Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Vaccine for dust-mite allergy to be available for home use

Jun 03. 2020
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By The Nation

Mahidol University (MU) is developing versions of its new dust allergy vaccine that patients will be able to use at home, reducing their risk of being exposed to Covid-19.

MU’s Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital earlier announced it had successfully developed Southeast Asia’s first dust allergy vaccine, which has been registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is protecting patients who are allergic to dust mites.

Prof Dr Pongsakorn Tantilipikorn, who heads the team developing dust allergy vaccines, found that 30-40 per cent of the Thai population are allergic to dust mites, which are the main cause of respiratory allergies in Asia and tropical countries.

Allergic reactions to dust mites include itchy eyes, stuffy nose, sneezing and runny nose. Patients may also suffer asthma-like symptoms – but never a fever, as seen in Covid-19 cases.

Dr Pongsakorn said his team would develop new delivery systems for the vaccine, including a nasal spray and under-the-tongue tablet, so patients could self-administer the drug at home rather than visit a hospital for monthly injections. This would reduce the risk of them being exposed to Covid-19 when travelling outside the house, he added.

MU's allergy vaccination research and development team is now planning to develop vaccines for people who are allergic to cats, dogs, or cockroaches, and also vaccines for people who are allergic to pollen, grass and weeds.

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