Nasty Bed Bugs
The Swiss dust mite allergy vaccine
Many of us have dust mite allergies. In fact, dust mites are one of the leading causes of year-round allergies and asthma reactions.
If you aren’t familiar with dust mites, it’s understandable. It’s unlikely that you’ve ever seen one. They are microscopic insects that live in close quarters with humans. Why? Dust mites live off human skin cells, bits of finger nail and hair, which makes our beds their favourite habitat, giving meaning to the phrase “don’t let the bed bugs bite!” In addition, dust mites can survive eating pollen, fungi and bacteria.
Unfortunately, even the most pristine of environments will provide some kind of chow for dust mites. This makes the common dust mite ubiquitous; where we are, the dust mites generally follow. Unfortunately, since the feces of these little critters are highly allergenic, it also means that many of us are coping with the symptoms of a dust mite allergy year round.
Well, a company in Switzerland is busy working on your behalf by testing a new vaccine that appears to be working in the fight against dust mite allergens.
There’s a lot of technical information available on how the vaccine has been developed. In short, the company has taken a protein from dust mite feces and attached it to a virus. This combination makes your immune system react. Now, that might sound like a bad thing, since an allergic response is also a reaction of your immune system. However, in this case, your immune system is reprogrammed by the vaccine to suppress the allergy as opposed to triggering it.
The initial results of the vaccine are very promising. There were 19 volunteers for the study. After being treated, 17 were found to be completely free of allergic reaction to mites! In addition, those who had asthma were no longer having attacks as a result of dust mites.
Apr 27, 2006