New research has found that individuals with some food allergies may have a reduced risk of contracting the coronavirus. The Human Epidemiology and Response to SARS-CoV-2 (HEROS) study was sponsored and funded by the National Institutes of Health. Its findings were published in the “Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.”
The objective of the study was to determine if allergic illnesses such as asthma were linked to household transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. For their research, the scientists following coronavirus infections in more than 4,000 individuals in about 1,400 households in which at least one individual aged 21 or below lived. The scientists monitored the individuals between May 2021 and February 2021 across 12 cities in America before vaccines were rolled out to the public.
The study was co-led by Dr. Max Seibold of the National Jewish Health Center for Genes, Environment and Health and Dr. Tina Hartert of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. It involved caregivers for every participant collecting nasal swab samples before, during and after infection.
Those who took part in the study had been recruited from other studies funded by the National Institutes of Health that focused on allergic illnesses, with about 50% of the children, adults and teenagers who participated having self-reported allergic rhinitis, eczema, asthma or food allergies.
The researchers found that eczema, upper respiratory allergies or doctor-diagnosed asthma weren’t risk factors for infection.
Seibold’s laboratory conducted epidemiological analyses for data generated from the study, which included a number of studies on viral infections. He noted that the association they discovered between a decreased risk of infection and food allergies wasn’t the expected result.
The researchers also found that an increasing BMI was also linked to a higher risk of infection, with Hartert noting that the higher an individual’s BMI, the greater the risk of infection. Hartert added that the study’s findings could be useful in the identification of strategies to prevent the establishment of coronavirus infections.
In a statement, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that the study’s findings highlighted the importance of vaccinating children and applying other public health measures to prevent children from getting infected with SARS-CoV-2, which protects both them and vulnerable individuals in their households from the virus.
Fauci added that the observed link between the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and food allergies as well as between this risk and BMI warranted further research.
While these food allergies may have surprised researchers by showing their beneficial side, by their very nature, allergies compromise the health and well-being of patients. That is why companies such as Aditxt Inc. (NASDAQ: ADTX) focus on develop novel treatments aimed at reprogramming the immune system so that allergies are brought under control or even eliminated.
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