Scientists develop vaccine to help people with cat allergies

Scientists in Zurich have developed a vaccine for cats that will help curb people's allergic reactions to them.


NSFW    ZURICH — Life may be getting a lot easier for folks who adore felines but can't stop sneezing or wheezing around them.

According to a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, cat allergies are typically caused by the protein Fel d 1, which is found in feline saliva, tears, and pelt.

When the protein enters the system of someone with a cat allergy, it triggers a reactive rush of histamines, leading to itching, wheezing, and other symptoms.

Ten percent of the general human population suffers from cat allergies, but there is no safe or efficient therapy currently available. The usual recourse for patients is to treat allergy symptoms and avoid cats.

Three point four million cats are abandoned at U.S. cat shelters each year, and allergies suffered by owners, family, and friends are a leading cause of the abandonment.

According to a news release from Hypopet, scientists in Zurich have developed a vaccine, which when injected into a cat instructs the immune system to produce antibodies that target and destroy the Fel d 1 protein.

Testing on 54 cats in four different studies found that the antibodies successfully neutralized the allergens. The vaccine, called Hypocat, was also reported to be well-tolerated without any over toxicity.

According to Fox 13, the vaccine could be available within three years, with both humans and animals benefiting from the treatment.
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