Researchers working for HypoPet have developed a vaccine that could help people who are allergic to cats, according to a study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The vaccine is meant for cats instead of humans. It targets a specific protein, or allergen, produced in cats called Fel d 1.
Researchers have successfully tested the vaccine in 54 different cats over the course of four different studies. They say the vaccine could be available for hopeful cat owners in a few years.
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Allergies to cats are quite widespread in humans and they range from bothersome sniffles to warranting emergency medical care. People who know they’re allergic to cats either avoid our domesticated feline overlords or dose up on antihistamines. For many years, there has been an ongoing discussion on breeding or even genetically modifying cats into a hypoallergenic version of themselves. A team of researchers has now solved the problem in a different way. They’ve created a vaccine for cat allergens.
The vaccine is not for humans but for the cats. It targets protein Fel d 1, which is the major of the five allergenic substances cats produce. The substance is produced in the cat’s saliva and sebaceous glands, though we are not sure what’s its function is. Around 10% of the Western population is allergic to this particular protein.
As reported in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers working for and with the company HypoPet have successfully tested that vaccine in 54 different cats over the course of four different studies. The team reports that the vaccine was effective in reducing Fel d 1 in the treated cats. More importantly, it was well tolerated by the cats and had no overt toxic effects on them.
“Both human subjects and animals could profit from this treatment because allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma, and become more tolerant of their cats, which therefore could stay in the households and not need to be relinquished to animal shelters,” the researcher write in the paper.
The team combined a cucumber mosaic virus and the Fel d 1 molecule, which produces an immune response from the cats. After the vaccine, the cats’ immune systems automatically destroyed the molecules, and the tested cats were less allergenic to humans …read more
Source:: Daily Times