DAIT (Division of Allergy Immunology and Transplantation) News Releases

Gut Microbes from Healthy Infants Block Milk Allergy Development in Mice
January 14, 2019

New research suggests that the gut microbiome may help prevent the development of cow’s milk allergy. Scientists at the University of Chicago found that gut microbes from healthy human infant donors transplanted into mice protected animals exposed to milk from experiencing allergic reactions, while gut microbes transplanted from infants allergic to milk did not. The work, described online today in Nature Medicine, was supported in part by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis May be Due to Missing Protein
June 6, 2018

Scientists have discovered that the absence of a specific protein in cells lining the esophagus may cause inflammation and tissue damage in people with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE).  EoE affects as many as 150,000 people in the United States, many of whom are children. People with EoE experience difficult or painful swallowing, vomiting and nutritional problems because an accumulation of immune cells called eosinophils scars the esophagus.

Epstein-Barr Virus Protein Can “Switch On” Risk Genes for Autoimmune Diseases
April 16, 2018

Infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the cause of infectious mononucleosis, has been associated with subsequent development of systemic lupus erythematosus and other chronic autoimmune illnesses, but the mechanisms behind this association have been unclear. Now, a novel computational method shows that a viral protein found in EBV-infected human cells may activate genes associated with increased risk for autoimmunity. Scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases report their findings today in Nature Genetics.

Islet Transplantation Improves Quality of Life for People with Hard-to-Control Type 1 Diabetes
March 21, 2018

Quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes who had frequent severe hypoglycemia—a potentially fatal low blood glucose (blood sugar) level—improved consistently and dramatically following transplantation of insulin-producing pancreatic islets, according to findings published online March 21 in Diabetes Care.

Stem Cell Transplant for Severe Scleroderma Improves Survival, Quality of Life
January 3, 2018

New clinical trial findings show that a therapeutic regimen involving transplantation of a person’s own blood-forming stem cells can improve survival and quality of life for people with severe scleroderma, a life-threatening autoimmune disease. The regimen, known as myeloablative autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), includes chemotherapy and total body radiation to destroy the bone marrow followed by transplantation of the person’s own blood-forming stem cells to reconstitute the marrow and immune system.

Omalizumab Improves Efficacy of Oral Immunotherapy for Multiple Food Allergies
December 11, 2017

Combining a 16-week initial course of the medication omalizumab with oral immunotherapy (OIT) greatly improves the efficacy of OIT for children with allergies to multiple foods, new clinical trial findings show. After 36 weeks, more than 80 percent of children who received omalizumab and OIT could safely consume two-gram portions of at least two foods to which they were allergic, compared with only a third of children who received placebo and OIT. 

Exposure to Pet and Pest Allergens During Infancy Linked to Reduced Asthma Risk
September 19, 2017

Children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy have a lower risk of developing asthma by 7 years of age, new research supported by the National Institutes of Health reveals. The findings, published September 19 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, may provide clues for the design of strategies to prevent asthma from developing.

NIAID Scientists Illuminate Mechanism of Increased Cardiovascular Risks with HIV
August 30, 2017

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have expanded the understanding of how chronic inflammation and persistent immune activation associated with HIV infection drive cardiovascular disease risk in people living with HIV. People living with HIV are up to twice as likely to experience heart attacks, strokes and other forms of cardiovascular disease as people who do not have the virus, even when HIV infection is well-controlled with the use of antiretroviral therapy. 

NIH Research Improves Health for People with Asthma
May 1, 2017

May is Asthma Awareness Month, and the National Institutes of Health is finding solutions to improve the health of the nearly 25 million people in the United States who currently have asthma. In recent decades, the prevalence of asthma has been increasing, resulting in millions of urgent medical visits and missed days of work and school each year. 

NIH Designates $42.7 Million for Food Allergy Research Consortium
March 29, 2017

The National Institutes of Health intends to award $42.7 million over seven years to the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) so it may continue evaluating new approaches to treat food allergy. Established in 2005, the CoFAR has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH. The first year of funding has been awarded, and awards will be made in subsequent years based on the availability of funds.

New Adjuvant Permits Early Pneumococcal Immunization in Newborn Monkeys
March 23, 2017

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children receive pneumococcal conjugate vaccinations (PCV13) against potentially life-threatening pneumococcal disease at two, four and six months of age. Earlier immunization would confer greater protection when infants are most vulnerable to disease, but newborns’ immature immune systems limit their capacity to respond effectively to PCV13 and establish immunity. 

