Scientists in Australia claim to have discovered what could be a life-long cure for potentially fatal allergies to peanuts, shellfish and other food.  The researchers said they had been able to “turn off” the allergic response in tests on mice using gene therapy to desensitise the body’s immune system, and suggested this could also be used to treat asthma.  They predicted human trials could begin in just five or six years.

Commenting on the study, a leading British expert said scientists had managed to cure allergies in mice before without this leading to an effective human treatment, but added that the new research could lead to the “Holy Grail” of allergy treatment.  He was sceptical about the researchers’ claims their technique might be effective against asthma, but Asthma UK said it was “a very exciting step forward”. READ MORE