Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cure for cat allergies?

Many people are extremely allergic to cats, and despite all our technological prowess, this has been a hard problem to solve. Sensitive people can be affected by entering a house where a cat resided years earlier.

Allergy to cats is the most common pet allergy. The symptoms can develop within minutes or take hours to appear, and some people get severe asthma flare-ups after coming in contact with a cat.

This summer, researchers from the University of Cambridge found an interaction between a protein in cat dander and a common bacterial toxin, and this causes the human immune system to respond. The immune system overreacts to a perceived danger, but it's not really a harmful virus or bacteria. It's just minuscule particles from a cat's skin.

Knowing what causes the problem is a big step in the right direction when it comes to treating allergies. The researchers have already been able to prevent an allergic response, and this research might be applicable to allergies to dogs, nickel, and dust mites as well.

~ Maria Sadowski ~


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