Researchers turn to vaccinations to possibly prevent food allergies

Studies are currently being conducted around the world to see if vaccinations may hold the key to preventing food allergies.

Researchers in the US are examining if mothers can prevent allergies in their children by receiving allergy shots otherwise known as immunotherapy during or before pregnancy.

Research presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) found trends suggesting women receiving allergy shots either before or during pregnancy may reduce their child’s chances of having asthma, food allergies, or eczema.   Allergist Jay Lieberman, MD, ACAAI member says “Prior studies have suggested that mothers can pass protective factors to their fetus that may decrease their child’s chance of developing allergic disease, and these protective factors are increased with allergy immunotherapy.”

Meanwhile, Australian researchers believe the tuberculosis (TB) vaccine may hold the key to preventing allergies in children. The University of Melbourne, the Murdoch Children’s Institute and the Mercy Hospital are trialing the vaccine to see if it helps boost the immunity to protect against allergic disease and infections.

Tuberculosis vaccine (TB) was regularly given until a few decades ago but that practice ceased in a number of developed countries after a decline in the number of people affected by Tuberculosis.

Professor Nigel Curtis, from the University of Melbourne, says small studies have already shown positive results.

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