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Cat-allergy vaccine developed by McMaster researchers

Researches at McMcaster University say they have developed a vaccine that treats allegies to cats.


Cat allergy sufferers, grab that big box of tissues, blow your nose and breathe a sigh of relief. Scientists at McMaster University say they have created a vaccine that will end your suffering.

Immunologist Mark Larché and his team have created a vaccine that treats allergies to felines. (As many as 10 per cent of Canadians are allergic to cats.)

Initially, a person may need to take four to eight doses a year, meaning people who already go for regular allergy shots will still have to get poked by a needle every few months. But the vaccine does not exhibit the side effects of the traditional allergy shots, Dr. Larché said in a release.

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The vaccine was developed using a protein that cats secrete on their fur (it causes the majority of cat allergy problems) along with the blood of 100 people who are allergic to cats (which allowed researchers to identify the areas of the protein that activate T-cells and trigger a reaction).

From there, researchers created synthetic versions of the seven peptides that were found to activate T-cells.

"And those synthetic peptides are what we mix together to make the vaccine," Dr. Larché said.

The researchers findings were published in the January issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.

Unfortunately, the vaccine likely won't be on the market for at least three years, Dr. Larché told the Hamilton Spectator.

But then you'll be able to take a low dose admitted under the skin and go hug that snuggly wuggly kitty cat in your life without having to worry that your eyes are going to explode or that you'll sneeze your face off.

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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