"It appears these children have lost their allergies," says Wesley Burks, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at Duke. "This gives other parents and children hope that we'll soon have a safe, effective treatment that will halt allergies to certain foods."
Long-term tolerance in children with peanut allergies was documented for the first time by the presence of key immunologic changes, according to researchers at Duke and Arkansas Children's Hospital who presented their findings at the American Academy of Asthma and Immunology meeting in Washington, DC today.
Tests of several immunologic indicators suggest the body builds tolerance quickly.
"At the start of the study, these participants couldn't tolerate one-sixth of a peanut," Burks said. "Six months into it, they were ingesting 13 to 15 peanuts before they had a reaction."
About four million Americans have food allergies, and allergies to tree nuts and peanuts are the most common. Life-threatening reactions can occur from exposure to even a trace amount of peanuts, and nearly half of the 150 deaths attributed to food allergies each year are caused by peanut allergies.
Duke and Arkansas Children's Hospital began enrolling patients in studies five years ago to determine if incremental doses of peanut protein could change how the body's immune system responds to its presence. The doses start as small as 1/1000 of a peanut. Eight to 10 months later, the children are ingesting the equivalent of up to 15 peanuts per day. The children stay on that daily therapy for several years and are monitored closely.
Nine of the 33 children participating in the study have been on maintenance therapy for more than 2.5 years. After a series of food challenges, four of those children were taken off the treatment and continue to eat peanuts. Some have been off treatment for more than a year. Doctors keep tabs on any potential changes in their immune system via skin, blood and immune studies.
One of the tests used in the study looks at immunoglobulin E (IgE), a protein the body makes in response to peanut allergens. "If you have it, you're likely allergic, if you don't, you aren't," explained Burks. Children in this study generally started with IgE levels greater than 25. "At the end of the study, their peanut IgEs were less than 2 and have remained that way since we stopped the treatment," he said.
Because the pool of children now off treatment is so small, Burks says it's hard to say whether these children simply outgrew their allergies or if the therapy did something to enhance that outcome. The next step is a blinded study in which children on treatment are compared to a control group. First year results were presented at the meeting by Stacie M. Jones, MD, a pediatric allergist at Arkansas Children's Hospital. So far, the oral immune therapy appears to be working.
"We see initial desensitization effects of the treatment are real," Burks says. "Those children are now able to eat up to 15 peanuts with no reaction, but the children not on treatment have symptoms early on in the study."
Despite the news, Burks insists this research is still ongoing and cautions parents and professionals against trying any version on their own. "In my clinic, I would do the same things I've always done. Once diagnosed with a food allergy, I would recommend they avoid the food. We have to wait for the studies to show the treatment is safe, and to see desensitization start to work. We also want to know the therapy works long term."
Burks also cautions that some people are too sensitive to peanut allergens to be able to undergo the therapy.
Debbe Geiger | EurekAlert!
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses