Peanut Allergy News: Research Confirms ESMY Gene as the Culprit

REUTERS/KhamA vendor sells peanuts at the Voi market, 20 km (12.5 miles) south of Hanoi.

Medical experts may soon find a way to treat peanut allergies after a research has already identified the gene that causes it.

A research of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has revealed that, just like other food allergies, peanut allergies are also caused by the c11orf30/EMSY, or EMSY, gene. While the connection between EMSY and other allergy conditions, including eczema and asthma have already been established in the past, it was only recently confirmed that it is the same gene responsible for peanut allergies, too.

ESMY's link to peanut allergies was established after medical researchers conducted a genetic analysis on 850 Canadian people with the allergy and 926 without it. The research aimed at identifying the genes that possibly place people at higher risks of developing an allergy to food and the results confirmed that ESMY is the culprit as well, although five other genes can be responsible for these allergies, too.

"Food allergy is the result of both genetic and environmental factors, but there are surprisingly few data regarding the genetic basis of this condition. The discovery of this genetic link gives us a fuller picture of the causes of food allergies, and this could eventually help doctors identify children at risk," researcher Dr. Denise Daley said in the statement.

According to researcher Dr. Aida Eslami, one of the challenges that come with the development of new treatments for allergies is the process of identifying the specific genes and pathways that need to be targeted. With the results of the research suggesting that EMSY gene is responsible for causing peanut allergies, Eslami believes that it will be easier to predict and manage food allergy treatments in the future.

Based on the date of PeanutAllergy.com, more than three million Americans suffer from peanut allergy, and it is part of the so-called "Big 8" food allergies that account for 90 percent of allergies that 21 million Americans suffer from.

Currently, the only available treatment for severe peanut allergy is Epinephrine (adrenaline).