Reference Laboratory





Allergies are a health issue which reduce lifestyle quality and reduce efficiency at work or in school. The frequency of allergies seen is rapidly increasing. First used by Clemens von Pirquet in 1906, the term “allergy” can be defined asan “altered body response” and it stems from the greek allos other and ergos reaction.
 An allergic response is an excessive sensitivity by certain individuals to agents which may not be deemed harmful by others. As a result of this excessive sensitivity a clinical evidence is manifested as an allergy. 

Allergy symptoms:

  • Skin; urticaria (hives), angiooedema, atopic dermatitis, itch, rash
  • Eyes; redness, itching, watering
  • Nose; sneezing, stuffiness, runny nose
  • Lower respiratory tract; difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing
  • Cardiovascular; palpitation, low blood pressure
  • Digestive tract; gastritis,gastroenteritis, allergic oesophagitis
  • Anaphylactic shock; oedema, sudden drop in blood pressure, itching, blushing, swelling of the tongue and throat, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, shock,loss of consciousness
Exposure to allergen may be through:

  • Contact with skin (animal hair and epithellia, latex, polens, poisonous plants)
  • By stings (bee stings)• Oral passage (foods, medication)
  • The respiratory tract (polens, dusts, mold and fungii)
Allergen Sources

Inhalation allergens (those taken in through the respiratory tract), dust mites, polens, mould and fungal elemants (especially spores), household pet hairs and their ephitelia, insects and insecticides.
  • Foods (food allergens)
  • Food additive allergens
  • Medicines
  • Occupational allergens

Allergy Tests
Eosinophil count; increases with chronic allergic inflamation

Eosinophil Cationic Protein (ECP)
Activated eosinophils secrete ECP which may damage local tissues. Measured ECP values will reflect the degree of eosinophil activation. Bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis, rhinitis and allergic eye diseases are a few inflamatory conditions which can accompany eosinophil activation. They are used in the monitoring and treatment of bronchial asthma.

Total IgE levels in allergic patients is generally high but is not directly related to the severity of the condition. A Total IgE level within the reference values would not discount an allergy. While an increased Total IgE may be seen in allergic patients it is also evident in parasitic infections, diseases of the liver, viral infections and malignity may also increase. As a result, in the past few years the Total IgE test has been replaced by tests for Specific IgE. Our laboratory processes allergens either singly or in panels.

Panels are prepared as a mixture of the most frequently seen allergens. When a positive result is obtained the allergens within that panel must each be examined.

The inhalant allergen test measures the concentration of the Specific IgE antibody developed against the respiratory allergens.

The pediatric allergy screening test determines if the child is prone to an allergy or not (genetic predisposition to developing atopy-Type 1 allergic reaction) and provides probability to the highest degree.

  • fx5 = Childrens food panel + Inhalant allergen screen (Alatop)
  • Grasses, grain pollens panels (g1, g2, g4, g5, g6, g11, g12, g15, gx1, gx2, gx3)
  • Weeds / flowering plant allergens panels (w1, w9, w20, w21, wx1, wx3, wx5) 
  • Tree allergens panels (t2, t3, t4, t5, t7, t9, t18, tx1, tx2, tx7, tx9)
  • Household dusts, dust mites panels (h1, h2, d1, d2, d70, hx1)
  • Animal allergen panels (e1, e2, e3, e4, e5, e20, e78, e201, e84, ex1, ex71, ex72)
  • Mould allergens panels (m1, m2, m3, m4, m5, m6, m70, mx1, pax3)
  • Food allergens and panels (f1, f2, f4, f13, f14, f17, f25, f27, f33, f44, f75, f93, f256, fx1, fx2, fx3, fx5, fx6, fx73, fx13, fx14, fx16, fx50)
  • Insecticide allergens (i1, i3, i4, i6, i70, i71)
  • Medication allergens (c1, c2, c5, c6, c73)
  • Tiroksin, Atropin, Aspirin, Paracetamol, Cephalosporin, Metamisol, Ciprofloxacin, Tetracyclin)

In addition to the above listed allergy tests our laboratory has a wide panel range for specific IgE allergy testing.

Blood tests measure the amount of IgE class antibodies formed against a specific allergen; as a result snesitivity and accuracy are high. Since serum IgE half life lasts only 2-3 days, it allows us to obtain up-to-date values. On the other hand, as the half life of mast cell related IgE’s can last anywhere from months to possibly years, the positive results as obtained in skin tests to determine allergies may not always be directly proportional with IgE antibodies.

In comparison to other skin tests, some of the other advantages to allergy tests on blood is that the need to be taken off medication can be foregone and is applicable even in the presence of wide spread allergic skin reactions. The allergy systems used in our laboratory use a chemiluminescent process.