Immune Molecule Protects Against Zika Virus Infection in Animal Models
March 14, 2017

A molecule naturally produced by the immune system protects mice and monkeys against Zika virus infection, an international team of researchers has found. Administering the molecule, called 25-hydroxycholesterol or 25HC, to pregnant mice reduced Zika virus infection in the fetal brain and protected against Zika-induced microcephaly. The work was supported in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health.

Stem Cell Transplants May Induce Long-Term Remission of Multiple Sclerosis
February 1, 2017

New clinical trial results provide evidence that high-dose immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of a person's own blood-forming stem cells can induce sustained remission of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system. 

NIH-Sponsored Expert Panel Issues Clinical Guidelines to Prevent Peanut Allergy
January 5, 2017

An expert panel sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, issued clinical guidelines today to aid health care providers in early introduction of peanut-containing foods to infants to prevent the development of peanut allergy.

Antibody Protects Against Fetal Disease in Mouse Model of Zika Infection
November 7, 2016

Administering a human antibody that neutralizes Zika virus to pregnant mice before or after Zika virus infection reduced levels of the virus in placental and fetal tissues and decreased fetal disease, new findings show. The work may aid development of vaccines and therapies for Zika virus infection, which can cause severe birth defects when it occurs during pregnancy.

Skin Patch to Treat Peanut Allergy Shows Benefit in Children
October 26, 2016

A wearable patch that delivers small amounts of peanut protein through the skin shows promise for treating children and young adults with peanut allergy, with greater benefits for younger children, according to one-year results from an ongoing clinical trial. The treatment, called epicutaneous immunotherapy or EPIT, was safe and well-tolerated, and nearly all participants used the skin patch daily as directed.

Infant Gut Microbiome Appears to Shape Allergy Risk by Altering Immune Responses
September 12, 2016

The microbial communities, or microbiota, that naturally colonize the digestive tract in very young infants can affect their risk of later developing childhood allergies and asthma. Scientists now have identified a specific type of microbiota composition and corresponding metabolic environment in the neonatal gut that appears to influence immune cell populations and promote allergy and asthma development. The work was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Oral Immunotherapy Is Safe, Effective Treatment for Peanut-Allergic Preschoolers, Study Suggests
August 10, 2016

Nearly 80 percent of peanut-allergic preschool children successfully incorporated peanut-containing foods into their diets after receiving peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT), a clinical trial has found. Peanut OIT involves eating small, gradually increasing amounts of peanut protein daily.

Peanut Allergy Prevention Strategy Is Nutritionally Safe, NIH-Funded Study Shows
June 10, 2016

​Introducing peanut-containing foods during infancy as a peanut allergy prevention strategy does not compromise the duration of breastfeeding or affect children’s growth and nutritional intakes, new findings show. The work, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is published online on June 10 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

NIH Statement on World Asthma Day 2016
May 3, 2016

On World Asthma Day 2016, the National Institutes of Health reaffirms its commitment to support research to improve the lives of all people with asthma. NIH-funded research has advanced our understanding of asthma as a disease as well as the impact asthma has on the lives of those affected. 

“Dirty Mouse” May Model Human Immune System More Accurately, NIH-Funded Study Suggests
April 27, 2016

Medical interventions that work well when tested in mouse models can fail when they advance to safety and efficacy testing in humans. One reason for this, scientists propose, may be the differences between immune system development in laboratory mice and humans. 

Islet Transplantation Restores Blood Sugar Awareness and Control in Type 1 Diabetes
April 18, 2016

New clinical trial results show that transplantation of pancreatic islets—cell clusters that contain insulin-producing cells—prevents severe, potentially life-threatening drops in blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes.

NIH Study Finds Protein May Be Responsible for Damage in Eosinophilic Esophagitis
April 7, 2016

Scientists have identified a protein that may be the cause of tissue damage in patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), which affects as many as 56 of every 100,000 people in the United States. EoE is a disease in which white blood cells called eosinophils accumulate in the esophagus, often causing difficult or painful swallowing, nausea, vomiting and poor growth in children and adults.

NIH Awards Six Grants to Explore How Combination Adjuvants Improve Vaccines
April 4, 2016

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded six grants totaling $3.1 million to researchers exploring the molecular mechanisms behind combination vaccine adjuvants—substances that improve the effectiveness of vaccines. 

