Experimental hay fever vaccine effective


BALTIMORE, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Baltimore researchers have successfully used an experimental DNA-based vaccine to protect against ragweed allergies, commonly known as hay fever.

Patients receiving the vaccine showed an average 60 percent reduction in allergy symptoms compared to those receiving a placebo, say researchers at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The study, conducted during two fall ragweed seasons in Baltimore, enrolled 25 volunteers, ages 23 to 60, with a demonstrated history of ragweed allergy. Fourteen people received the vaccine, administered as six weekly shots, while 11 others received placebo

Compared to the placebo group, those who received the vaccine exhibited a 60 percent reduction in all of their allergy symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and itching, according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Relief from allergic symptoms was as pronounced in the second year as in the first, even though no more vaccine was administered, according to Dr. Peter Creticos, medical director of the Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center.


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