Nina Welding | March 13, 2020
Researchers in the College of Engineering have developed a way to suppress the allergic reaction to peanuts using a first-of-its-kind design of allergen-specific inhibitor. Their work is being featured in the fourth annual STAT Madness competition.
For an estimated 4.2 million children living with peanut allergies, there is good news. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have effectively prevented the binding of peanut allergens with an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) to suppress the allergic reaction to peanuts using a first-in-class design of allergen-specific inhibitor.
“The success of this study is exciting because it opens the door to establishing an entirely new class of allergy therapeutics,” says Basar Bilgicer, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and affiliate of Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics at Notre Dame, who led the study. “We now have the first functional example of selective IgE inhibition to a food allergen, which we haven’t had before.”
Food allergen-specific inhibitors can stop degranulation, the primary driver of life-threatening allergic reactions, without putting the patients’ immune system or their health at risk.
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