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Science News: A bright future for allergy treatment

– G.A., Senior Editor

At this time of year, sufferers of seasonal allergies take precautions to limit their exposure to airborne pollen and dust. Those who are not able to avoid coming in contact with pollen are left to battle symptoms that can include a runny nose and burning eyes. When symptoms are at their worst, many sufferers wonder whether scientists will ever find a way to prevent the aggravating effects of seasonal allergies.

An allergic reaction is the result of an overreaction by our natural immune system to something in our environment. While sufferers focus on avoiding the cause of their allergy, scientists are investigating the possibility of reducing or even turning off the body’s allergic reaction.

In January 2018, a team of researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark reported promising results from a study on a possible mechanism for inhibiting allergic responses. Their manuscript, published in Nature Communications, describes the effects of a new antibody called 026 sdab that limits the action of immunoglobulin E, the antibody that is primarily responsible for allergic reactions. The researchers found that 026 sdab was able to prevent allergic reactions from even taking place.

While further research will be needed before this antibody can be tested in humans and extensive safety testing will be required before a possible treatment can be released on the market, allergy sufferers everywhere can feel hopeful that they may one day be freed from their allergy symptoms.

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