Background: Most of the peanut-sensitized children do not have clinical peanut allergy. In equivocal cases, oral food challenges (OFCs) are required. However, OFCs are laborious and not without risk; thus, a test that could accurately diagnose peanut allergy and reduce the need for OFCs is desirable.
Objective: To assess the performance of basophil activation test (BAT) as a diagnostic marker for peanut allergy.
Methods: Peanut-allergic (n = 43), peanut-sensitized but tolerant (n = 36) and non-peanut-sensitized nonallergic (n = 25) children underwent skin prick test (SPT) and specific IgE (sIgE) to peanut and its components. BAT was performed using flow cytometry, and its diagnostic performance was evaluated in relation to allergy versus tolerance to peanut and validated in an independent population (n = 65).
Results: BAT in peanut-allergic children showed a peanut dose-dependent upregulation of CD63 and CD203c while there was no significant response to peanut in peanut-sensitized but tolerant (P < .001) and non-peanut-sensitized nonallergic children (P < .001). BAT optimal diagnostic cutoffs showed 97% accuracy, 95% positive predictive value, and 98% negative predictive value. BAT allowed reducing the number of required OFCs by two-thirds. BAT proved particularly useful in cases in which specialists could not accurately diagnose peanut allergy with SPT and sIgE to peanut and to Arah2. Using a 2-step diagnostic approach in which BAT was performed only after equivocal SPT or Arah2-sIgE, BAT had a major effect (97% reduction) on the number of OFCs required.
Conclusions: BAT proved to be superior to other diagnostic tests in discriminating between peanut allergy and tolerance, particularly in difficult cases, and reduced the need for OFCs.
Keywords: Anaphylaxis; CD203c; CD63; ROC curve; basophil activation test; diagnosis; flow cytometry; food allergy; peanut allergy.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.