Study: Immunotherapy Ends Peanut Allergy in Babies

At least 80 percent of babies with a peanut allergy were able to consume nuts after receiving a new immunotherapy treatment, researchers said. The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and conducted by a team at the University of North Carolina, provided oral immunotherapy to 40 infants aged between nine and 36 months. At the end of the test, eight of 10 babies were able to consume peanuts without having an allergic reaction. The therapy itself involves giving a small dose of peanut protein daily, gradually increasing the amount given over a period of 29 weeks. The researchers then ceased feeding the child peanuts for four weeks before attempting it again. Most of the study’s participants reportedly experienced some mild side effects, but none required medical treatment. “This study provides critical evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of peanut oral immunotherapy in treating young children newly diagnosed with peanut allergy,” said Marshall Plaut, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.