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Phadia’s F210 test is used to detect blood levels of the IgE (antibodies) responsible for allergic reactions to pineapple. Allergies to pineapple can be isolated, but are often included in latex-fruit syndrome (allergies to banana, avocado, chestnut, kiwi, mango, passion fruit, strawberry and soy). A pineapple allergy can also be part of several other fruit and vegetable allergies in oral allergy syndromes caused by birch, grass or ragweed pollen. The interpretation chart accompanying the result expresses the probability of an allergic reaction to pineapple, but not necessarily the severity of the reaction. Case history (symptoms, relation to meals, snacks, etc.) and clinical examination by the physician are essential for a reliable interpretation of the results.

A negative anti-pineapple IgE result (< 0.35 kU/L) indicates that pineapple is probably not responsible for the reported symptoms, but it DOES NOT COMPLETELY RULE OUT THIS POSSIBILITY. All negative and positive results must be interpreted in light of the case history. Skin tests can be useful, and 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.