Allergy testing in Australia has lagged behind the rest of the developed world with the ability to easily and effectively screen for a wide range of allergies hindered by the lack of a simple broad spectrum finger prick test. An AITHM research team led by Professor Andreas Lopata, in collaboration with Westmead Children’s Hospital and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, is working to develop Australia’s first wide spectrum finger prick allergy test using assay microarray, which would prove a huge leap forward in allergy tests in Australia, building testing capacity and ensuring resources are better targeted to tackle the problem.
The test provides comprehensive results diagnosing more allergies while at the same time proving significantly less invasive for children being tested. Assay microarray tests have been used extensively in Europe, and the research team is investigating if such a test could be proven effective in an Australian setting. If successful, the test would prove to be an excellent substitute for current methods. Requiring 200 times less blood than current tests, it is hoped it will provide an easy to administer, highly specific test covering more and providing faster and more accurate results.