Alpha-gal testing

Test in Focus

Galactose-alpha 1,3 galactose IgE — a serum test for IgE antibodies against alpha-gal —is a new FDA-approved test that provides an indication of potential allergic response. In this "Test in Focus" episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Joshua Bornhorst, Ph.D., associate director of Mayo Clinic's Clinical Immunoassay Lab, explains how humans can develop an allergy to the alpha-gal molecule, and he describes the allergen antibody test that can be used to detect it.

"In this immunocap assay, specific IGA antibodies from the patient's serum react with the allergen of interest, alpha-gal, which is covalently coupled to a solid matrix, and the binding is subsequently detected in the quantitative faction," Dr. Bornhorst says.

In the podcast, Dr. Bornhorst also reviews other tests that should be used in conjunction with alpha-gal testing to accurately identify the scope and underlying cause of the allergy.

Note: Podcasts will not playback on Internet Explorer. Please use an alternative web browser, or listen from your mobile device on a preferred listening app.


Useful For

As an aid in diagnosis of an IgE mediated hypersensitivity allergy to non-primate mammalian red meat or meat-derived products such as beef, pork, venison, and meat-derived products (e.g. gelatin).

Specimen Requirements


Preferred: Red top

Acceptable: Serum gel

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL for every 5 allergens requested

Performance Information

Day(s) and Time(s) Test Performed 

Monday through Friday; 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

Saturday; 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Analytic Time 

Same day/1 day

Samantha Rossi

Samantha Rossi is a Digital Marketing Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She supports marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Samantha has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2019.