Apple allergen can cure apple allergy

Apple allergen can cure apple allergy

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Apple allergen reduces symptoms of apple allergy

Many people who suffer from hay fever often have a food allergy. For example, patients with a birch pollen allergy often cannot tolerate apples. Such cross reactions are usually particularly intense. Austrian researchers have now found in a study that an apple allergen significantly reduces the symptoms of an apple allergy.

Some pollen allergy sufferers cannot tolerate certain foods

Almost a third of German adults and around one in four children suffer from an allergy. The most common form of allergy is hay fever, which can be accompanied by symptoms such as a dripping nose, swollen and itchy eyes and shortness of breath. Food allergy is often added to pollen allergy. Austrian researchers have now found a treatment option for one of these cross allergies.

If there is a food allergy to birch pollen

According to the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB), pollen-associated food allergies are among the most common food allergies in adulthood.

"Especially with a pollen allergy to early flowering trees and shrubs (birch, alder, hazel), food allergies often occur simultaneously," write the experts.

Allergy to birch pollen is one of the most common types of hay fever, and its pollen is considered to be particularly aggressive.

"For over 50 percent of birch pollen allergy sufferers, anyone who reacts to birch, alder and hazel can only tolerate nuts and some raw fruits from the rose family, such as apple, pear, peach, plum, cherry and almond," he said DAAB.

The consumption of apples, in particular, can lead to uncomfortable complaints for birch pollen allergy sufferers. There were indications years ago that a specific allergen can help against apple allergy. Now there are new findings.

Symptoms of an apple allergy could be reduced

Birch pollen-associated food allergy is a very common side effect of birch pollen allergy - around 70 percent of all people with birch pollen allergy also suffer from apple allergy, reports the Medical University of Vienna in a message.

The consumption of apples leads to swelling and redness or itching in the mouth, throat and ears, and even blistering.

Now a group of researchers led by Barbara Bohle at the Institute for Pathophysiology and Allergy Research in close cooperation with Tamar Kinaciyan at the University Clinic for Dermatology at MedUni Vienna has been able to demonstrate in a phase II study that the apple allergen "Mal d 1" is Symptoms of an apple allergy are significantly reduced, making it an effective and safe treatment option.

The study results were recently published in the "Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology".

Eat apples without symptoms

Of the 60 subjects with birch pollen-associated apple allergy, 20 received treatment with placebo, with a birch pollen allergen and with the recombinant apple allergen Mal d 1, i.e. genetically engineered, reproducible, very stable and therefore also easy to store.

Mal d 1 was administered as drops under the tongue once a day. The results are promising:

“In 6 out of 20 subjects, the allergy or symptoms did not work at all. After the therapy, you could eat two apples daily without any symptoms. The symptoms of all others were significantly reduced, so that they no longer have to do without eating healthy, domestic apples, ”says study leader Bohle.

The results of the phase II study must now be checked in a (multicenter) clinical phase III study - once this study has been successfully completed and a pharmaceutical company partner has been found, this immunotherapy for apple allergy could be available in a few years.

Vaccines do not work against cross allergies

Birch pollen allergy is one of the most aggressive pollen allergies.

The symptoms caused by pollen can be treated well by immunotherapy - the previous vaccines only work against the birch pollen allergen and not against various cross allergies.

The study results give hope that Mal d 1 can alleviate the symptoms of cross allergy with apple and could also be effective for other fruit allergies. (ad)

Author and source information

Video: Allergy - Mechanism, Symptoms, Risk factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention, Animation (August 2022).