This is valuable news for parents who suspect their child is having food reactions.
This new calculator developed in Ireland gives 96% accuracy results. This is great news for families because the IgG and IgE tests that are given today are only 60-80% accurate. And the IgE and IgG tests are also very expensive too. Expect to see this calculator in doctors' hands in another year or two. In the mean time, we have to wait until it is ready for the marketplace.
Researchers at University College Cork in Co. Cork Ireland have created a new calculator they have named the 'Cork Southampton calculator'. This online tool uses math formulas to predict allergies to dairy, eggs and peanuts for families that believe they may have a child suffering from a food allergy.
So who's idea was it to make up an algorithm to predict food allergies?
Dr Audrey Dunn-Galvin (pictured at left) and Professor Jonathan Hourihane of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health are behind this brilliant idea. They worked hard to make math algorithms that can predict allergies to cow's milk, eggs, and peanuts. Their mathematical formula includes both known and suspected predictors of food allergies. So when both of these were put together in their formula the result for them was a much more accurate prediction of food allergies.
Dr. Dunn-Galvin and Professor Hourihane then compared those factors to the results of the children's food challenges. They used this information to create a 'calculator' that can predict food allergies more accurately than all using all of the allergy tests separately. This is great news for families that are unsure of whether or not their child has a life-threatening food allergy and could have an anaphylactic reaction. This Cork-Southhampton calculator may just be the thing that makes doing a food challenge test unnecessary in the future! Well done Dr. DunnGalvin and Professor Hourihane!
And one more thing, boys and girls-- If this doesn't prove to you that studying math is important, I don't know what will!
A Systematic Evaluation of the Cork-Southampton Food Challenge Outcome Calculator in a Canadian Sample
L.M. Segal, J.O.B. Hourihane, A. Clarke, R. Alizadehfar, J. Lucas, G. Roberts, M. Lajeunesse, A. Dunn Galvin
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 1 February 2011 (volume 127 issue 2 Page AB184 DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.12.732)