Science

Peanut allergy in children could be cured?

EPA/JAGADEESH NV

Australian researchers apparently made a breakthrough in the treatment of peanut allergy in children. During a small clinical trial, two-thirds of children were treated with an experimental immunotherapy treatment, got cured and were able to eat peanuts up to four years after the treatment.

Peanut allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis and one of the most common causes of deaths from food allergies. To fight it, lead researcher, Prof Mimi Tang created a new treatment that combines probiotics and peanut oral immunotherapy. In other words, instead of avoiding the allergen, the treatment “reprograms” the immune system response to peanuts and eventually develops tolerance.

Two-thirds of children who participated in the study were given combos of probiotics and peanut protein once a day for 18 months. By the end of the original treatment in 2013, 82 percent of them were tolerant to peanuts.

Four years later, the majority of children who became tolerant were still eating peanuts and 70% confirmed long term tolerance, the Guardian reported.

“This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in western societies,” Tang said

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