top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureSinead Mackintosh

Hypoallergenic Cat Vaccines!?

Cats might not have the title of “man’s best friend,” but they have been hanging out with humans from around 8 000 years ago! This is thought to be due to the dawn of agriculture bringing in rodents. Cats and humans entered a mutually beneficial relationship where cats kept the rodent population under control and got easy food and shelter in return. Cats were not selectively bred like dogs to create breeds for specific jobs. This means that humans have had less of an impact on cat DNA compared to their canine cousins.

But we are starting to look at cat DNA now in hopes of making them more hypoallergenic. At least 10% of humans are allergic to cats, and this is because of a protein that is found in cat saliva. This protein is called Fel-d-1 and is spread when cats groom themselves and their hair sheds. Since cat allergies are caused by this protein, scientists are now looking at how to safely inactivate this protein and “cure” cat allergies!

To do this, scientists are using CRISPR technology to edit the gene responsible for the Fel-d-1 protein so that the cat cells no longer make the protein at all. So far, this technique has only been used in cat cells in a lab and not in a living cat, but it looks promising so far. The biotechnology company pioneering this research aims to create this allergy treatment to be used in a vaccine. This means that you won’t have to buy special hypoallergenic cat breeds, but instead, you can take your beloved cat to the vet for a vaccine that will make it allergy-friendly!

This type of allergy treatment is still a few years away from being commercially available. Nestlé has created a cat food that they say can reduce the Fel-d-1 in saliva. This could possibly offer some relief from cat allergies. Still, for now, there is no way around them except for good old antihistamines.



6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Kommentare


bottom of page