Test to Predict Allergies

in Food Allergy
Published: July 2, 2010

Scientists in Australia have developed a test they say can determine when a baby is first born if he or she will develop allergies.

A protein in the immune cells of newborns appears to hold the answer as to whether a baby will either be protected, or susceptible to the development of allergies later on,” Professor Tony Ferrante from the University of Adelaide said in a release.

He and other researchers discovered the allergy marker in 2007, and they have been working on developing a blood test ever since. The protein, called kinase C zeta, is found in much lower amounts in the children at risk of allergies.

Ferrante says the blood test is more reliable than other indicators, such as family history or IgE antibody levels.

Researchers also said there is evidence that fish oil supplements increase the level of the kinase C zeta protein, and may protect against developing allergies. They are studying pregnant women and those who have just given birth to solidify this theory.