New Born Blood Test Detects Allergies

Monday 24th May 2010

A new blood test could predict whether new born babies are likely to develop allergies as they grow older, researchers claim. Immunologists at the University of Adelaide, Australia explain that a protein present in a new born's immune cells could be key to predicting their allergy risk factor. The research could lead to early diagnosis and treatment of allergies including hay fever, eczema, asthma, food allergies and more in thousands of children across the world.

Researchers discovered that levels of a protein called protein kinase C zeta were substantially lower in children who were at increased risk of developing allergies. Researchers believe that monitoring the levels of this cell signalling protein provides a more reliable indication of allergy risk than other tests that are commonly used including studying family history.

The research team at the University of Adelaide are currently studying whether taking fish oil supplements rich in protein can boost levels of this important cell-signalling protein. If successful, this small dietary change could be recommended to pregnant women and young children who are at increased allergy risk.

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