Monday, 10 December 2012

World Allergy Organisation: Experts now working for a pan anti-allergy vaccine that checks a variety of allergies

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Health experts are now working on a pan
anti-allergic vaccine that helps prevent a number of allergies in
people living across the globe.

Allergic reactions to foods, drugs, insect bites, chemicals and dust
are increasing the world over. At present, there is no general vaccine
that helps prevent or check allergies in people. Immunization
strategies followed by researchers at the University of Sheffield, UK,
showed promises of a potential anti-allergy vaccine designs in future.
It also targets human, horse and dog allergies simultaneously.

Sari Sabban from the University of Sheffield presented a research
paper on a pan allergy vaccine at the international scientific conference

of the World Allergy Organisation here. Sari Sabban conducted research
on rat serum. His immunization strategy was successful but did not fully
work as predicted. It however, laid significant foundations for future potential
anti-allergy vaccine designs.

The project involves development of an active anti-allergy
immunotherapy. As part of the study, the team at the University of
Sheffield injected a synthetic peptide derived from human IgE
(Immunoglobulin E) into rats. The experiment resulted in a rat serum
with strong antibody titer targeting the injected peptide.

Allergy is an increasing autoimmune disease in the developed world.
Current consensus is that allergy is the result of a misdirected
immune response directed towards ‘seemingly innocuous antigens’. Many
of the allergens have similarities with parasite proteins and it is
generally accepted that the IgE (Immunoglobulin E) response is a
normal defence mechanism against parasitic infestations, according to
Sari Sabban.

The conventional treatment of allergy is through pharmacotherapy where
corticosteroids are used to reduce the expression of inflammatory
proteins. Although effective, they do not combat the underlying cause
of allergy. Novel immunotherapeutic treatments have been developed
that immunize sufferers with anti-IgE antibodies, but this passive
immunization strategy is only temporary, and patients need to return
for follow-up injections.

The proposed pan anti-allergy vaccine will solve some of these
problems and help in preventing and controlling allergic reactions.

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