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University of Iowa Working on Dust Mite Allergy Vaccine

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The sneezing, the wheezing, it could be coming to an end for those with dust allergies.

Scientists at the University of Iowa have developed a vaccine that is knocking down symptoms in testing.

It works by naturally changing how the body reacts to dust-mite allergens. Normally the immune system responds with inflammation. The vaccine shuts that reaction down with a booster.

“You’re having the patient exposed to the allergen with something that’s saying, ‘Hey, this is no good’ and then stimulating a response that actually helps to protect against it rather than making things worse,” said Professor Aliasger Salem with the University of Iowa Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

In animal tests researchers have seen success. The vaccine lowered lung inflammation by 83 percent, despite repeated allergen exposures.

Officials estimated they could begin patient testing within the next five years.

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