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Researchers develop new method that could cure children of food allergies

Category: Allergy Testing

Children who have received positive food allergy tests may soon be able to consume their food triggers with less fear of a reaction thanks to a new treatment method developed by researchers from Northwestern Medicine.

The team was able to turn off the immune system of response of mice that were allergic to peanuts by attaching peanut protein onto the animals' own blood cells and reintroducing the cells into their systems.

Because the new samples contained their own blood as well as peanut material, the mice's immune system became accustomed to nuts and did not launch an adverse response when the animals were exposed to nuts in the future.

"We think we've found a way to safely and rapidly turn off the allergic response to food allergies," said Paul Bryce, who led the development of the new method. "Their immune system saw the peanut protein as perfectly normal because it was already presented on the white blood cells. Without the treatment, these animals would have gone into anaphylactic shock."

They believe the method could work equally well in humans with food allergies.

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