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No more pricks and patches

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UNLIKE conventional allergy tests known for being uncomfortable (patch and prick tests), Life Science’s Faber Allergy tests – “the most up-to-date and complete tool to diagnose an allergy,” according to a company press release – can identify more than 200 allergens through a single blood sample.

The test, introduced by LifeScience, was done in order to “upgrade current tests [available] in the Philippines,” Michael Angelo Genato, group CEO of LifeScience, said during a Sept. 27 press conference in their offices in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

It also provides for “better management and prevention of allergies,” he added, as it uses molecular allergens and allergen extracts to measure specific antibodies against bacteria, viruses, and allergens through “minimal blood samples from the patient.”

“[The Faber test] helps assess the clinical risk for reaction, explain the symptoms, and identify patients for specific immunotherapy treatments,” said Dr. Agnes B. Galura-Famero, an internist and functional medicine practitioner during the same press conference.

Unlike the prick test (which uses needles to introduce allergens to the skin) and the patch test (which uses patches to introduce allergens to the skin), which are not appropriate for those taking medications like steroids and antihistamines and can cause anaphylaxis, Faber can be done to “everyone, even to newborns” as it only needs a blood sample to be sent to the lab in Italy for processing.

The blood sample will then be tested against 244 allergenic preparations – 122 allergenic molecules and 122 allergenic extracts from 123 different allergenic molecules including mites and other insects, pollen from weeds, grass and trees, animal epithelia, mold and yeasts, animal and animal-based food (milk, egg, shellfish, mollusks, etc.), plant food (wheat, corn, nuts, etc.), venom from stinging insects, and latex, among others.

Dr. Galura-Famero noted that the test’s only limitations are the long waiting time – results take three to four weeks before they are released – and that it does not diagnose those who are allergic to metals or other materials that need to be in contact with the skin in order to show a reaction. For those kinds of allergies, Dr. Galura-Famero recommends contact tests or patch and prick tests.

The Faber test costs P24,500 though they do offer corporate rates.

The test is available at the LifeScience center at 8/F ACCRA LAW Tower in Bonifacio Global City as well as in Global Medical Technologies Manila branches and other partner clinics. For more information visit lifescience.ph or call 848-LIFE (5433). – Zsarlene B. Chua

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