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Doctors cure 10-year-old boy's peanut allergy

Category: Allergy Testing

A 10-year-old boy has been cured from his severe peanut allergy, showing hope for those with serious allergy conditions. The boy was diagnosed with a peanut allergy from an allergy test when he was just over a year old. After a bone marrow transplant to combat another condition, the boy appears to have been cured of his allergy altogether.

Finding the cure
The boy was diagnosed with the peanut allergy when he was 15 months old, and his parents were able to avoid any contact with the legume. However, the child also developed a serious form of leukemia and had to undergo chemotherapy. When the cancer returned years later, the boy was given a bone marrow transplant to help with the treatment, according to the research presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's Annual Scientific Meeting.

The bone marrow transplant was a success and the boy went into full remission, but Steven Weiss, M.D., his original allergist, thought that there may be more effects from the procedure.

"There is published data [indicating that] someone who gets a liver transplant or bone marrow transplant might develop the allergies that the [donor] had," Weiss said. "Let's say you have a peanut allergy, potentially that could be transferred by marrow transplant to the person receiving [the transplant]. This is the opposite," said Weiss.

After the bone marrow transplant, the boy had lost his allergy to peanuts, something that some children outgrow in time but others have throughout their entire lives. After the boy tested negative in a lab test for peanut allergies, Weiss administered an "oral challenge," in which he gave the boy peanut butter and that there was no reaction.

Allergies in American children
Rates of food and skin allergies in children rose significantly between 1997 and 2011, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency found many connections between age, ethnicity and income levels with allergies: Children from higher-income families were more likely to have certain allergies, while Hispanic children had the lowest rates of allergies of all groups.

Allergy testing for children who may have certain intolerances is very important. A lab test online can show these allergies before they become serious problems, as some of these conditions can be potentially life-threatening.

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