Vaccines cause peanut allergies

16.02.2011 07:27

Important milestone in vaccine research against peanut allergy

Sabine Ranke-Heinemann Press office
Australian-New Zealand University Association / Institute Ranke-Heinemann

Led by Professor Robyn O'Hehir and Professor Jennifer Roland, a research team of immunologists from Monash University and the Alfred Health Center in Australia has identified the key ingredients in a safe and effective vaccine against peanut allergy.

Peanut allergy is considered to be the most severe form of food allergy as it also causes life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. No preventive treatments for food allergies are currently known and anaphylactic reactions require an immediate injection of andrenaline through the EpiPen.

Immunotherapies are widely used in people who are allergic to wasp and bee stings. In this type of treatment, the patient is given protein extracts from the poison in increasing doses to prevent anaphylactic reactions in the event of a sting. Since the peanut allergy is one of the most dangerous forms of allergy due to the severity of the reaction, immunotherapies have so far been refrained from. The new research results now offer a solution.

The researchers at Monash University and the Alfred Health Center identified the crucial sequences or peptides of the peanut proteins that interact with white blood cells (T cells) and cause immune tolerance, but do not bind allergy antibodies and cause anaphylactic reactions. These “dominant fragments or peptides” are predestined for a safe vaccine against peanut allergy. Researchers are confident that a clinical trial will be completed within the next three years as similar research by the team in the grass allergy field is already being clinically tested in America. The research work of first author Dr. Sara Prickett was published in the well-known Online Journal of Allergology and Clinical Immunology. Astrid Voskamp, ​​April Dacumos-Hill and Karen Symons were also involved in the research project.

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