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New Cat Allergy Vaccine Shows Promise for Relief from Symptoms

By Victoria Heuer    April 07, 2011 / (0) comments

For those who love kittens but can’t get anywhere near them because of allergies, they may soon be able to breath a sigh of relief.


The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has reported that a new vaccine could replace the bothersome series of immunotherapy injections that have been the only course available to those who wished to overcome their allergies in order to be with cats.

While the vaccines have not been released to the general public yet, early results have been positive. People for whom the vaccine was tested tolerated the vaccine well and were relieved of their symptoms after only one dose.

Allergies to cat dander are common, and place sufferers under increased risk of developing asthma, a potentially severe or life-threatening disease. Cat allergies reportedly make up about 29 percent of all asthma cases. This new vaccine is a peptide (amino acid) based formulation that is designed to inhibit the immune system response by mimicking the proteins that cause the allergic reaction, reducing the immune system’s sensitivity and reaction to the cat dander, along with other non-threatening substances that the system mistakes as a threat. Clinical trials are continuing, with a larger test group being used to determine the ideal dose for effectiveness.

And for those who are hoping to reduce the chances of their children developing allergies to cats, the best prevention is still early exposure. Research has shown that children who have been raised with cats, dogs or, ideally, both are at a much lower risk for developing later allergies to animal dander.

Image: lastquest / via Flickr

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