- Hairy pets may be responsible for allergy symptoms affecting the nose (rhinitis), bronchi (asthma) or skin (eczema).
- Dog or cat allergies are independent of the breed of the animal.
Researchers have a dog allergy vaccine on track, according to a new study.
Dog allergies are common and on the rise all over the world. Over the years, scientists have been able to identify seven different canine allergies. Among them, only the so-called Can F1 is responsible for the majority (50–75%) of reactions in people allergic to dogs (it is mainly found in the tongue, salivary glands and skin of these animals).
Before continuing this article, let us specify that the Can f1 allergen, like all others, is composed of epitopes, or short sequences of amino acids, that are part of a protein that induces an immune response. “To develop a new vaccine, we wanted to be able to introduce small doses of these epitopes to the immune system to train it to cope, as is usually done”, Takashi Inui, allergy researcher and lead author of the study, explains. “But we could not do this without first identifying the IgE* epitope of Can F1”, Expert adds.
So his team used X-ray crystallography to determine the overall structure of the Can F1 protein – a first. He then discovered that it had a very specific function, potentially allowing the development of a hypoallergenic vaccine against Can F1 (and dogs allergic). ,
3% of the French population is allergic to pets
In France, pets are present in more than one household in 2. They total 42 million, which includes 8 million dogs and 8 million cats. About 3% of the French population is allergic to it.
* IgE is the main antibody responsible for immediate hypersensitivity reactions, which is an uncommon form of immunological reaction.
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