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Phadia’s F235 test is used to detect blood levels of the IgE (antibodies) responsible for allergic reactions to lentils and to many cross allergies, including lentils, green peas, chickpeas, soybeans and sometimes peanuts. Allergic reactions to lentils are usually limited to hives or oral syndrome, but can be severe and lead to anaphylactic shock. The sometimes severe reactions are most prevalent in young children and can be triggered even by the steam from cooking lentils. The interpretation chart accompanying the result expresses the probability of an allergic reaction to lentils, but not necessarily the severity of the reaction. Case history (symptoms, relation to meals, etc.) and clinical examination by the physician are essential for a reliable interpretation of the results.

A negative anti-lentil IgE result (< 0.35 kU/L) indicates that lentils are probably not responsible for the reported symptoms, but, especially in young children, it DOES NOT COMPLETELY RULE OUT THIS POSSIBILITY. All negative and positive results must be interpreted in light of the case history. The double-blind oral food challenge remains the definitive technique for confirming a food allergy.

Term of the Week

Hot zone

A hot zone is a section of a facility (sometimes an entire facility or even a city district) where there is a high risk of contamination by patients with an infectious disease. All individuals entering a hot zone must respect appropriate protective measures. By analogy, “cold zone” and “warm zone” are used to refer to areas where there is no infected individual or only individuals suspected of having an infection.