The threat of children dying from violent reactions to peanuts can be eliminated through a "game changer" treatment developed by Irish and five-nation scientists.
More than two-thirds of children who have tried new immunotherapy now eat peanuts safely, according to an authoritative study New England Medical Journal.
Derived from peanut flour, AR101 reduces sensitivity to people with peanut allergies. More than 30 Irish children participated in a two-year trial, but this is the largest yet.
In this study, 67% of children taking AR101 capsules were able to consume the final "dose" for 4 peanuts.
According to Jonathan Hourihane, professor at the Infant Center at University College Cork, even children who remain in sensitive conditions have greatly diminished their response, and adrenaline, the most common treatment for anaphylactic shock, Should be rarely used.
"This is a game changer," said Hourihane, who led the global clinical trials in Ireland, "Life is changing for people who are anaphylactic or have serious reactions."
"This treatment now guarantees the safety of parents, children and adults in communities that have never had a peanut allergy."
This drug works by suppressing allergic reactions in the body. "It trains your body not to be embarrassed when you see peanuts," explains Professor Hourihane.
"By introducing an initially controlled amount of peanut protein along with escalation during the duration of the first 6 to 12 months, it builds patient tolerance to peanuts.
"We have seen patients become able to eat two or three pieces of peanuts in a very small amount, such as about a tenth of a peanut, without causing any allergic reaction," he said.
More research is needed to determine whether treatment has long-term effects after discontinuation of treatment, he said.
About 1,200 children a year are diagnosed with peanut allergy, which is 2% of the population, and about 20,000 children have this condition.
Only one of five things will resolve allergies over time.
"It is a noteworthy and emotional symptom that is a major cause of anaphylaxis in the community. Allergies interfere with family life in the way they live through school time, sleep disturbances and their impact on all aspects of the child's life."
32 of 551 children who participated in the study of the Palisade Clinical Investigators group were screened in Ireland.
This treatment requires regulatory approval, but it can be marketed within one year.
"This is an example of the unparalleled and world-class clinical research at the UCC's Infant Center, which is making a huge difference in the lives of children and their families around the world as well as Ireland," said Geraldine Boylan, Center Director.
England, Ireland 's first major research institute, was at the center of the controversy a few months after the Science Foundation Ireland decided not to offer new funding.
Professor Hourihane said the center was still disappointed with funding cuts, but peanut studies have shown the leading research the government should support.