NOV 12, 2019 3:16 PM PST

Allergy Shots May Work for Kids with Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

It’s not common for young children to develop pollen food allergy syndrome (PFAS), but for those that do, there’s not too much parents can do other than help their children avoid offending foods. However, new research shows that allergy shots may be effective at providing relief for pediatric PFAS patients.

Research has shown that allergy shots, or “subcutaneous immunotherapy,” is effective for adults, but this study is one of the first to show the same effect in children. On a basic level, immunotherapy works to address disease by stimulating the body’s natural immune responses already in place. Immunotherapy has been studied in recent years as a way to treat cancer and, more recently, HIV.

PFAS, previously known simply as “oral allergy syndrome” (OAS), is characterized by a hypersensitivity to cross-reacting allergens found in both pollen (usually from trees, weeds, and grasses) and plant foods such as raw fruits, vegetables, spices, and nuts. Someone with PFAS is initially sensitized to the pollen allergen (most commonly birch pollen) and later sensitized to the food allergen. PFAS patients experience the classic symptoms of an allergy: itchy mouth and throat and swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat.

A small study of 20 pediatric patients between nine and 18 years old, all reporting PFAS symptoms, showed the first signs of success with allergy shots for PFAS. The study participants were given allergy shots to treat a variety of grass allergies (mugwort, timothy, and orchard). Over half (55%) reported either improvement or resolution of allergy symptoms, and 20% reported unchanged symptoms. The remaining four participants reported “they hadn’t tried to reintroduce foods they’d previously reacted to.”

“Research has shown that adults who are receive allergy shots see improvement in PFAS symptoms, but the effect hasn’t been widely shown in pediatric patients,” explained co-author Alana Jones, DO. “We think it’s an important finding, especially for kids who are receiving allergy shots and also suffering from PFAS.”

Sources: American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting, Dermatitis

 

About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
AUG 06, 2020
Immunology
Resetting the Body's Danger Sensor
AUG 06, 2020
Resetting the Body's Danger Sensor
The human body has a sophisticated danger-sensing mechanism that alerts the immune system when something is not right. T ...
AUG 10, 2020
Microbiology
The Tuberculosis Pathogen Is Captured Infecting a Cell
AUG 10, 2020
The Tuberculosis Pathogen Is Captured Infecting a Cell
Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium, and it can infect immune cells called macrophages in the lungs that would normall ...
AUG 25, 2020
Immunology
Targeting Checkpoint Molecule Could Mean Checkmate for Cancer
AUG 25, 2020
Targeting Checkpoint Molecule Could Mean Checkmate for Cancer
In a new study published in Cell, researchers have identified a metabolic enzyme that could have powerful tumor-killing ...
OCT 21, 2020
Immunology
CNS's immune cells - Microglia are involved in the exacerbation of MS
OCT 21, 2020
CNS's immune cells - Microglia are involved in the exacerbation of MS
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most progressive autoimmune diseases that affect the central nervous system where ...
NOV 06, 2020
Immunology
The Coronavirus Is No Match Against Sybody 23
NOV 06, 2020
The Coronavirus Is No Match Against Sybody 23
The virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, uses its spike protein to gain access to cells, by binding to the ACE2 recep ...
NOV 09, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
New Immunotherapy Shows Promise for MS
NOV 09, 2020
New Immunotherapy Shows Promise for MS
Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia are studying an immunotherapy that has shown early pro ...
Loading Comments...