Infants are given a lot of immunizations in their first few months of life, and most parents simply see them as a whirl of tests and nothing more. However, there is research to suggest that it’s possible a particular kind of whooping cough vaccine could actually be the best combatant against food allergies. While you wouldn’t think that one is related to the other — why would you? — there are cases to support it, and a test for food allergies can also help support the data along the way. Buy, why? And why should we know that?
What a test for food allergies could reveal
We all know that a test for food allergies is used to reveal if we have any allergies. Most often, this test is given in childhood or even in adulthood if you start experiencing suspected allergic reactions. Otherwise, there are many people who will go through their lives with no test needed and no allergic reactions. This could be confirmed by taking a test food allergies if you know which vaccine you got.
Could this whooping cough vaccine be the reason you don’t have allergies?
This vaccine was given to children in the late 1990s, and it was a whole-cell vaccine that was given once or more than once to children in this timeframe. When compared to children who were given the later version acellular vaccine, there was a 20% less chance of being diagnosed with a food allergy.
The thought is that the older vaccine worked by stimulating a Th1 immune system response rather than stimulating a Th2 immune system response. In order for infants and children to grow properly, the stimulation and regulation of both immune systems are critical. Since infants are known for having natural higher Th2 immune systems at the time of the immunization, the former vaccine helped strengthen the immune system response, whereas the latter vaccine simply strengthened the part of the immune system that was already strong.
Since the immune system is not as evened out as it could have been from the older vaccine, it meant that it wasn’t as resistant against food allergies, leading to a higher probability of allergies developing as the child aged.
The answer could be in the vaccine
There is no known cure for allergies, simply because specialists don’t completely understand why allergies do or do not appear, and why some children grow out of them and others don’t. With data like this, however, it does give hope for the future that closer monitoring of the Th1 to Th2 immune system responses could help keep children strong and protected against future developments of allergies.
The future is an exciting place when it comes to the possibility of a cure, and it appears as though the very beginning of a proper protective and preventative system could exist in this outdated whooping cough vaccine. Specialists now have to dive further into the research and see what this could mean about protection for our most vulnerable and newest additions to the world.