Published: Fri, August 18, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Aussie researchers may have cured childhood peanut allergy

Aussie researchers may have cured childhood peanut allergy

Australian scientists have discovered a long-lasting treatment using peanut protein and a probiotic.

A study by Professor Mimi Tang of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne says that peanut allergy may have a cure if the child were given a probiotic, with a peanut protein, daily for 18 months and it would be effective for four years. The results of which have last four years after the treatment.

In the 2013 trial, 82 percent of children who received the probiotic and peanut oral immunotherapy were deemed tolerant to peanuts and went home eating peanuts.

Tang, an immunologist and allergist, pioneered a new treatment that combines a probiotic with peanut oral immunotherapy, PPOIT to treat peanut allergy - one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis - a life threatening allergic reaction.

Four years after the treatment, majority of the volunteers were able to consume peanuts as part of their normal diet with 70 per cent clearing the test conforming to long-term tolerance to peanuts.

Study lead Professor Mimi Tang said the breakthrough indicates that curing peanut allergies could be done by slowly introducing the allergy-triggering food with high-dose probiotics.

Peanut allergies are often severe and can be deadly, forcing parents, kids, schools, and other institutions to remain hyper-vigilant about avoiding exposure.

Peanut allergy is one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis, a reaction of intolerance potentially fatal.

This formula is created to reprogramme the response of immune system to peanuts and develop tolerance.

"Allergic reactions from intentional peanut ingestion were uncommon, and all reactions were mild, suggesting that those who achieved [immunotherapy]-induced sustained unresponsiveness can safely continue peanut ingestion", researchers said.

And according to News Corp a second study revealed 20 out of 24 children who were able to eat peanuts in the weeks after the original trial began and can still tolerate nuts a little over four years later.

She also added: "This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in Western societies".

It is thought the treatment helps to give the immune system a much needed nudge.

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