CANBERRA -- Australian scientists have developed a treatment that provides relief from peanut allergies for up to four years, it was announced on Thursday.

Mimi Tang, a researcher at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), developed the treatment whereby children with severe peanut allergies are administered the probiotic lactobacillus rhamnosus and peanut proteins daily for 18 months.

A study published on Thursday found that one month after ceasing treatment, 80 percent of the children involved in the trial could eat peanuts without an allergic reaction.

The children were again tested four years after undergoing the 18-month treatment, with 70 percent still able to consume peanuts without side effects.

"These findings suggest our treatment is effective in inducing long-term tolerance, up to four years after completing treatment and is safe," Tang told Australian media.

"Two-thirds of the treated participants were able to continue regular peanut ingestion and more than half were ingesting moderate-to-large amounts of peanuts on a regular basis."

Studies have found that about 2 percent of Australian adults and 5 percent of children have allergies to at least one food, with an allergy to peanuts being the most common.

Tang said the injection regime works by changing how the body reacts to an allergen.

The probiotic acts on the immune system, encourages the immune system to generate a protective, or tolerance, response rather than allergy," she said. (Xinhua)