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Sardine/Pilchard Allergy IgE Blood Test

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The Sardine/Pilchard Allergy IgE Blood Test measures the IgE antibody levels in the blood to help detect a food allergy to sardines or pilchard fish.


Test Code:



Immunoassay (IA)




No special preparation is required.

Test Results:

3-5 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday, or lab delays.

Walk-In Lab is prohibited from selling Quest tests to residents in the following states:AZ, NY, NJ, RI

What is the purpose of this test?

Order a Sardine/Pilchard Allergy IgE Blood Test to measure the IgE antibody levels in the blood to help detect a food allergy to sardines or pilchard fish. Sardine or pilchard are used interchangeably to refer to various species of small, oily forage fish in the Clupeidae (Herring) family. Sardines are primarily found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean seas. Sardines are also economically important to many countries across the globe, especially France, Spain, Portugal, and Morocco.


Sardines are low in fat and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12 & B2, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and niacin. Due to their many health benefits, sardines are the main ingredient in several seafood products. This popular fish is prepared by canning, smoking, pickling, deep-frying, or steaming. Sardines have a characteristically salty and mild flavor, so it is often used in soups and stews. With good nutritional value, sardines are a favorite among fish lovers and enjoyed even by those who are generally not fond of fish. Unfortunately, many individuals with food allergies or hypersensitivity may experience an adverse reaction after consuming sardines. 


What other seafood or products should I avoid if I am allergic to sardines?

Individuals should also note that there is allergic cross-reactivity between various types of fish, which means that individuals with allergies to a specific bony fish are likely to have or develop an allergy to other bony fish. This cross-reactivity is due to a protein found in many fish called parvalbumin. Therefore, individuals allergic to sardines are generally advised to avoid all bony fish species, including pilchards, menhaden, herring, shad, sprat, and other Clupeidae fish.


Additionally, individuals with an allergy to sardines should also avoid the following products:


  • Imitation fish or shellfish
  • Seafood stock (fish or shrimp)
  • Fish oil, including some omega-3 supplements
  • Seafood flavorings
  • Frozen fish sticks or patties
  • Bouillabaisse
  • Salad dressing
  • Certain meat dishes that contain seafood-based ingredients
  • Surimi (minced fish paste)
  • Worcestershire sauce and anything products that contain it, such as some barbeques sauces


What causes an allergic reaction to sardines (pilchard)?

An allergy to sardines triggers a reaction in an individual's immune system. This reaction is because the body views specific proteins or substances as harmful and produces IgE antibodies to combat these allergens. Unfortunately, these antibodies activate the release of histamine, which causes the symptoms of an allergic reaction.


When should I order a Sardine/Pilchard Allergy IgE Blood Test?

Individuals may order this Sardine/ Pilchard Allergy IgE Blood Test if they have experienced symptoms related to a seafood allergy. Allergy symptoms vary depending on the individual, ranging from mild to severe reactions. Most food allergy symptoms occur within two hours of ingestion; however, they frequently begin within minutes. In addition, the response can be delayed by four to six hours or even longer in some rare cases.


An allergic reaction may affect the skin, intestinal lining, and air pathways. Individuals with seafood allergies may experience the following symptoms:


  • Tingling sensation near or around the mouth
  • Swelling
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching or hives
  • Congestion
  • Difficulty breathing, swallowing or wheezing
  • Lightheadedness


An extreme, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may sometimes occur. An anaphylactic response requires immediate medical attention. Signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:



  • Rapid or increased heart rate
  • Swollen throat or lump making it difficult to breathe
  • Low blood pressure
  • Extreme dizziness or loss of consciousness

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