Allergic reactions in the community (AlleRiC)

Project Overview

The AlleRiC/AlleRiSC (Allergic Reactions in Community/Allergic Reactions in the Social Contexts) study is being conducted as a part of an international research project called iFAAM (Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Risk Management). AlleRiC is the name of the study in the UK, and AlleRiSC in Ireland. The iFAAM project is the world’s biggest ever study of allergies. Researchers from The University of Manchester (UNIMAN) and University College Cork (UCC) are investigating food allergies and allergic reactions by food allergic people in the community.

Up to 20 million Europeans suffer from food allergies. However, management of food allergy by patients and health practitioners, or allergens by industry, is suboptimal. There is a lack of evidence on how to prevent food allergy developing, or to adequately protect those that are already allergic. Our study aims to better understand how allergic reactions happen every day. We are going to use an online questionnaire to capture this information.

Start: May 2013

End: March 2017

Funded by: iFAAM project (EU FP7), HeRC (MRC)

Disease Area Impacted

Food allergies

Data Source

The AlleRiC system allows participants to report suspected allergic reactions to food, by completing a questionnaire to capture information about the context of the reaction. Photographs can also be uploaded (e.g. of the suspect food, or skin symptoms). If participants collect a sample of the suspect food, this is collected and analysed.


The AlleRiC system links together different types of data: questionnaire responses, photos, symptom severity scoring, and food sample analysis which will be analysed to better understand the context of food allergic reactions.

The AlleRiC system is currently being piloted in the UK (through University Hospital South Manchester Allergy Clinic) and Ireland (through Univeristy College Cork). Study participants report suspected allergic reactions to food in real time.


Food allergy sufferers and clinicians dealing with food allergies are intedned to benefit from this research.

The AlleRiC system has a novel clinical application, since it captures objective reaction report data from food allergy sufferers that can be viewed by clinicians. This provides the clinician with more information about the patient’s symptoms and helps to address the recall bias where patients typically recall better the more reactions, and omit the mild reaction symptoms.

Intended Outcomes

Improve understanding of food allergy, and a prototype tool to report food allergic reactions.

Researchers Involved

Chris Munro

Aida Semic-Jusufagic

Kasia Pyrz

Philip Couch

Audrey Dunn-Galvin

Niels Peek

Marina Themis

Clare Mills

Iain Buchan

Jonathan Hourihane

Angela Simpson


Developing and validating a novel questionnaire to capture bio-psycho-social variables of allergic reactions in the community: the AlleRiC study and the preliminary analyses Clin Transl Allergy. 2015; 5(Suppl 3): P1, Katarzyna Pyrz, Aida Semic-Jusufagic, Christopher Munro, Philip Couch, Clare Mills, Jonathan Hourihane, and Audrey Dunn Galvin.

Community-based approach to food allergy management, Conference Paper, December 2015, Conference: New Horizons in Medical Research, At School of Medicine, University College Cork, Katarzyna Maria Pyrz, Jonathan Hourihane, Audrey Dunn Galvin, Aida Semic-Jusufagic, Christopher Munro, Philip Couch.

An e-Health Approach to Reporting Allergic Reactions to Food and Closing the Knowledge Gap. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2015;216:320-4. 2015, Munro C, Semic-Jusufagic A, Pyrz K, Couch P, Dunn-Galvin A, Peek N, Themis M, Mills C, Buchan I, Hourihane J, Simpson A.

Note: A PPIE workshop was held in Berlin in October 2015 in order to gain input into carrying the project forward into the future.