This New Vaccine Could Stop Allergy To Cats
Scientists have developed a vaccine that could help millions of people who are allergic to cats. Are you one of them?
10 percent of people are estimated to be allergic to cats, so this is good news for many of us! Especially for those who love cats but can't even stand near them because they immediately get itchy eyes and sniffly noses. The allergy affects half of the asthmatic children, who need to take anti-histamine pills or rely on inhalers when they are around cats.
The allergic reaction is caused by a protein - Fel-d1 - which is mostly present in the cat's fur. This protein attaches itself to the cat's dander - tiny particles of dry skin which are shed around the room. When this protein gets into your airwaves, your immune system responds by pumping out histamine. It is this response, rather the protein itself, that's responsible for the annoying symptoms.
Not only humans suffer, but cats, too. Many cat owners are put in the position of giving them away, due to severe allergic reactions. Scientists have been working for almost a decade on the vaccine called HypoCat. When it's administered to the cat, it triggers its immune system, neutralizing the Fel-d1 protein. In other words, we'll be able to stop this allergy, by vaccinating our pets.
Scientists at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, have conducted a study showing that the jab significantly reduced the amount of the protein. They have injected 54 cats and they all produced the antibodies needed to destroy it.
They say that the vaccine could be available within the next 3 years and added: 'Both humans and animals could profit from this treatment. Allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma. Their cats could stay in the households and not need to be relinquished to animal shelters.'