If you’re an allergic animal lover-a cruel twist of destiny if ever there was one-then pin your ears back for this announcement because your prayers might be about to be answered. Scientists have developed a vaccine that could put an end to cat allergies affecting one in ten individuals.
Yep, if you’re starting to sneeze and itch whenever you’re around your feline-friendly friends ‘ houses, your days of pain and suffering might end.
Oh, and don’t care if you’re petrified with needles too! It is the cat, not you, that gets the jab!
Behind it is the science. If you are allergic to cats, you are allergic to a protein form called Fel-d1, found in the animal’s fur
That protein is then attached to the cat’s dander, which is a fancy word for dry skin bits that they leave on things behind. Mmm, aren’t you happy, cat owners, you understand that now?
When that protein comes into anybody’s system that’s allergic to cats, it causes a histamine rush because the immune system believes-incorrectly-that it’s under attack, so it starts releasing the chemical.
The upshot of histamine release is that cat allergy-related symptoms are triggers. That’s all that itchy, wheezing, the works.
According to charity Allergy UK, cat allergies affect half of asthmatic children, meaning those impacted must take antihistamines or inhalers to alleviate the symptoms.
Oh, and cats will eventually be compelled out of homes and into shelters when their owners turn out to be allergic. For anyone, that’s not nice.
For 10 years, researchers have worked tirelessly to create ‘ HypoCat ‘-a vaccine that triggers the cat’s own immune system to attack and destroy the Fel-d1 protein.
A research, released in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that the jab significantly lowered the quantity of Fel-d1 protein generated.
Of the 54 cats tested at Switzerland’s University Hospital Zurich, all saw a rise in the defensive cells needed to destroy the protein. This implies we could see this vaccine available within three years.
The scientists said: “This treatment could benefit both humans and animals. Allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma.” Their cats could stay in the households and need not be surrendered to shelters for animals.f