Publisher's note: Millions of people around the globe suffer greatly from such allergies. How great it would be if these allergies could be reduced or eliminated; perhaps making a dent in the number of homeless pets as well?
Fox News: Scientists at Cambridge University have discovered how allergic reactions to cats are triggered, in a study they say could pave the way for new treatments.
Researchers believe that a protein found in cat dander -- microscopic skin particles shed by animals -- can trigger an allergic response in humans when it comes into contact with a common bacteria.
Reactions can include sneezing and coughing, swollen, itchy eyes and breathing difficulties, similar to the symptoms of a common cold. Scientists are hopeful that the research, published in the Journal of Immunology, could lead to the development of new treatments, not only for cat allergy sufferers but also for people allergic to dogs.
The most common allergen is the Fel d 1 protein, which is found in cats' saliva and spreads easily to their skin when they groom themselves.