How Our Lab Works: A Behind-the-Scenes Look

4 min read



Where does my allergy test go after I complete it?

Once you drop off your sample at a mailbox, it’s sent to our partner laboratory for testing. They are CLIA and CAP-certified, meaning they adhere to high-quality laboratory practices. CAP requirements meet or exceed CLIA compliance requirements, and the comprehensive standards ensure that test results are highly accurate.

How is my sample tested?

Your sample will be tested for IgE levels in your blood to determine sensitivity to 40 different allergens. Our partner lab utilizes equipment from the industry leader in finger-prick testing to process your sample and produce reliable and accurate results.

Nectar Allergy Testing

Here are the steps the lab takes to process your sample:

  1. The lab first checks that your sample is under 28 days old. The age of your sample is calculated based on your collection/activation date. If your sample is over 28 days old, it’s considered expired. This is based on studies that suggest samples beyond that time period may not perform as well. If your sample is expired, we’ll ask you to take another one and mail it back as soon as you can so we can process it while it’s under 28 days old.
  2. Your collection card is inspected to ensure a sufficient amount of blood has been collected to produce accurate results at the lab.
  3. Reagents (substances that cause a chemical reaction) are applied to a test strip and then incubated with your sample in the first reaction step.
  4. If your sample contains specific antibodies of IgE, they will bind to the allergens coated on the strip. To detect the bound antibodies, a second incubation is carried out using specific reagents catalyzing a color reaction.
  5. The test strip is then scanned by high-resolution cameras to evaluate intensity levels that correlate with IgE and allergy classes.
  6. Your results are produced for each allergen tested along with IgE values and classes. Essentially, each allergy strip will generate an intensity value between 0-255 for each allergen tested. Whatever range you fall into is categorized into a “Class,” which indicates how severe your sensitivity to an allergen might be. Each “Class” falls into a “Reactivity Level” that ranges from “Very Low” to “Very High.”

What do my results mean?

On your MyNectar dashboard, we provide an overview of all the allergens tested for and your Reactivity Level to each. See a sample results report.

It’s important to remember that IgE Reactivity Levels are only one aspect of diagnosing your allergies. Think of it as an indication, not an explanation. Your clinical history and geographic location are key parts of your allergy story and your licensed provider takes all of this into account before concluding what your ideal treatment option is.

This is why your in-take survey is critical. Think of it as the paperwork you fill out at a doctor’s office. It’s information your medical provider needs to get a clearer picture of your history of allergies. For example, we ask where you live on the survey. If your answer is Texas we look into which allergens are most prevalent there and how that corresponds to your test results. Your answers to these questions are part of how we develop your custom treatment.

Your allergy test results, clinical history, and geographic location all inform which two allergens are used in your custom formula. If you’re wondering why the formula doesn’t include every single allergen a person is allergic to, it’s because mixing too many allergens together is simply not as effective at training the immune system. Concentrating on the most prominent allergens, however, improves overall allergic symptoms.

What happens to my blood sample after the test is processed?

After you receive your results, your sample is destroyed in a timely manner at a trusted third-party facility according to lab protocols.

Get your Nectar Allergy Test today and find out what you're allergic to.

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