Australian scientists have found an 80 percent high-tolerance rate among children given a probiotic and peanuts in slowly increasing doses over time.

Conducted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the study involved 60 children aged between 1 and 10 years. They were randomized to receive either a placebo or the treatment over an 18-month period, and all were given peanut tolerance tests in the beginning and throughout the study.

Researchers found that more than 80 percent of those children receiving the treatment were able to tolerate peanuts at the end of the trial, as compared to less than 4 percent in the placebo group.

Researchers say the study is an exciting development

Lead researcher and associate professor Mimi Tang called the results “exciting.” It’s possible that this could lead to an eventual cure, at least for the majority of peanut allergy sufferers.

This study combines the well-documented raising of tolerance levels with escalating doses of the allergen over time. The Melbourne study, however, may have found a way to make that increased tolerance more permanent as previous studies have found that over time, those tolerance levels can decrease if not “exercised” regularly. The key here was combining an oral immunotherapy (via probiotics to encourage gut flora) to go with the tolerance building.

The researchers in this study plan to follow up with the children to conduct an eight-week abstinence portion to test long-term viability. In that portion of the study, they will have the children stop ingesting peanuts for eight weeks and re-test tolerance levels. The current two-week test can be verified with that longer-term check, the researchers say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}