New Peanut Allergy Vaccine
A promising new vaccine is being trialled in Melbourne that could provide a cure for anaphylaxis, otherwise known as peanut allergy. When we hear stories about schools declaring themselves ‘nut free’ and statistics like 3% of children under 1 are affected by peanut allergies, the issue understandably starts to become a matter of public discussion and a cause for concern for most parents. Here are the facts:
- Almost 3 in every 100 children have an allergy to peanuts.
- 20% of people will ‘grow out’ of the allergy.
- It can cause a potentially life-threatening reaction.
Chances are, you or someone you know is allergic to peanuts. Let’s take a look at the specifics of a peanut allergy, the symptoms, and risks, and also the promising new vaccine being trialed in Melbourne that could provide a cure.
When your immune system overreacts to a certain food or substance, in this case, peanuts, the body may set off a protective response as it identifies the substance as a danger. In layman’s terms, this is the cause of allergic reactions. Firstly, it’s important to note that peanuts are in fact, a legume and not a tree nut, which is why some people will only experience reactions to peanuts and not any other nuts. Peanuts are also one of the foods most associated with anaphylaxis. For those who unfortunately suffer from a more severe intolerance to peanuts, this can mean having to carry an epinephrine injection and ensuring that friends and family are informed on how to administer the injection should you need it. While anaphylactic shocks are one of the more server symptoms, others include breaking out in hives, an itching or tingling sensation in or around the mouth or throat, nausea or a runny or congested nose. Those that do have a peanut allergy should take caution when eating Asian or Mexican foods as peanuts are a popular ingredient in the cuisine.
But the future is bright! Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has discovered a potential cure that has recently received a $8 million cash boost from capital investment firm OneVenture. The idea behind the treatment is that if the allergen is paired with a probiotic, it will encourage the immune system to readjust the default reaction of the symptoms listed previously. Specifically, it will utilize peanut flower with daily doses of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and it currently being trialled on children. This treatment is administered over the course of five weeks. This is a huge development for the suffers of anaphylaxis and for the medical industry, as people across the world are affected by the allergy and this vaccine has the potential to be marketed internationally.
If you would like any more information on peanut allergies or any other allergies and suggested treatments, head into Padbury Pharmacy and ask one of our knowledgeable staff for assistance. Peanut allergies are definitely an inconvenience and families can no doubt end up being run by it, but the prospect of a cure is really exciting news and as time goes on, society is becoming a lot more accommodating to sufferers of food allergies. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this is the beginning of the move towards a world without allergies!