There could be new hope for people who suffer from cat allergies. A promising new therapy could provide real relief.
There are usually plenty of cats to pick from at the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha, but sometimes families get a surprise when they get their new feline friend home. Cat allergies can be a problem for some people.
“Whether they didn't know they had the allergy prior to getting the cat or they've had the cat for a while and then they have a new family member like a new baby come into the family and then the child is allergic to the animal and then they have to surrender it because of allergies,” said the Nebraska Humane Society’s Elizabeth Hilpipre.
The Humane Society will do what it can to find that cat a good home, but for those with cat allergies, getting the cat out of the home doesn't always take care of the problem.
“Kids come in and they own cats, they track in the cat dander and it tends to be pretty pervasive in schools even though obviously, they don't have cats in schools,” said Creighton University's Dr. Thomas Casale.
Research at Creighton could help cat allergy sufferers find relief. Dr. Casale is heading up the clinical trials of a new immuno therapy that has shown promising results in European studies. The new vaccines target the exact part of cat dander that people are allergic to.
“We know the exact proteins that people are allergic to in cat dander and that's what's helped us develop these new vaccines,” said Dr. Casale. “They're proteins and they're part of the dander.”
Hopefully cats and cat lovers can live happily ever after. In European studies of the new vaccines, people exposed to a lot of dander found relief from allergies for up to two years.