Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., are hoping a form of immunotherapy that eradicates peanut allergies will be available within five years, according to an article recently published in The Lancet.com
This is important because 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies, said Dr. Clifford Bassett, vice chair of the Public Education Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
“Throughout the world, food allergies are doubling,” Bassett said. “And, it’s a very serious condition that’s here to stay.”
Bassett said he is “gratified” to know that a form of immunotherapy for peanut allergies was on the horizon because the condition can be life-threatening.
“We’re trying to take the risk down to zero,” Bassett said. “Right now, the primary approach is education and awareness.
"Children and adults should be tested for food allergies, especially if there is a medical history of the condition," Bassett added.
Because an immunotherapy approach is not yet available, Bassett said patients should have an emergency plan in place in case they come into contact with a food they are allergic to.