The MELISA organisation is dedicated to the science of metal allergy and its diagnosis when treating chronic diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune and allergic diseases.
The MELISA test is a scientifically-proven blood test which diagnoses metal allergy to multiple metals. It was originally developed for the diagnosis of occupational allergies at Astra Pharmaceuticals (now AstraZeneca).
The MELISA test, a modification of the LTT test, started to take shape when Dr Vera Stejskal, a toxicologist at Astra Pharmaceuticals in Södertälje, Sweden, was asked to develop a test for the diagnosis of drug allergy among workers in their pharmaceutical factories. In 1990, a colleague of Dr Stejskal, dermatologist Dr Margit Forsbeck, expressed a wish to try the test on patients who claimed that their symptoms were caused by their amalgam fillings. At that time, many patients came to Dr Forsbeck with oral problems – burning, itching and lichenoid reactions – and claimed that they suffered from “oral galvanism” or “amalgam poisoning”.
The problem was that patch testing was not very reliable for testing metals on the skin, as some metals are toxic substances. If a metal causes irritation on the skin, it is difficult to differentiate between a toxic and an allergic reaction. The dermatologist was concerned to know if mercury allergy really existed and wanted to prove or disprove this. Perhaps MELISA could do the job?
Astra, a pharmaceutical rather than a diagnostic company, had no interest in developing the MELISA test and so, shortly afterwards, MELISA organisation was founded to promote research into metal allergy and its implications in contributing to the development of chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
This started the process of validating the test for the diagnosis of metal allergy, which has lead to the publication of many scientific articles. Today, MELISA is performed under license by certified laboratories worldwide and the test is reimbursed by public and private insurers in a number of countries. To date, the MELISA test has helped hundreds of patients to lead healthier lives.