Researchers moving toward creating vaccine to end allergies

3 Things: Are you allergic to dogs? Well, we have some good news
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 4:20 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Are you allergic to dogs?

Well, we have some good news.

Researchers are one step closer to creating a vaccine to end your allergies.

Scientists in Japan have made an important finding that could lead to a vaccine.

So we’ve got three things to know about it.

Thing one is a little background on how allergies work.

Allergies happen when your body sees a certain molecule, called an antigen, as a threat. Then, your immune system reacts.

It could be sniffles. It could be hives. It could be life-threatening. Everyone’s allergies and severity of allergies are different.

And it all comes down to something called an epitope.

That brings us to thing two.

An epitope is the specific part of an allergen that your body recognizes and then reacts to.

It’s basically the cause of your allergic reaction.

The thinking is, if scientists can expose someone to that epitope that makes them allergic to dogs, their body can learn to deal with it and then it won’t react to it anymore.

They’d be creating a vaccine out of that epitope. So, they set out to find it. That’s thing three.

Researchers studied the most common dog allergen.

They broke it all the way down which is something that hasn’t been done before.

They found what they believe are several good candidates for epitopes.

Now, they just need to do some more research to narrow it down to the exact one. And from that, they’ll be able to create a vaccine.

If it’s a success, this wouldn’t just be news for dog allergy sufferers.

This could lead to other allergy vaccines.

And an epitope vaccine would be an entirely new type of vaccine.

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