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New hayfever vaccine being developed

11th September 2012

Researchers at King's College London and Imperial College are working on a "targeted" approach in order to a new kind of hay fever vaccine.

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The team say their research could lead to a less costly and "more effective" vaccine to treat the condition.

Current hayfever treatments are usually given in the form of antihistamines or steroid treatment.

People with extreme cases of hayfever are sometimes given an injection of pollen under the skin in order to build up their resistance to it, but this is a costly treatment.

The new research involves shallow injections into a region of skin which has a high level of white blood cells, which make up the immune system.

This means the researchers are using minuscule amounts of pollen - 2,000 times less than the treatment used currently - and also do not have to administer as many injections.

Dr Stephen Till from Imperial College said to the BBC: "If this approach proves to be effective it would define a new scientific and clinical principle that could also be applied to other allergic diseases such as asthma and food allergies. This could be a pivotal study in immunological research."

Maureen Jenkins, the director of clinical services at the charity Allergy UK, said: "If this series of injections proves effective in combating hay fever, it will be a wonderful step forward in tackling this common, but often underestimated allergy."

 

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Comments

Christine Arnold

Wednesday 12th September 2012 @ 9:47

The approach is not a new concept in treating allergies. Pollen, which causes the symptoms in the first place is injected under the skin in a tiny amount This is treating 'like with like' in minute doses. That is actually a 200 year old concept called homeopathy! It seem to be taking a simple concept and complicating it. More money in that I suppose so not sure where the 'cheaper and better' comes in!


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