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Cat Allergies

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Allergy-Free Cats

Continuing attempts are being made to to breed allergy-free cats. In 2002 Sinus News [article apparently no longer online] reported that a New York company expected to be offering such cats for up to $1,000 each, based on research being carried out by a team of scientists at the University of Connecticut.

However, funding problems subsequently led to the research being halted.

Then in 2005 the BBC reported that scientists at the University of California had achieved success in developing a technique that could prevent allergies caused by cats.

According to the report:

In the UK, pets are the second most important cause of allergy in the home, and 50% of asthmatic children are allergic to cats.

The University of California, Los Angeles, team combined a fragment of a human protein with a cat allergen.

"Nature Medicine" reports mice treated with the fused protein did not develop allergic responses.

Cat allergen is present on very small particles that readily become airborne when disturbed and are easily inhaled.

When a person experiences an allergic response, a chemical called IgE, produced by the immune system in response to the presence of allergens such as cat hair, binds to specific receptors on the surface of immune cells.

This triggers the release of histamine in tissues in the body, causing symptoms such as itching, sneezing and a runny eyes and nose.

However, the report also added that human trials are some way off.





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