Researchers' breakthrough in treatment of deadly peanut allergies in children

Researchers' breakthrough in treatment of deadly peanut allergies in children

Researchers' breakthrough in treatment of deadly peanut allergies in children

"The importance of this discovery is that these children can eat peanuts as those who have no peanut allergy", said Mimi Tang, lead researcher of the study.

A peanut allergy cure may be on the horizon after a new treatment showed promising effects during clinic trials at Australia's Murdoch Children's Research Institute, researchers there said on Wednesday.

Lead researcher Mimi Tang pioneered the dual-therapy approach to treating peanut allergies, and she posits that probiotics - Lactobacillus rhamnosus was used in the study - increase the chances of cells responding to the immunotherapy.

Tang said the injection regime works by changing how the body reacts to an allergen.

ABC reports 10-year-old Olivia May was one of the children taking part in the study, with her mum Tanya explaining how there's no longer the anxiety or worry of her daughter suffering from an allergic reaction.

'These children had been eating peanut freely in their diet without having to follow any particular program of peanut intake in the years after treatment was completed, ' she said. Two-thirds of the children that received the treatment have become desensitized to peanuts and this has lasted up to four years after the treatment.

The 48 children were treated with an experimental immunotherapy treatment.

The results were astounding compared to the placebo group, which only had a 4-percent effectiveness in developing peanut tolerance.

The treatment encourages the immune system to develop a tolerance to protein in the nuts that cause an allergic reaction.

In the recent follow up trial, 80% of the children who gained tolerance are still consuming peanuts as part of their regular diet and 70% passed a further test created to determine long-term tolerance to peanuts.

Children with peanut allergies could finally overcome the life-threatening reaction for up to four years, Australian researchers say.

"Ours is the first study to show prolonged eight-week sustained unresponsiveness several years after treatment has ceased and suggests the possibility that tolerance is a realistic target for food allergy treatments". "This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in Western societies".

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