CBC News Online -- Immune response in pa children

Posted on: Tue, 04/01/2003 - 10:22pm
san103's picture
Joined: 03/27/2000 - 09:00

Telltale immune response found in peanut allergies
Last Updated Tue, 01 Apr 2003 20:03:55
LONDON - Researchers say they have found important differences in the immune responses of children with peanut allergy.

Peanut allergies affect up to 1.5 million Americans and about 200 people die from food-induced anaphylaxis, an allergic reaction causing tightness in the chest, severe vomiting, dizziness and blurred vision.

Gideon Lack and colleagues from St. Mary's Hospital at Imperial College, London looked at differences in the immune response of children with peanut allergy, children who have outgrown it and non-allergic children.

Using a new technique, the team identified rare cells of the immune system that respond to peanut proteins. Their study appears in Tuesday's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The researchers found the immune cells of allergic children produced different immune factors compared to the other two groups. The factors brought on and sustained the cascade of immune reactions that leads to symptoms.

The differences suggest the development of the allergic reaction depends on a person's immune response rather than the properties of the peanut protein that cause the allergy.

In the few children who outgrew the allergy, the abnormal immune function reverted to normal.

The researchers hope the findings will help in designing and monitoring future treatments for peanut allergy. For example, doctors can use allergen immunotherapy, or shots, to prevent analphylatic episodes in patients who are allergic to insect stings.

If a similar strategy could be found for peanut allergy, the goal "would not be to allow patients to eat peanuts at will, but rather to give them some protection in case of accidental ingestion," wrote allergy specialist Wesley Burks of Arkansas Children's Hospital in a commentary that accompanies the study.

Posted on: Tue, 04/01/2003 - 11:03pm
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Boy this sounds like a fishy study and press release to me.
"rare cells" that doesn't explain the growing numbers or the adults who are developing PA in later life.
What about those who appear to outgrow it and then it comes back?
I've also never heard of shots for anaphylatic reactions to insect stings.
Reads like another 'blame the victim' statement. Why doesn't that surprise me?

Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2003 - 12:02am
CVB in CA's picture
Joined: 10/15/1999 - 09:00

The TH2 behavior could be used to identify the allergenic response and possible measure how effective any treatment or cure in a lab setting? This seems to be a serious article, can CorvallisMom comment?

Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2003 - 12:04am
Chicago's picture
Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

Not to say that I don't agree with some of your points regarding this study - but I have a friend who does recieve shots as protection against allergic reactions from fire ant stings.

Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2003 - 12:13am
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Thanks Chicago,
I didn't know about fire ant shots. Do they work for your friend? Or are they a bit like the seasonal allergy shots where it's anyone's guess.
Just for the record, does any one know if there is a shot for bee stings.
Yes, CVB we need the ever enlightening wisdom of CovallisMom to tell us what exactly finding these cells mean.
Where are you CovallisMom?

Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2003 - 1:05am
san103's picture
Joined: 03/27/2000 - 09:00

I did not see this a blame the victim article. I was pleased to see that there are scientists researching the issue. I posted to bring to this board's awareness.
I would like to read the original journal article. I get Medscape's allergy briefs (which link to the articles) so I am sure it will come up there.

Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2003 - 3:09am
ACBaay's picture
Joined: 03/19/2002 - 09:00

Here is a link from AAAAI website re: anaphylactic insect stings:
"Your allergist will help you determine the best form of treatment. Those who have severe allergies to insect venom should consider receiving insect venom immunotherapy, a highly effective vaccination program that actually prevents future allergic sting reactions in 97% of treated patients. During immunotherapy, the allergist administers gradually stronger doses of venom extract every few weeks over a period of three to five years. This helps the patient

Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2003 - 3:13am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I really can't comment on this specific article until I have seen the original research article, but it does seem very odd (IMHO) that these "unusual cells"( [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] ) would only be present in PA people... what about other severe allergies? It also seems to directly contradict (this may be a mass media misunderstanding about the scope of the research study- not unusual) information from peer-review sources about what seems to be special about peanut proteins and about PA in general.
My guess at this point is that this was written by a science writer who didn't do their homework very well. (Note the description of anaphylaxis carefully and I think you'll see what I mean.) That is not to say that the original research study isn't interesting. (It'll be good to see it)
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Sorry I wasn't more help! (Back to "school" now! )
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited April 02, 2003).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2003 - 3:24am
river's picture
Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Actually this clears up quite a lot for me, The Queen of the Skeptics.
I know that 'ghost writers' are used all the time by drug companies where a doctor receives some type of payment to put his or her name to it. Perhaps this is what happened here.
This is an investigative report on ghost writing if anyone is confused what I mean by that:

Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2003 - 4:22am
san103's picture
Joined: 03/27/2000 - 09:00

Here the journal text from the first article.
J. Clin. Invest. 111:950-952 (2003). doi:10.1172/JCI200318233.

Posted on: Wed, 04/02/2003 - 4:27am
san103's picture
Joined: 03/27/2000 - 09:00

beware if you have not taken biochemistry...
J. Clin. Invest. 111:1065-1072 (2003). doi:10.1172/JCI200316142.


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