AIU Clinical Laboratory Testing

Clinical Laboratory Testing

The laboratory provides a specialised allergy diagnostic service for the Lung Institute, the NHLS and some private pathology laboratories; currently investigating 1800 patients/year (running approximately 5000 tests). The laboratory offers several unique tests not available elsewhere in Southern Africa.

For Patients


Referring Doctors




Clinical Research


Clinical Practice




Below please find a brief explanation of the laboratory testing services that are offered by our specialised laboratory

Please note: Testing performed at our laboratory or sent away to other pathology services are billed separately to clinical review. You will thus receive a second bill for testing in addition to the clinical consultation fees. Please ask your doctor or our administration staff if you have any specific queries.

Total IgE

Measurement of the total IgE in human serum or plasma provides an aid in the clinical diagnosis of IgE mediated allergic disorder.

Specific IgE mixed allergens

Specific IgE measures IgE antibodies to specific allergens in human serum or plasma and allows quantitative measurements of a wide range of individual allergen and allergen components.

Specific IgE testing for various allergens

This test is used when there is not a clear history of allergic disease. It can eliminate a number of allergens in one test. E.g. Moulds, grass, weeds, trees and various food mixes.
A negative test result reduces the probability of IgE mediated allergic disease.


Phadiatop is a qualitative screening test for identifying patients with a high likelihood of allergic disease. Phadiatop utilizes balanced mixtures of relevant allergens implicated in causing allergic diseases.

Mast cell Tryptase

Transient raised mast cell tryptase levels, as measured in the blood, is a marker confirming a severe allergic reaction.
Elevated levels serve as a marker, in certain sensitized patients, for having a anaphylactic (severe allergic) reaction. E.g. after a bee sting in a bee sting sensitive patient.
Continuous significantly raised mast cell tryptase levels indicate increased mast cell release in several haematological disorders. E.g. Mastocytosis.

Allergen components

Allergen components measure specific IgE antibodies to individual molecular allergens in serum or plasma. Different component groups often elicit different types of reactions, so testing them can indicate if a patient’s prior symptoms or positive test results were caused by allergy to a given substance or by a cross-reaction with another allergen. Component testing also helps the clinician weigh a patient’s risk of a systemic reaction versus a more mild or localized response.

Specific IgG testing for bird and mould allergens

Specific IgG measures antigen-specific IgG antibodies in human serum or plasma. This test is used in diagnosis of lung diseases due to an increase in IgG antibodies to birds or moulds.

Nasal smear for Eosinophils

Large numbers of Eosinophils in a nasal smear is an indication of an allergic reaction. Large numbers of pus cells and bacteria would indicate an infection.

CAST test

The CAST® assays can be used for the confirmation of any IgE mediated allergy with controversial results from classical testing or where no other tests are available. See request form for details of available allergens and allergens which can be ordered. Allergens not immediately available will take 2 to 3 weeks to arrive and blood for analysis can only be taken once the allergen has been received in the laboratory.

Test for the presence of HDM in dust

Dust samples can be tested for the presence of House Dust Mite.

2019 Laboratory testing costs:




0210 Collection of Blood Specimens R45.00
4457 Mast Cell Tryptase R1,400.00
4474 CAST (Leukotriene Release Assay) R600.00
4589 Nasal Smear Eusinophils R400.00
4508 Specific IgE; Allergen mixes R375.00
4513 Total IgE R250.00
4514 Specific IgE; Single allergens R250.00
4506 Phadiotop R670.00