Love is pain, at least for cat lovers who are allergic to furry felines. But relief is on the horizon, just past the scratching post.
A study published in the July edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology tested a vaccine — except it’s not for humans.
Instead, it rids cats of the root of the problem: a pesky allergen.
Ten percent of the Western population of cats carries Fel d 1, the allergen that causes a reaction in about 90% of people with cat allergies.
The study found that by vaccinating cats against this allergen, cat owners could prevent reactions and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma.
A research team from Swiss company Hypopet worked with other scientists to develop and test the vaccine, first on mice and then on more than 50 cats.
All of the cats were able to tolerate the vaccine and many showed reduced levels of the allergen.
But while the research is promising, it’s still a while away from being available to the public.
So until then, cat lovers with allergies will have to keep their pets close — but tissues closer.
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