A vaccine that fights dust mite allergies by naturally switching the body’s immune response is being developed at the University of Iowa. Dust mites are microscopic relatives of spiders that eat skin cells and live in the upholstery of furniture, rugs and curtains.
U-I researcher Aliasger Salem says people with dust mite allergies develop skin rashes and have trouble breathing, including asthma attacks. “It can have a fairly dramatic impact on the quality of life of people when they suffer from this,” Salem says. “Having a long term solution that can help to mitigate those affects patients suffer would be a really impactful thing.”
Salem says it will be a while before the vaccine is commercially available. He anticipates the research will be used to create vaccines for other types of allergies in the future. Salem was a guest on the Iowa Public Radio program “River to River.”