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  Malaysian Society of Allergy & Immunology (MSAI)
  Diagnosing Allergy:  

  Blood Tests

The most commonly used test is assessing specific IgE (immunoglobulin E) in the blood.

This involves detecting the presence of these antibodies directed against specific allergens and measuring their quantity (immunological mechanism).

Blood for the test is taken from the patient in the classic manner, by needle. There is no need to fast before giving blood.

The test is carried out by mixing the serum (part of the blood) with tiny pieces of "confetti" coated with purified allergen. If it is the correct allergen, the IgE in the serum will stick to the confetti, forming and antigen-antibody complex.

A highly refined analysis technique will then evaluate the reaction and determine how severe it is.

There are about 200 different kinds of allergens which can be used in these tests.

One advantage of this method is that the patient does not have to come into direct contact with the allergen. However, he will have to wait several days or weeks for the results.  

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