understand how to make a better use of the allergy tests that we currently have.
How can I get involved?
If you are interested in your child taking part in this research study, please speak to your doctor or healthcare provider at our children's allergy service who can refer you to the study team.