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The F24-Shrimp test (Phadia technique) is used to detect blood levels of the immunoglobulin E (IgE) responsible for allergic reactions to shrimp. Shrimp has allergens, including tropomyosin, in common with crab, lobster, crawfish, crayfish and non-food organisms (mites, cockroaches, etc.). The interpretation chart accompanying the result expresses the probability of an allergic reaction to shrimp and often other seafood, 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-shrimp IgE result (< 0.35 kU/L) indicates that shrimp is probably not responsible for the symptoms reported by the patient, but it DOES NOT COMPLETELY RULE OUT THIS POSSIBILITY. All negative and positive results must be interpreted in light of the case history. Shrimp has been identified as a potent allergen responsible for food and occupational allergies. Unlike milk and egg white allergies, which many children outgrow, crustacean hypersensitivities persist.

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.