Peanut allergy is an important food allergy in the United States that affects 1.4% of children and 0.6% of adults. Minute amounts of peanut, as little as 0.4 g, are enough to elicit symptoms. Peanut is also the main trigger of severe anaphylactic reactions that can be fatal.
Anaphylaxis signs and symptoms can include: Constriction of airways, swelling of the throat that makes it difficult to breathe, severe drop in blood pressure (shock), rapid pulse, dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness. Currently, 12 peanut allergens have been documented by the WHO. Our study will focus on two of the major peanut allergens.
Research in peanut allergy immunotherapy (IT) for more than a decade has not resulted in any accepted satisfactory therapeutic approaches due to the high rate of unpredictable severe adverse reactions. To date no accepted treatment has been developed.
Therefore, we will in the project try to get more information on the epitopes by a combined bioinformatics and screening study of 20 proteases.
· The student will work with different peanut allergens and perform epitope mapping.
· In silico protease digestion of the allergens.
· In vitro digestion of the same allergens (comparative analysis of the two)
· The project is seeking a student with a strong interest for laboratory work as well as an interest in biomedical science and a flair for bioinformatics and R.
We are collaborating with other groups at DTU and the project will be a part of the Innovation Fund Denmark project Alleviate (Alleviate). We have the possibility to conduct animal experiment if the results look promising. The project is 50% lab work and 50% bioinformatics.