Over 60 peanut allergic children in a study were either given a dose of a probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, together with peanut protein in increasing amounts, or a placebo over 18 months to assess whether children would become tolerant to peanut.
Astoundingly, the team found over 80% of children who received the oral immunotherapy treatment were able to tolerate peanut at the end of the trial, compared to less than 4% of the placebo group.
Professor Mimi Tang, who leads the Allergy and Immune Disorders Research group at the Institute, says the need for a peanut allergy cure or treatment is high because the condition is usually life-long and can be fatal.
Lead researcher, A/Professor Mimi Tang said the study results are extremely exciting as they could potentially provide an effective treatment for food allergy.
“It appears that we have been able to modify the allergic response to peanut such that the immune system produces protective responses rather than a harmful response to the peanut protein.”
Further research is now required to confirm whether patients can still tolerate peanut years after the study has finished.
Hear more from Professor Tang, and some of the study participants in the video below.