Researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute have found evidence that a cure may be possible for peanut allergy.
A treatment the researchers are trialing has shown long-lasting effects, more than four years after the original study; and provided hopes for sufferers of the allergy.
At the end of the original trial in 2013, 82 per cent of children who received the probiotic and peanut oral immunotherapy (PPOIT) were deemed tolerant to peanuts and went home eating peanut. Four years later, 80 per cent of children who gained initial tolerance are still eating peanut as part of their normal diet and have passed a further challenge test confirming long-term tolerance to peanut (70 per cent)
Publication of four year follow up data from a study of a novel oral immunotherapy to treat peanut allergy – The Lancet, Child and Adolescent Health
Research led by Professor Mimi Tang, who pioneered the probiotic and peanut immunotherapy (PPOIT) treatment, followed up children four years after they completed the initial trial. Children in the original PPOIT randomised trial were given either a combination of the probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, together with peanut protein in increasing amounts, or a placebo, once daily for 18 months, then tested to see if they had developed tolerance to peanut.
Prof Tang said the new study showed that the majority of PPOIT-treated children who tolerated peanut at the end of the original trial were still eating peanut without reactions four years later.
“The probiotic and peanut oral immunotherapy treatment, or PPOIT, was associated with long-lasting ability to tolerate peanut four years after stopping the treatment,” Prof Tang said.
“Of the PPOIT-treated participants who achieved short term tolerance at the end of the original trial, 80 per cent were still eating peanut and 70 per cent had long-lasting challenge-proven tolerance four years after stopping treatment.”