Diagnostics Industry / Health

Bone marrow transplant results in ‘curing’ 10 year old of peanut allergy

Bone marrow transplant results in ‘curing’ 10 year old of peanut allergyAn allergy is the result of an immediate hypersensitive reaction that which is mediated by allergen-specific antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE).Food allergies are the result of the immune system behaving abnormally to one or more specific foodstuffs. The symptoms are often rapid in nature, with effects being seen anywhere between minutes and hours after ingesting food, with the potential to be life threatening.

Research was presented during the 2013 American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting, with findings suggesting that a 10-year old boy had undergone a bone marrow transplant that had cured him of a peanut allergy.

The child in question had been diagnosed with the peanut allergy after ingestion resulted in vomiting and whole body hives.  The boy developed leukaemia and at aged 10 underwent a bone marrow transplant to treat the disease. It was noted that after the transplant the child seemed to have no reaction to peanuts. This was later confirmed by allergists by way of an ‘oral food challenge.’

The lead author of the study noted that although this is the first case of a bone marrow transplant curing a peanut allergy, there have been several reports of donors passing the allergy to receiver. It is therefore important that if there are any suspicions that an allergy has been cured/passed on that the patient be checked prior to procedure to determine the risk of food allergic reactions or anaphylaxis.

References: MedScape, The Almagest, Live Science & Mail Online

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