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18 June, 2022 - 01:20 By Tony Quested

Cambridge assault on allergies not to be sneezed at

Oncologica, a healthcare testing laboratory based in Cambridge, has launched a new Allergyfocus test that helps sufferers discover how their bodies react to common global allergens.

It is estimated that 20 per cent of children and 30 per cent of adults develop allergies in their lifetime. People can be allergic to pollen, dust, pet dander or certain foods triggering rashes, eczema, wheezing, hay fever, vomiting, stomach pains or even anaphylactic shock.

It can be difficult for sufferers to know whether signs and symptoms they are experiencing are related to an allergy because they can be commonly seen in other conditions. It is an overreaction of the immune system to allergens, which typically occurs within seconds or minutes or several hours after exposure. The important clues as to whether the immune system is being involved can now be revealed with the Allergyfocus test, according to the company. 

Using a simple self-sample finger prick collection kit taken in the comfort of the home, the allergy test sample is returned and tested in Oncologica’s accredited laboratory. 

The antibody allergy test sample is compared with 300 allergens which cover 99 per cent of common global allergens to measure levels of IgE antibodies with fast results provided within 3 days of sample receipt.

“Our allergy test is safe and uses a small volume of blood to give a diagnostic readout,” said Dr Marco Loddo, Oncologica co-founder and scientific director.

“Allergyfocus detects antibodies that are raised against a particular allergen. The antibody allergy test helps sufferers avoid the trial and elimination approach to identifying the cause of their allergic reactions and multiple visits to allergy specialists. 

‘The fast and accurate allergy test provides a comprehensive personalised antibody profile of allergy triggers to aid precise diagnosis and helps guide sufferers and healthcare professionals to the appropriate next steps.”

The Allergyfocus test covers the following common allergic reactions and more:-

  • Pollen from trees and grasses
  • Proteins secreted from house dust mites
  • Moulds
  • Foods eg. nuts, milk, shellfish, eggs
  • Pets eg cats, dogs, horses, rabbits
  • Wasp and bee venom

Oncologica’s personalised DNA profiling is used to aid identification of the most appropriate targeted therapies for patients with cancer as an alternative to chemotherapy. Oncologica says that it has performed five million genetic health tests during the last two years.

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