How in vitro assays contribute to allergy diagnosis, Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 2016, 16:82

Diagnosis of allergic disorders is based upon the clinical history of the disease, the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody response, and the allergen exposure. During the last decade, many changes have occurred in the in vitro diagnostic tests used in daily practice. The most important one is the use of allergenic molecules, which helps to define severe profile of allergy and/or to better understand cross-reactivity. The correlation between IgE sensitization and bronchial or nasal response in provocation tests is not so clear, which implies that such tests are still helpful in allergy diagnosis. In order to strengthen the link between a real allergen exposure and allergic symptoms, environmental allergen load assessment can be performed. For clinicians, it appears obvious to know the pollen count to treat their patients; however, they rarely measure the allergen load in the indoor environment, while nowadays home-tests (semi-quantitative or quantitative) make the assessment very easy. In the future, assessment of the environmental exposure (preferably with an indoor technician) of an allergic patient should take into account not only the allergens but also the other indoor pollutants, which could enhance respiratory symptoms in allergic patients.