Do you try to avoid cats due to your suffering with an allergy to their fur? A new scientific device may lead you to think again. Read on to discover a “cure” for cat allergies developed by scientists in Switzerland.
10% of the Western population are allergic to cats, according to the study. 60% of us, on the other hand, own a cat. That spells problems for millions of owners who adore their pets but suffer the nasty consequences of a cuddle.
Writes the Mail Online, Cats Protection Britain’s leading charitable cat shelter receives, ‘hundreds of phone calls a year from owners who have had allergic reactions to their pets and need to rehome them.’
Researchers already knew that a protein attached to the fur was responsible for the allergic reaction in humans, but what they did not know was how best to go about ridding the cat’s fur of the protein.
Last month, a breakthrough came with the discovery of the type of protein (Fel d 1) responsible for our sniffles, and consequently the method to break it down. That followed months of tests involving the injection of cats with a vaccine containing some of the protein and a tetanus-derived virus.
The results were conclusive. Cats developed antibodies against the protein, which led to a reduction in the intensity of allergic reactions exhibited by human subjects.
Of the results the paper reads: ‘Vaccination of cats with Fel-CuMVTT induces neutralizing antibodies and might result in reduced symptoms of allergic cat owners.
‘Both human subjects and animals could profit from this treatment because allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma, and become more tolerant of their cats, which therefore could stay in the households and not need to be relinquished to animal shelters.’
The vaccine (injected into cats, not humans) will be marketed in due course as HypoCat.