End of cat allergy? New vaccine gives hope!
Cat lovers who have been unable to relive the love of four-legged friends because of a cat hair allergy can soon breathe easily – in the true sense of the word. Researchers are developing a vaccine that blocks allergy triggers. The trick: It's not a human being vaccinated.
Her eyes are watering, her nose is flowing, her skin is itching. Those suffering from allergies can sing the song. If there is also a cat allergy, even though you like animals so much, the suffering is even greater. Of course, there are special races that are anti-allergic. But what if you became friends with your best friend's cat and just plain Stubentiger – or suddenly developed an allergy to your own cat? Zurich University Hospital researchers are now working on it – for one Inoculation against cat allergiesThis is not given to humans, but to cats whose protein causes allergies.
Cat fantasy allergy: protein is the trigger
About eight million cat owners should be in Germany. Allergy sufferers are approximately 10 percent of the population – growing for decades. Many cats end up in a shelter because their owners have developed an allergy. The trigger is a specific protein, a protein found in cat saliva and tears.
The "Fel d 1" protein (Felis domesticus – domestic cat) is spread on the fur of cleanliness-loving animals, which are regularly "brushed", thereby taking care of the fur with the tongue. Anyone who is allergic and cat cat crults, or shares air with it, so it comes into contact with it, as cat hair and dandruff are distributed in the air and invade the airways. The reaction occurs with typical symptoms:
- Tingling in the nose to itching
- watery eyes
- in some cases itchy skin
Not a vaccinated man – but a cat
However, researchers at Zürich University Hospital have developed a substance that neutralizes the protein so that it can no longer spread to the coat. After applying the syringe from the substance, the cat develops antibodies against it. It does not completely disappear, but at least it is reduced to such an extent that the allergy symptoms in humans also decrease or, at best, no longer occur.
The vaccine, called HypoCatTM, should be safe for the cat. It has already been tested on cats vaccinated three times within three weeks. According to the research team, cats were well tolerated of the substance, antibodies had already spread shortly after vaccination in the body and were detected over a long period. The allergenic protein is reduced and less active.
Good sign and calming for animals and humans. However, it is not yet known when the pet vaccine will be ready for batch production. By then, we probably still live with allergies and intolerances. Also, read what happens in the body with an allergy.
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