Omalizumab Decreases Colds in Inner-City Children with Asthma, NIH Study Reports
March 5, 2016

Treatment with omalizumab significantly decreases the number of colds in inner-city children with allergic asthma, researchers reported at a press conference today at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) 2016 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.

NIAID Seeks Public Comment on Update to Food Allergy Guidelines
March 4, 2016

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is seeking public comment on a draft update to the 2010 Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States (link is external) to address the prevention of peanut allergy. 

Benefits of Peanut Allergy Prevention Strategy Persist After One-Year Peanut Avoidance
March 4, 2016

​The benefits of regularly consuming peanut-containing foods early in life to prevent the development of peanut allergy persist even after stopping peanut consumption for one year, new clinical trial findings show. 

NIH Scientists Discover Genetic Cause of Rare Allergy to Vibration
February 3, 2016

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibration, also known as vibratory urticaria. Running, hand clapping, towel drying or even taking a bumpy bus ride can cause temporary skin rashes in people with this rare disorder.

NIH-Funded Study Suggests Potential to Predict Peanut Allergy Immunotherapy Outcomes
January 25, 2016

Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy induces early, distinct changes in immune T-cell populations that potentially may help researchers determine which people will respond well to the therapy and which immune mechanisms are involved in the response, a new study suggests.

NIH Publishes Criteria for Research on Organ Transplantation Between People with HIV Infection
November 25, 2015

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published safeguards and criteria for research to assess the safety and effectiveness of solid organ transplantation from donors with HIV infection to recipients with HIV infection. 

Short-Term Additional Treatment Reduces Asthma Attacks in Inner-City Children During Fall
October 27, 2015

Adding the drug omalizumab to ongoing guidelines-based asthma therapy for a targeted four-month period beginning just before the start of school reduced the number of autumn asthma attacks, or exacerbations, in inner-city children. 

Alefacept Helps Preserve Function of Insulin-Producing Cells in Type 1 Diabetes
July 20, 2015

​Results from a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases suggest that the immune-suppressing drug alefacept helps preserve function of insulin-producing beta cells in people with newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes.

NIH-Funded Researchers Identify New Genetic Immune Disorder
June 17, 2015

​Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified a new immune disorder-DOCK2 deficiency-named after the mutated gene responsible for the disease. 

NIH-Funded Research Leads to Approval of Drug for Acute Radiation Injury
April 21, 2015

​The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of filgrastim (trade name Neupogen) to increase survival of people acutely exposed to high doses of radiation that damage the bone marrow, for example, as a result of a nuclear power plant accident or terrorist attack. 

NIH-Funded Scientists Identify Receptor for Asthma-Associated Virus
April 6, 2015

​Scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have identified a cellular receptor for rhinovirus C, a cold-causing virus that is strongly associated with severe asthma attacks. 

NIH-Funded Researchers Identify Genetic Region Associated with Peanut Allergy
February 24, 2015

Research funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests that changes in a small region of chromosome 6 are risk factors for peanut allergy in U.S. children of European descent.

Study Finds Peanut Consumption in Infancy Prevents Peanut Allergy
February 23, 2015

​Introduction of peanut products into the diets of infants at high risk of developing peanut allergy was safe and led to an 81 percent reduction in the subsequent development of the allergy, a clinical trial has found.

Stem Cell Transplants May Halt Progression of Multiple Sclerosis
December 29, 2014

​Three-year outcomes from an ongoing clinical trial suggest that high-dose immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of a person's own blood-forming stem cells may induce sustained remission in some people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. 

High-Dose Fluticasone Effective Against Eosinophilic Esophagitis
July 18, 2014

Results from a clinical trial show that high doses of the corticosteroid fluticasone propionate safely and effectively induce remission in many people with eosinophilic esophagitis.

Scientists Deepen Genetic Understanding of Eosinophilic Esophagitis
July 14, 2014

Scientists have identified genetic markers associated with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), an inflammatory disease characterized by high levels of immune cells called eosinophils in the esophagus. 

Early Exposure to Certain Bacteria May Protect Toddlers from Wheezing
June 6, 2014

Research funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests that exposure to specific combinations of allergens and bacteria within the first year of life may protect children from wheezing and allergic disease.

NIH-Funded Scientists Develop Mouse Model for Atopic Dermatitis
January 9, 2014

A study reports the development of a new mouse model for atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin disorder commonly known as eczema.