Upcoming changes to serum IgE allergy testing for food and environmental inhalants in North Sector
In Fall 2022, the serum Food Allergen Screen and associated Food Allergen Reflex Panels will no longer be available in North Sector (including Edmonton and North Zone). In addition, the Inhalant Panels that reflex from positive Inhalant Screens will be discontinued. 
  • These changes align with Clinical Best Practice Guidelines. 
  • Many patients have positive serum allergen specific IgE tests without symptoms of allergy; these patients have asymptomatic sensitization and not allergy. 
IgE Food Allergy Testing:
  • IgE testing for food allergens without a supportive clinical history is not useful and may cause harm. 
  • Diagnosis of IgE-mediated food allergy is made when a history consistent with a Type I/immediate-type hypersensitivity reaction following the ingestion of a potential food allergen is confirmed by positive serum or skin testing to that food allergen.
  • Removing a food from the diet indefinitely based on results of serum testing alone, without supportive history, could predispose an individual to possible life-threatening reactions. 
IgE Environmental Inhalant Allergy Testing:
  • Diagnosis of other atopic conditions, including allergic asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis, is made when a convincing clinical history is supported by evidence of allergic sensitization to relevant environmental allergens through serum or skin testing. 

For more information, including the Allergy On-Call Service, see the Laboratory Bulletin from DynaLIFE Medical Labs and Alberta Precision Laboratories: IgE Allergy Testing.

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