Researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA) have developed a vaccine for peanut allergies that could save lives.
Developed at UniSA’s Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory, the vaccine has proved effective in mice and in human blood samples.
If human trials are deemed successful, the vaccine could make peanut allergies a thing of the past, changing the lives of millions of people.
The vaccine works by rewriting the body’s response to peanut allergens, eliciting a non-allergic response rather than an allergic one.
Allergic reactions to peanut allergens range from nausea and vomiting to anaphylaxis and death.
Approximately 3 percent of Australian children are allergic to peanuts according to Preethi Eldi, the leader of the vaccine project.
“The impact peanut allergy can have on a family that is all-consuming, especially given the very real risks to a child’s heath,” he said in a media release.
“If we can deliver an effective peanut allergy vaccine, we’ll remove this stress, concern, and constant monitoring, freeing the child and their family from the constraints and dangers of peanut allergy.”
A report released by the World Allergy Organization in 2013 warned that anaphylaxis was on the rise.
John Hayball, the head of the Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory, said the new vaccine effectively tricks the immune system into accepting peanut allergens.