Researchers are hopeful the discovery can lead to preventative medicine for people who suffer from both cat and dog allergies.
(Image source: National Geographic ) BY ELIZABETH HAGEDORN Researchers at the University of Cambridge say they’ve discovered the exact cause of cat allergies. The study’s lead researcher pointed out: “How cat dander causes such a severe allergic reaction in some people has long been a mystery.” (Via University of Cambridge ) Allergic reactions usually come when a person’s immune system responds negatively to a foreign substance, like a virus or bacteria. But typically-harmless substances can trigger the same reaction. (Via eMedTV , CBS ) Including a protein found in feline saliva. When cats lick themselves clean, that protein gets passed on to people through their dandruff. (Via YouTube / vid010 ) And when it comes in contact with a bacterial toxin called LPS, it triggers a negative response from the immune system. (Via CNN ) But after using a test drug that blocks that allergen, the researchers found the proteins didn’t affect humans cells. (Via PBS ) They say they’re hopeful the discovery can lead to preventative medicine for people who suffer from both cat and dog allergies.