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New vaccine could help those allergic to cats

Swiss company called HypoPet works to bring product to market

New hope for allergy-sufferers may soon hit the veterinary world, and cats might benefit, too. 

About 10% of the people in the Western world suffer from cat allergies, and most will either use over-the-counter antihistamines to treat sneezing and itching or will just avoid the animals altogether.

A new treatment, in the form of a vaccine, however, may be the key ending side-effects.

Researchers have published results of a new study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that outlines the immunization of cats to neutralize the antibody “Fel d 1,” which causes allergic reactions in some people.

A Swiss company called HypoPet developed the vaccine and said that it was well tolerated in all 54 cats that were tested, with no toxic effects. 

“Both human subjects and animals could profit from this treatment, because allergic cat owners would reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, such as asthma, and become more tolerant of their cats, which therefore could stay in the households and not need to be relinquished to animal shelters,” the study said.

The vaccine is not yet on the market and still must undergo testing before it arrives at veterinary offices.

HypoPet said it is working with U.S. and European regulators to bring the “much-needed product” to pet owners.