The method, similar to a vaccine, is now being tested on dogs and will be evaluated within a year. If everything goes well it could revolutionize science.
– Until now the dogs have not become sick and we can see an activation of the immune system, says Agnes Wold, doctor and professor of clinical bacteriology at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg.
The vaccine consists of a bacterial protein, a ”superantigen”, which tricks the immune system. It stimulates the system and strengthens the protection of the body. If given to an infant the child might never develop allergies.
– In our studies of infants we discovered that you didn't get food allergies if you had a certain bacteria in your intestinal flora that produced this particular protein. This is a way to add that protein, Wold says.
The biotech company Swecure has been formed to commercialize the vaccine. They are currently negotiating with some of the worlds largest pharmaceutical companies.
– We founded Swecure in the second half of 2013 to be able to exploit this scientific research. The goal is to get the vaccine out there within five to eight years, says CEO Lars Fahlén.
Boel Jönsson, editor in chief at the swedish journal Kemivärlden Biotech, is aware of the research and will be writing about it herself.
– It's very serious and Agnes Wold is no spring chicken. But research is always research.
Allergies are one of the most common diseases and the number of people who develop allergic is also constantly growing. A popular theory is that allergies are a consequence of good hygiene, which may explain why it is so common in the West.
– But there are several theories. We live differently today, conserving food, vaccinating our children, taking antibiotics. We are simply exposed to a lot more than earlier, says Eva-Maria Dufva, press secretary at the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association.