Advances in the diagnosis and management of allergic disease: Applications to South African practice
There have been a number of advances in the diagnosis and management of allergic diseases that are relevant to South African (SA) circumstances. These are all published or about to be published in new guidelines that provide practical advice to guide SA doctors who treat patients with these conditions. The guidelines include those for atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis and food allergy. This article reflects the most pertinent aspects of the guidelines. It also provides a short summary of a new allergy diagnostic test available in SA, the multiplex microarray chip, known as the immuno-solid-phase allergen chip (ISAC) test. It provides component-resolved allergy testing for special circumstances and complex allergic problems and is certainly not required as a screening allergy test. Finally, this article gives an update on allergen immunotherapy – some patients with allergic conditions may benefit from immunotherapy. In SA, some forms of immunotherapy for allergic rhinitis and mild asthma may currently include sublingual immunotherapy.
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