Welcome to our specialised allergy unit

We're committed to finding the right treatments to change the lives of our patients and their families - even during the time of Covid-19.
If you're struggling with allergies, give us a call or read further to find out how we can help you!

About Us

More about Allergies

About the Allergy Clinic

The Allergy Clinic is proud to provide its patients with specialised care to diagnose, treat, and even overcome their allergies.

Our clinic, which relocated from Rosebank to Blairgowrie in Johannesburg in 2019, specialises in offering a comprehensive allergy diagnostic and treatment service in adults and children.

Diagnoses and treatments include, but are not limited to the following:

Dr Marinda McDonald

MBChB (Pret), Diploma in Allergy (SA), Certificate in Allergies (Southampton)

Marinda McDonaldDr Marinda McDonald has offered specialised treatments for allergies for most of her professional career.

She completed her medical degree at the University of Pretoria in 1998. After doing her community service, she went into general practice with a keen interest in allergies.

Over the years, it became clear that there is a growing need for quality allergy care, which prompted Dr McDonald to further her studies in this field. She completed a Diploma in Allergies with the College of Medicine of South Africa in 2004, and also completed a Certificate in Allergy from the University of Southampton in 2014.

As the founder of The Allergy Clinic, which recently relocated from Rosebank to Blairgowrie, Dr McDonald is proud to manage a specialised allergy unit where food and medication challenges are performed, as well as Immunotherapy to inhalants and bees. She is part of the Rhinitis working group, as well as an examiner for the Diploma in Allergology of The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (CMSA). She has also made multiple appearances on television and radio to share her clinical experience.

Dr McDonald is an avid runner and takes every opportunity to live life to the fullest with her two young boys.

Her passion and vision for the future are to offer all her patients a world-class allergy management service and to grow continually as a clinician. And she finds great joy in seeing how the right treatment can change the lives of her patients and their families!

Taryn Lee Bortz

BDietetics (Pret)

Taryn graduated from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelors in Dietetics. She completed her Community Service at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, where she stayed on as a permanent Clinical Dietitian. 

During her time at Rahima Moosa, Taryn gained valuable experience in both an in-patient and out-patient setting in conditions relating to pediatric, infant and maternal nutrition, weight management and various chronic diseases. 

She also was involved with the Allergy Clinic at the hospital, working closely with a team of allergists, doctors, nurses and a paediatric gastroenterologist to provide comprehensive allergy testing and treatment for infants and children with food allergies.

Through participating in the clinic, she noticed the vital role dietitians play in food allergy management and I am currently in the process of completing the FARE Certificate of Training in pediatric food allergies. This course has prepared her to provide the most up-to-date evidence based care to patients.

Having a desire to keep up to date with the most recent evidence-based nutrition, Taryn completed other courses in the fields of:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (EatFit Low FODMAP accredited)

Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics (3×4 accredited)

Weight Management (CDE Optifast accredited). 

Taryn is an avid foodie and wishes to provide individuals with the knowledge on how to nourish their bodies, eat more mindfully and remove all things “fad diet” related. 

Services & treatments

We diagnose, treat and manage the following allergic conditions:

Specialised services:


This is a process where allergens like bee venom and inhalants related to pets, grass and house dust mites are given by either drops or injections in incremental doses to decrease patients’ sensitivity to these allergens. While the idea of being exposed to a dangerous allergen might be daunting, you can rest assured that immunotherapy is a carefully monitored and controlled process, and we evaluate our patients on an ongoing basis.

Food challenges

A food challenge is a process by which the problematic food is given to the patient under controlled circumstances to evaluate if the patient has outgrown their food allergy, or to confirm a food allergy.

Medication challenges and Skin prick testing

A medication challenge is a testing process by which a skin prick test and an intradermal test is used to determine an allergy. Certain medications are not suitable for skin prick- or intradermal testing, and we will then proceed to a medication challenge. As in the case of immunotherapy, these procedures are done under supervision, and a risk assessment is done before the process to ensure our patients receive the best possible care.

Aspirin desensitisation

Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) is a condition that usually goes hand-in-hand with asthma, nasal congestion and recurrent nasal polyps. Exposure to aspirin usually results in upper respiratory symptoms (increased nasal congestion, frontal headache or sinus pain, and sneezing) as well as lower respiratory symptoms (a cough, wheezing, chest tightness). AERD can also induce skin flushing, rash, abdominal pain and occasional vomiting. By following the same principles applied in immunotherapy for several days, the desensitisation-process aims to get patients’ bodies to accept the drug without reacting.


Our in-house dietician, Taryn Lee Bortz, is ready to assist with an eating plan to help you navigate your allergies.

Did you know:
While about 20 per cent of the population likes to believe it has food allergies, up to half of these people do not have medically diagnosed food allergies.

What you need to know about allergies

Allergies can be classified between immunoglobulin-mediated (IgE) and non-IgE mediated categories.

IgE-mediated reactions typically appear within two hours of ingestion or exposure to an allergen, and can manifest through the following symptoms:

These symptoms can be caused by food allergies, medication allergies or insect sting allergies, and if in isolation, shortness of breath and wheezing can be a sign of allergic asthma. 

If urticaria (also known as as wheels or hives) appear on your body for more than six weeks, it can be a sign of a condition named chronic spontaneous urticaria. Although it’s challenging to manage, chronic spontaneous urticaria has a variety of treatment models. 

Non-IgE reactions are slower in nature and typically appear much later than IdE reactions. These allergies can be more challenging to diagnose because of the delay in the response. Some of the symptoms include:

The symptoms listed above can be a sign of preservative allergy, medication allergy, food allergy, environmental allergy or an occupational allergy.

We believe if you understand your allergy, as well as your testing and treatment options, your quality of life can be significantly enhanced. Are you, or your loved one plagued by an allergy? Contact us to set up a consultation.

Please visit the South African government’s main Covid-19 page for more information about the virus and lockdown: www.sacoronavirus.co.za

Please take note:

To date, we stayed open throughout the pandemic, and – regulations permitting – we intend to stay open as we navigate the impact of Covid-19. However, please do not come to the clinic if you have recently been exposed, have a fever, dry cough or are feeling unwell. Rather stay home. Please call the clinic to set up a telephonic conversation so we can do a risk assessment and plan for testing.

All enquiries about your specific management will be responded to.

The Allergy Clinic is contracted out of medical aid. We request that patients kindly settle all accounts after the appointment and to then claim directly from your medical aid. We charge R1 500 for first consultations  that last an hour and  includes lung function testing. The cost of continued- or follow-up treatment varies on a case-to-case basis.

Feel free to contact us with any further questions or to make an appointment. 

Click here for more information about our fees and practice policy.

© 2021| Dr Marinda McDonald | Practice number 0015393 | All rights reserved