King's College London

Research portal

Food allergy severity predictions based on cellular in vitro tests

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Betul Buyuktiryaki, Alexandra Santos

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-692
Number of pages14
Issue number7
Published10 Jun 2020

King's Authors


Introduction: Food allergy is increasing in prevalence and the severity of allergic reactions is unpredictable. Identifying food-allergic patients at high risk of severe reactions would allow us to offer a personalized and improved management for these patients. Areas covered: We review the evidence for using the levels of specific IgE, the nature of the allergen, and cellular tests to identify patients at high risk of developing severe allergic reactions to foods. Expert opinion: The evidence about whether the quantity of allergen-specific IgE reflects the severity of allergic reactions to foods is conflicting, with some positive and some negative studies. For some foods, specific IgE to individual components (e.g. Ara h 2 in peanut) can provide additional information. However, more important than the quantity of IgE is possibly the quality of IgE, which can be captured by individual measurements of affinity/avidity, diversity, and specific activity, but is best measured overall using the basophil and mast cell activation tests, which assess the function of IgE in its ability to induce cell activation, degranulation, and mediator release. Biomarkers look at a single aspect of the allergic response and should be interpreted in the broader clinical context for each individual patient assessed.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454