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Researchers develop blood test for common food allergy

Category: Allergy Testing

A team of researchers from Cincinnati Children's Hospital has identified a biomarker that may be used to develop blood tests for a common food allergy. The investigators say this could improve diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

Eosinophilic esophagitis, or EoE, is a potentially serious food allergy that can cause difficulty swallowing, heartburn, vomitting and weight loss. Children who are affected by it can have reactions to a wide number of foods.

In studying samples from individuals with the condition, the researchers found that a single dysregulated microRNA molecule is closely associated with the condition. Blood tests for this molecule may provide an accurate diagnosis of the condition. Furthermore, the results showed that individuals with this biomarker experienced major improvements in their condition when they were treated with steroids.

The team said it is important to find non-invasive tests for the food allergy because current screening measures involve invasive endoscopies for which patients must be anesthetized. A blood test may be a much simpler way to check individuals for the condition. 

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