Anyone who cares for someone with a life threatening allergy, whether to food, insect stings, latex, etc., carries a fear of a fatal anaphylactic reaction. When I send my food allergic child on the school bus each day or drop him off for a play date, I always have the thought, "Please let him be safe". Living with anxiety over a mix up with a cup or a snack is exhausting. Knowing that one wrong sip or bite could lead to a rapid onset of symptoms that may lead to death is terrifying.
I'm encouraged by a new discovery at the University of Glasgow. They've discovered that an immune hormone, IL-33, plays a key role in the development of anaphylaxis. Patients with high levels of IL-33 had more severe anaphylactic reactions. The researchers believe that a decrease or elimination of IL-33 will greatly reduce anaphylactic symptoms. The reaction would be less severe and thereby less chance it would be fatal.
The team was successful in proving this in a mouse model and plans to continue with their research. Check out the article here.