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Phadia’s F41 test is used to detect blood levels of the IgE (antibodies) responsible for allergic reactions to salmon. Salmon allergies are caused by parvalbumin, a protein found in many other fish. Unless there is a double allergy, people who are allergic to salmon will usually be allergic to other fish (cod, halibut, trout, etc.), but not to crustaceans and other seafood. The interpretation chart accompanying the result expresses the probability of an allergic reaction to salmon (and possibly other fish), 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-salmon IgE result (< 0.35 kU/L) indicates that salmon is probably not responsible for the symptoms reported by the person, but it DOES NOT COMPLETELY RULE OUT THIS POSSIBILITY. Both negative and positive results must be interpreted in light of the case history. The double-blind oral food challenge under medical supervision remains the definitive test for confirming the presence or absence of a salmon allergy. Unlike milk and egg white allergies, the hypersensitivity to salmon and other fish often develops in adulthood and tends to persist for life.

Term of the Week

Predictive medicine

Medicine that links medical knowledge with data to predict a patient’s potential health problems. Examples include artificial intelligence and genetics.