Four years ago a group of peanut-allergic kids took part in the pioneering trial at Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, where they were given probiotic and peanut oral immunotherapy.
At the end of the trial 83 per cent of them went home eating peanut butter – seemingly ‘cured’ of their allergy. The majority of them are still eating peanuts, with 70 per cent confirmed as having a long-term tolerance.
“These children had been eating peanut freely in their diet without having to follow any particular program of peanut intake in the years after treatment was completed,” explained research leader by Professor Mimi Tang.
“Over half were consuming moderate to large amounts of peanut on a regular basis, others were only eating peanut infrequently. The importance of this finding is that these children were able to eat peanut like children who don’t have peanut allergy and still maintain their tolerant state, protected against reactions to peanut.”
Major step forward
Researchers say there’s a real possibility that eventually peanut allergies in children will be treatable.
“For the first time, we could have products on the market that provide meaningful and long lasting treatment benefits, which allow sufferers to eat peanut products without thinking about it, as part of a regular diet just like unaffected people,” said CEO of Prota Therapeutics Dr. Suzanne Lipe.
Head to Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to find out more about the trial.