New Vaccine Spells Relief for Millions of Cat Allergy Sufferers

They may be cute and cuddly, but every year cats are responsible for irritating the eyes, noses and throats of the nearly 10 million people each year who suffer from cat allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Until recently, there were few options available to treat them. Now, however, things are looking up for those who want to be able to spend time with felines and the people who love their pets.

McMaster University researchers are beginning the third phase of clinical trials to determine the optimal dose for a vaccine that prevents allergies to cats. The vaccine, which was developed by Mark Larche, a professor in the Department of Medicine at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and Canada Research Chair in Allergy & Immune Tolerance, could save many people the agonizing choice of having to either surrender their cats or live with the allergies they cause.

The scientists took a protein secreted by cats that’s responsible for most allergic reactions and broke it down. They identified the areas within the molecule that are responsible for activating T-cells, which help fight infection and initiate an immune response in turn. Researchers then synthesized these regions and developed the vaccine, which combines seven synthetic peptides that are used to inoculate allergy sufferers. The immunization, which has been reported safe and has few side effects, is given between four and eight times per year.

Read the rest of the article here.



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5 responses to “New Vaccine Spells Relief for Millions of Cat Allergy Sufferers

  1. Pingback: New Vaccine Spells Relief for Millions of Cat Allergy Sufferers … - i Health Plus

  2. Anyone who works with animal rescue or pet shelters needs to have this article handy!

  3. I like your pretty things. My cats own me. 🙂

  4. What a breakthrough! I’m not allergic, but know many people who are. My sister developed severe allergies after our cat had kittens on her bed when we were kids. She was fine with her until that day.

    • I know, Marie Anne — I think this is huge — I am still not sure why this article hasn’t been picked up elsewhere. I was sure of it. I sent a link to my vet’s office, and I’m hoping they’ll use it to encourage folks to not put down their cats simply because they’re allergic and can’t find them new homes. I also want to take it to our local pet shelter and have them hand them out. My biggest heartbreaks come from walking into — and then leaving — the local kill shelter without bringing more animals home.