Home Health Peanut allergy: a promising new lead

Peanut allergy: a promising new lead


socially handicapping, peanut allergy can have life-threatening consequences. In France, it affects approximately 1% of the population; it is the most common food allergy, along with egg allergy and fish allergy. It usually manifests around the age of 18 months, in the context of food diversification. The symptoms can be cutaneous (eczema, urticaria), respiratory (asthma, rhino-conjunctivitis…) or digestive (diarrhea, vomiting…). In some cases, the severe allergy can also cause angioedema, or even anaphylactic shock.

“Finding safe and effective treatment options is crucial to improve the quality of life of these children, many of whom will remain allergic all their lives”, underlines Dr. Wesley Burks (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) to AFP. According to an American study, published on January 22, 2022 in the journal The Lancet (source 1), a new treatmentwould precisely increase the number of remissions in children from 0 to 3 years.

Our study suggests that a window of opportunity in early childhood exists to treat peanut allergy via oral immunotherapy, the researchers say.

The researchers studied the impact of a oral addiction treatment for two and a half years on 146 children from 0 to 3 years old, selected because they were allergic to peanuts. To assess the effectiveness of the treatment, the children were divided into two groups. 96 of them received the treatment: a daily dose of peanut protein powder, gradually increased from 0.1 to 2000 mg, the equivalent of six peanuts. The other 50 received a simple placebo (oatmeal). The fixed dose to measure remission and desensitization was 5,000 mg, or about 16 peanuts.

In children with peanut allergy, initiation of oral peanut immunotherapy before the age of 4 years was associated with an increase in both desensitization and remission, the study concludes.

“Children who went into remission were most often in the youngest group, with the best results for those who were less than a year old” at the start of the study, however, specifies Dr. Stacie Jones (University of Arkansas Medical Sciences), co-author of the study. And to add: “This suggests that intervening very early could offer more chance of remission. However, there were only a small number of children under one year of age in our study, and This point therefore requires further research.“.

In addition, the researchers point out that their study was conducted according to a precise protocol, under medical supervision. It is therefore possible that their study does not accurately reflect how the body of the participants would react if they ate peanuts in real conditions.

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