Researchers from the University of Michigan have high hopes when it comes to combating allergies. They managed to create a substance similar to a vaccine that could reduce any adverse reactions associated with peanut allergies. This substance was effective for mice, but they hope they could develop a solution that could work for humans as well.
Combating peanut allergies in mice
Peanut allergies are probably the most common among humans, but among other animals as well. This is why researchers decided to find a way to ward off the allergic reactions associated with this food. By using the vaccine model, they developed a nasal spray that could work on mice.
For 20 years, researchers worked on an effective way to reverse the action of the immune cells. They managed to change the way these cells acted, and prevented any adverse reactions associated with peanut allergies in mice. However, instead of a classical vaccine against allergies, they produced a nasal spray they administered to the animals three times per month.
The vaccine-spray changes the reaction of the immune cells to allergens
The huge achievement of the researchers is the following. They managed to alter the way in which immune cells function. This way, they could have a different response to the allergens present in peanuts. Moreover, they altered the cells even after the peanut allergies were well present in the bodies of the mice. This means the same treatment might work on humans as well.
Jessica O’Konek, one of the authors of the study, explained the process.
“By redirecting the immune responses, our vaccine not only suppresses the response but prevents the activation of cells that would initiate allergic reactions.”
The mice with peanut allergies exhibited mostly the same allergic reactions as humans. However, about two weeks after the first vaccine doses, they no longer had such symptoms. Researchers haven’t found out how long the effect of the vaccine spray lasts. However, they assume it’s not temporary.
The study was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
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