How protein fragments could help to tackle the cause of hay fever

Imperial researchers are looking to protein fragments to help people build up resistance to grass pollen.


Specialists at Imperial College London are researching new hay fever treatments in view of protein pieces from grass, which they have found can reduce side effects after only three weeks of treatment.

The discoveries of one investigation demonstrated that a short course with the peptide treatment – which could be conveyed by means of infusion through the span of four visits to the GP – was sufficient to diminish the indications of occasional feed hay fever and enhance patients’ personal satisfaction.

According to scientists, grass pollen peptide therapy could help patients who do not respond to over-the-counter medications, or who react poorly to current clinic-based treatments.

Dr. Mohamed Shamji said, “Seasonal hay fever is a global problem and most patients seem to respond to treatments such as antihistamines, but around 20 percent of patients do not respond to any treatment and their quality of life is affected tremendously.”

Researchers are developing immunotherapy treatments from protein fragments, or peptides, from rye grass (Lolium perenne). Image: Shutterstock / Doikanoi
Researchers are developing immunotherapy treatments from protein fragments, or peptides, from rye grass (Lolium perenne). Image: Shutterstock / Doikanoi

“By following these patients after treatment, we have been able to demonstrate that there is a significant reduction in their symptoms and combined scores, which can last throughout the whole pollen season.”

Scientists developed an immunotherapy treatment from protein pieces, or peptides, of rye grass (Lolium perenne). These pieces make the body create a mellow insusceptible reaction, empowering it to develop protection from dust presentation.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 443 patients with direct to-extreme feed fever activated by grass dust got either the LLP treatment (n=329), called gp-ASIT+, or fake treatment (n=114). Patients were enlisted from six European nations; Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Through the span of four visits to a center before the beginning of the pollen season, patients got an infusion in each arm (eight altogether) – those getting the peptide treatment were given consistently expanding measurements over the visits (a total dosage of 170 mcg of gp-ASIT+).

Patients recorded a composite score of their side effects, considering the measure of ‘rescue medication’ required through the span of pinnacle grass dust season (May to September in the UK, with a top season in June and July). Save drug, taken to ease overabundance roughage fever side effects, was as antihistamine tablets (fexofenadine) gave by the exploration group.

Subsequent to investigating the outcomes, the group found that the normal everyday side effect score was less amid the stature of dust season for those patients who had gotten the treatment, decreasing indication score by a normal of 15.5 % contrasted with placebo.

Dr. Shamji said, “The findings are very promising. With this new peptide treatment, patients who do not respond to available treatments could potentially attend clinic over a number of weeks to receive a handful of injections and remain relatively symptom-free over the pollen season.”

The study is published in the journal Allergy.

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