Peanut allergy vaccine could provide relief to 750,000 Australians
A cure is within reach
By Michelle Connolly
December 08 2019
One in 200 Aussie adults and three in 100 Aussie children are affected by peanut allergies.
Schools across the nation are nut aware with most banning any nuts to be taken on school grounds at all.
Watch: 2018's Biggest Food Safety Recalls
University of South Australia researchers say they are on the cusp of developing a vaccine for potentially deadly peanut allergies that could prove life changing.
Nut allergy affects about three quarters of a million Australians, and that number is growing.
University of South Australia researcher Preethi Eldi says nut allergies are often a lifelong burden.
“In Australia, about three per cent of babies are peanut allergic and 80 per cent of those will stay for life,” she said.
But Adelaide researchers could be close to refining a vaccine that tricks the body into not reacting to the allergen.
“What eventually happens is that it stops producing those molecules that are responsible for the allergic reaction,” Eldi said.
Early trials of the peanut vaccine on blood samples show it is working.
The next step is to move onto clinical trials.
The vaccine could then form the base of other immunisations for a variety of food allergies.
"We do hope that this is the first vaccine in a line and yes, we would like to target other nuts," Eldi said