This may be good news for people who love cats but are allergic to them. Swiss-based researchers at HypoCat are approaching to deliver a vaccine to get rid of cat allergies.
Currently, there is no treatment for cat allergies. Most often, people with cat allergies have to stay away from cats to avoid their allergic symptoms, which is very hard and sad for cat lovers. A recent Swiss-based study has published promising results to treat cat allergies in humans.
According to the researchers of the study, a cat allergy vaccine called HypoCat might eliminate feline sensitivities.
The study is quite unique. Unlike most vaccines that try to desensitize the immune system of people with cat allergies (called immunotherapies), the researchers invented a vaccine that will be given to cats and not humans.
The research team came up with a unique idea to treat cat allergies in humans, caused by Fel d 1, the most common allergen in cats. It is usually found in the saliva and sebaceous glands of cats. The overall concept of the vaccine is to immunize cats against this allergen, Fel d 1. The bodily functions of this allergen are still unclear or unsure.
Key points of the study:
- The research team mixed Fel d 1 molecule and a cucumber mosaic virus to stimulate the immune systems of cats.
- The cats were then vaccinated with the HypoCat vaccine. After administration of the vaccine, the allergen molecule was destroyed by the immune system, and the tested cats were also less likely to make people sick than the regular non-vaccinated cats.
- The vaccine was well tolerated and seemed to be safe.
The vaccine was tested on 54 different cats in four different studies. According to the researchers, reducing the most common cat allergen, Fel d 1, is an effective way to manage cat allergies in humans (by producing antibodies in cats). This vaccine can be beneficial for both humans and cats.
Around 10% of people have cat allergies, and almost a quarter of people have cats in their homes. We know that cats can trigger respiratory conditions, especially asthma. Also, children are prone to asthma if they become sensitive to cats.
According to the researchers, the HypoCat vaccine may be available in the US by 2024.