A new treatment may trick your body into accepting a ‘Trojan horse’ allergen that shuts down allergic responses.
Your immune system might recognize this pollen as a dangerous invader if you have a pollen allergy. (Photo: YoONSpY/Shutterstock)
If you have an allergy or allergic asthma, your body thinks of the trigger as an invader — whether it’s ragweed pollen or peanut protein. Your immune system overreacts to protect you, producing antibodies that can cause symptoms like rashes, itchy eyes, a runny nose, breathing problems and more. As WebMD points out, these substances are usually harmless, but the body’s response to them can be severe or even life-threatening.
The usual treatment for many types of allergies is specific immunotherapy (SIT) — or allergy shots. They gradually expose your body to larger doses of the allergen until you develop tolerance or immunity.
But researchers have come up with what they think might be an easier and quicker way to treat and possibly cure allergies and allergic asthma. They’ve taken a tiny amount of the problem substance and encapsulated it in a shell, creating a biodegradable nanoparticle that’s injected into the body. The allergen is a Trojan horse of sort. Much like the Greeks who slipped into the city of Troy, the allergen slips by disguised inside a friendly outer shell. Read more.