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Table 1 Characteristics of various specific allergen tests

From: Debates in Allergy Medicine: Allergy skin testing cannot be replaced by molecular diagnosis in the near future

Test Substance tested Number of allergens tested per test Readout
Allergy tests in vivo
Skin prick test sIgE to whole natural allergen On average 40 allergens Semi-objective (physician measures wheal/flare)
Nasal provocation test sIgE to whole natural allergen 1 allergen at a time (maximum 3–4 per session) Subjective/Objective
Conjunctival provocation test sIgE to whole natural allergen 1 allergen at a time (maximum 3–4 per session) Subjective/Objective
Allergy tests in vitro
sIgE to a batch of allergens (Immulite, Microtest, RAST) sIgE to whole natural allergen (s) On average 20–60 allergens Objective
Molecular-based allergy diagnostics: sIgE to microarray-based allergen protein components (ImmunoCAP [single allergen assay], ISAC [multiplex assay]) sIgE to allergen protein components 1 to >100 allergen protein components Objective
Basophil/histamine release, BAT Effect of allergen on patient’s basophils 1 allergen at a time (maximum several allergens/session) Objective
  1. sIgE specific IgE, ISAC immuno solid-phase allergen chip, RAST radioallergosorbent test, BAT Basophil activation test