Purpose of review: The determination of specific IgE (sIgE) against allergenic components fixed in a solid support that is provided as a microarray of high capacity and allows a more precise evaluation in the food allergy diagnosis. In this review, we will analyze the results obtained to date with this technology applied to the component-based diagnosis of food allergy.
Recent findings: Microarrays of proteins or glycoproteins allow us to know the profile of sensitization of a patient with food allergy. At present, a commercially available technique exists which allows sIgE to be detected against 103 allergenic molecules. Several laboratories worldwide have explored and optimized this technique for few allergen extracts and the results have been promising with high reliabilities and sensitivities and above all, good correlations with previous existing conventional assays.
Summary: In recent years, as a result of advances in molecular biology, together with the development of new technologies of producing high-capacity solid-phase matrices such as microarrays, the diagnosis of food allergy has improved and the basic situation of analyzing sIgE against an allergenic source has now become real the possibility of analyzing sIgE against an allergenic protein or glycoprotein. This change has not only led to a more precise diagnosis of sensitization, but can also be used to explain the different hazards of certain molecular sensitizations, crossreactivity phenomena in many cases and can even change the clinical management according to the information provided. Further studies are clearly needed to evaluate more precisely the scope of this new technique.