Common Bacteria That May Prevent Food Allergies

New research has found that a common stomach bacteria- Clostridia- protects against food allergies in mice and could pave the way for probiotic therapies to treat food allergies in the future.

The team of researchers, headed by Professor Cathryn Nagler from the University of Chicago, investigated which types of gut bacteria, could be given to mice to prevent them from developing nut allergies. They found that when a bacteria called Clostridia was implanted into the mice, it could both prevent them from developing a peanut allergy and reverse any sensitivity they had to peanut allergens.

Dr. Cathryn Nagler said when an allergen tries to enter the blood stream, the Clostridia apparently prevents it from doing so. The team is now working on turning the discovery into a probiotic food allergy treatment and has filed a provisional patent.

“It’s exciting because we know what the bacteria are; we have a way to intervene,” said Prof. Nagler. “There are, of course, no guarantees, but this is absolutely testable as a therapeutic against a disease for which there is no cure at present.”

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