Major breakthrough reported by the Australian researchers for treating peanut allergy that offers hope that a cure will soon be possible
Scientists at Melbourne’s Murdoch Childrens Research Institute developed clinical trials with children who had peanut allergies. They were given a probiotic along with small doses of a peanut protein for 18 months.
The experiment ended in 2013, and 80% of the children were able to tolerate peanuts.
The research discovered that four years after, 70% of the children could still eat peanuts without any sort of adverse reaction.
“The importance of this finding is that these children were able to eat peanuts like children who don’t have peanut allergy and still maintain their tolerant state, protected against reactions to peanut,” lead researcher Mimi Tang said.
“These findings suggest our treatment is effective at inducing long-term tolerance, up to four years after completing treatment, and is safe.
“It also suggests the exciting possibility that tolerance is a realistic target for treating the food allergy.”
Unfortunately, food allergy affects one in 20 children and around 2 in 100 adults, with eggs, peanuts, and seafood being the most typical triggers.
However, peanuts in particular are the most dangerous, as they cause anaphylaxis, which is an allergic reaction that has the strength to cause death.
So far, researchers believe that the Murdoch study provides the “strongest evidence yet that a cure may be possible for peanut allergy”.
“This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in Western societies,” Tang said.
Olivia May, aged 10, suffered a reaction when she ate a peanut butter sandwich seven years ago. The allergist told her that she simply needs to take all nuts and peanuts out of her foods. However, after taking part in the trial, Olivia no longer suffers from her allergy.