The Chinese University announced on Thursday that it’s developing a new shrimp allergy test to help people identify whether they are in fact allergic to the seafood.
Professor Gary Wong from the university's Faculty of Medicine said even though shrimp is the leading source of food allergy in Hong Kong, conventional tests – such as skin prick tests – have their shortcomings and many patients have been misdiagnosed under these methods.
“For the conventional methods, you can imagine [some patients] having a little bit of the antibodies. They will test positive in the test, but in fact they won’t react to [the food],” he said.
Wong noted that the new “component-resolved diagnosis” test is much more specific and accurate, and can work out exactly which type of allergen people are allergic to.
He said the university is now working with the companies to make the test available for the public.
Another researcher, Professor Leung Ting-fan, said the university is developing a vaccine to tackle shrimp allergy, but did not provide further details.