UniSA Peanut Allergy Vaccine Development | Dec 2019

peanut allergy vaccine

Peanut Allergy Vaccine Research

Peanut allergies could become a thing of the past as breakthrough research from the University of South Australia develops a radically novel vaccination that’s poised to cure the potentially life threatening condition.

The vaccine uniquely uses a virus-based platform to rewrite the body’s natural response to peanut allergens, causing it to elicit a non-allergic immune response in lieu of an allergic one.

Developed in partnership with Biotechnology company, Sementis and UniSA’s Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory, the vaccine has the potential to help millions of people. Now, funding from the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation will help evaluate the efficacy of the vaccine in humans.

What is peanut allergy?

Peanut allergies occur when the immune system mistakenly identifies peanuts as an allergen signalling immune cells to release chemicals resulting in adverse reactions that can range from mild hives, cramps, nausea and vomiting to life threatening anaphylactic reactions that require immediate medical attention. Severe allergic reactions can include impaired breathing, swelling in the throat, a sudden drop in blood pressure, dizziness, and even death.

Globally, the incidence of food allergies and related life-threatening anaphylaxis is increasing, with the World Allergy Organization reporting 220-550 million people are affected.

Peanuts are one of the most common food allergies and the most likely food to cause anaphylaxis or death. In Australia, there is particularly high prevalence of peanut allergies with one in 200 adults, and almost three in every 100 children affected.

How does the vaccine work?

The new peanut allergy vaccine is formulated by packaging bits of peanut proteins into the Sementis Copenhagen-vectored (SCV) virus platform. SCV is a ground-breaking technology developed by Dr Paul Howley, Chief Scientific Officer, Sementis and UniSA’s Professor John Hayball, Head of UniSA’s Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory.

Latest Research:

The vaccine has shown signs of success in shifting peanut-specific immune responses in mouse models of peanut allergy, and in preliminary in vitro vaccination-like studies using human blood samples from clinically-confirmed peanut allergic people. The next steps include to gain further human samples in order to confirm the efficacy of the vaccine. 

It’s very exciting research and involved researchers are very positive to take the next step into what they hope will be a cure for peanut allergy.

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For more information and all enquiries please visit the UniSA website here

What:   Peanut Allergy Vaccine Development Research

When:    Announced December 2019

Where:   UniSA’s Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory 

Who:   For peanut allergic people

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: UniSA website

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