House dust mite allergen is a common trigger of asthma symptoms in people with allergic asthma. Dust mites, tiny bugs which feed on scales of human skin, are important cause of allergic reactions. The proteins present in the excrement of the mites attack the respiratory passages causing symptoms similar to that of asthma. Hence the development of the dust mite vaccine is of a great help.
Cytos is a Swiss vaccine company which manufactures this vaccine. As a part of the vaccine development it carried out a small study among 19 patients. Significant benefits are seen from the vaccine against dust mite allergy. The study patients who were given the vaccine experienced fewer allergic symptoms such as sneezing, while asthmatics did not have frequent attacks. Cytos is involved in developing anti-allergen vaccines and plans to move forward and develop ones which are effective against grass pollen, cat hair and tree pollen. The current treatments for hay fever allergy such as antihistamines and inhaled steroids, suppress symptoms temporarily.
The Cytos vaccine is thought to give a permanent cure as it consists of an empty virus filled with DNA designed to trigger a response from the immune system. The DNA sequence is similar to that of the protein from the dust mite excrement which is the sole cause of the allergic reaction. The vaccine would boost the activity of the immune system to suppress that allergic reaction. In the study group out of the 19 patients injected with the vaccine 17 were found to be completely tolerant having no allergic reactions. Dr Wolfgang Renner, chief executive of the company, said that the vaccine proved to be very effective.