Cat allergies - what are the symptoms
Allergies to cats are one of the most common allergies among humans. Allergic symptoms associated with this type of reaction to cats include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, itching, stuffy nose, rash, eye tearing, sneezing and more. In the worst-case scenario, allergies to cats can develop into more life-threatening conditions such as rhinitis and mild to severe forms of asthma.
Practice has so far shown that allergies to cats can be controlled with the help of medications, immunotherapy injections and vaccines, such as that developed by the team of the Swiss company "HypoPet AG" (now "Saiba Animal Health"). In 2020, HypoCat's development and commercialization rights were transferred from Benchmark Holdings PLC to a leading global animal health company. [ref. 1]
Neutralisation of FEL D 1 is the core of the vaccine
According to the publication in the medical journal, cats live in about 25% of households in Western countries, and allergies to them affect about 10% of people nearby. The most common cat allergen is called 'Fel d 1', produced largely by the cat's sebaceous glands and is found in cat saliva, glands, sebaceous glands, skin and fur.
Fel-CuMVTT, which will be marketed as a HypoCat vaccine™ by the Swiss company HypoPet, was developed through a collaboration between researchers from the Latvian Center for Biomedical Research and Sciences in Riga and the Veterinary School at the University of Zurich – together with scientists from the Functional Center for Genomics - Zurich. [Ref. 2]
Technology and benefits of the vaccine
The vaccine combines the recombinant Fel d 1 with a virus-like particle (or "VLP") derived from the virus of a cucumber mosaic virus.
"We are very pleased to publish data that shows that our HypoCat vaccine™ is able to produce high levels of antibodies in cats and that these antibodies can bind and neutralize the allergen Fel d 1 produced by animals," says Dr. Gary Jennings, CEO of HypoPet.
Cats treated with the vaccine were found to be less likely to cause allergic reactions in people exposed to them. It was also reported that the vaccine was "well tolerated without any apparent toxicity" to feline test subjects. The published data were derived from four separate studies involving 54 cats.
The benefits of effective treatment of cat allergy are not only for adults. First, these allergies are not only unpleasant - and sometimes very excruciating - but allergy to cats in children living with cats is considered a strong factor in the development of childhood asthma. A course that includes three doses of vaccine - as applied in testing - can alleviate the suffering of fluffy friends' owners and the risk to the youngest family members. [ref. 3]