A Swiss firm has developed a vaccine that it says can ward off common allergies such as asthma, eczema and hay fever. //
The vaccine by Cytos Biotechnology has been tested on humans and contains harmless DNA similar to that found in the TB bug, reported the online edition of Daily Mail.
Rates of asthma have doubled in the past 20 years, with the condition affecting five million in England alone.
Figures for hay fever have also soared, with one in four suffering an allergy to pollen. Up to 2,400 children a year are taken to hospital with severe eczema, contributing to the health service's annual one billion pounds bill.
According to Muriel Simmons, chief executive of the charity Allergy UK, the new jab has the power to transform people's lives.
In a trial, 20 men and women with asthma and house dust mite allergy were given the vaccine once a week for six weeks. Eight months later, symptoms in 17 of the 20 had all but disappeared.
Tests showed they were at least 100 times more tolerant to dust mites than before.
"The results we have had look quite spectacular. We think this is a one size fits all treatment," Cytos chief executive Dr Wolfgang Renner said.
It is hoped the single jab with the power to protect against asthma, eczema and hay fever will be on sale by 2010.
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