A new bee sting vaccine which could dramatically cut the time taken for people with severe allergies to build immunity, has completed human trials.
The Flinders University and the Royal Adelaide Hospital research involved 27 adults with a history of allergic reactions.
They used a unique sugar-based ingredient known as an adjuvant to help the body neutralise bee venom at a faster rate.
Commercial bee venom therapy is already available but requires patients to have more than 50 injections over a three-year period to build up the immune system.
"Our technology is like adding a turbocharger to a car and in this case makes the bee allergy vaccine much more powerful, allowing the immune system to better neutralise the bee venom and prevent allergic symptoms," Professor Nikolai Petrovsky said.
Researchers said the results from the trials were very promising and confirmed the safety of using the adjuvant.
"The current treatment option for serious bee venom allergies is lengthy and cumbersome," researcher Anthony Smith said.
"I hope this enhanced bee venom therapy brings about faster, but longer lasting protection."
Australian Associated Press