Technology Health: soon a vaccine against allergic asthma?

Health: soon a vaccine against allergic asthma?

New research opens the prospect of clinical trials in humans.

Hope for a vaccine is emerging for people with allergic asthma. For now, tests for a vaccine against allergic asthma are being done in mice. Scientists from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) of Toulouse, the Institut Pasteur and the French company Neovacs announce that they have succeeded, after several years of research, in using a vaccine to block the onset of asthma attacks in mice allergic to house dust mites .

>> Our mites are merging with us

Dust mites are the cause of most cases of allergic asthma in humans, along with, to a lesser extent, pollens or moulds. These vaccinated mice also have less inflamed bronchi than those who have not received an injection.

Here, the goal is not to fight against an invading virus, but to prevent the allergic reaction.
And for this, this vaccine pushes the body to produce antibodies that will block two proteins that are major in triggering asthma, explains Laurent Reber, research director at Inserm. It should be noted that this vaccine will not target all patients suffering from allergic asthma, which makes two million people in France, but primarily those in whom corticosteroid treatments do not work. 10% of patients are in this case.

You have to be patient

So far, the only recourse for them is to be injected with monoclonal antibodies, an expensive treatment that must be repeated several times a year. The advantage with the vaccine is that it is the body that produces the defense antibodies itself. The effect will therefore be more lasting.

If authorizations are indeed given for clinical trials in humans, and if all goes well, this vaccine could be available in less than ten years. In addition, research will be carried out in parallel to find out if the same vaccine mechanism can work against food or skin allergies. On paper, it is quite possible.

In the current context of an increase in the number of allergies, this work in any case raises a lot of hope. Because let us remember that according to the WHO, in 2050, half of the population is likely to be allergic, whereas it was only 2 to 3% in the 1970s.

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