Dust Mites Can Cure Allergy to Cat

House dust miteCuring people of the dreaded allergy to domestic cats with an oral dust mite extract in a pill sounds extraordinary but it may well come true in the not too distant future. It is a potential cure through immunotherapy.

Trials lead by Professor Arshad at Southampton University, UK have shown that babies can be desensitised to various allergens by giving then a extract of the dust mite. The results are startling. It is early days though. Several more years of trials are required before it can be brought to the market. This reminds me of the concept of exposing babies to close contact with cats to achieve the same result.

The trials indicate that allergy rates were 63% lower (almost 2/3rds) in babies given the treatment.

A quarter (25%) of the babies given a placebo – the control group – developed allergies to grass, dust, cats, eggs and peanuts while just 9.4% of babies given the dust mite extract developed did so.

Professor Arshad says:

“Although dust mites are an important cause of asthma and allergy, using the same allergen in an oral extract form, known as immunotherapy, can reduce the body’s reaction to not only dust mites but also other important allergens..”

I suspect that the main motivation for these trials was to prevent the raise in asthma. However, the feline allergen affects an estimated 10% of the population. In the UK that equates to getting on for a million cat owners and 30 million in the USA. A study at the New Jersey Medical School has shown an increase in the number of asthma sufferers who are also allergic to cats.

If this research develops to the marketplace it could improve the lives of 20 million America cat owners and encourage many more sufferers to adopt a cat with the consequential increase in the number of people able to adopt a shelter cat. Also there will be less relinquishments.

The cat allergen is an actual and potential barrier to cat ownership. A cure is important for the long term welfare of the domestic cat.

Tag: cat allergies

Source: Times Newspaper 12th June 2014.

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Dust Mites Can Cure Allergy to Cat — 6 Comments

    • I depends a bit on the cat. You might be slightly allergic to some cats. I was never allergic to cats until I took on Charlie – I very slightly allergic to him. It doesn’t interfere with my life at all but it is there.

      • yea i guess ur’d get used to it. Maybe as you get older it gets worse. I know as i get older im becoming much more emotional than i have ever been in my life.

  1. There have been quite a few POC articles and comments about allergies to cats and and some as to the reasons why we need not be so obsessed with cleanliness.

    Now we know that dust mites can serve a very useful purpose.

    This is a good little article. I’m happy to write that I am not obsessed with cleanliness and am certain that these wonderful dust mites are thriving here.

  2. I just met somebody who had 2 cats and had to adopt them out because she became allergic to them. Now she even reacts when she is around a person who has had alot of contact with cats.

    As you might imagine, we probably won’t be seeing eachother again very often, if at all 🙂

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