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Scientists determine what causes cat dander allergies

Scientists have recently discovered one of the causes of cat dander allergies.

The approximately 10 million people in the United States who are allergic to felines will be happy to hear that a new study published in The Journal of Immunology may hold the answer to what causes cat dander allergies.

According to a press release published by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, scientists have discovered that Fel d 1 — a protein found in cat dander — can trigger a severe inflammatory response when it interacts with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an extremely common environmental bacterial toxin. This then reportedly activates a receptor that leads to allergic responses, causing the symptoms to worsen.

After coming to this conclusion about Fel d 1, experts may be able to more effectively treat individuals who are allergic to pet dander — known for being a notably pervasive and ubiquitous allergen. 

Maureen Jenkins, director of clinical services at national charity Allergy U.K., told BBC News that pet dander is "sticky," and can be tracked through buildings via people's clothing and footwear. 

"It can also still be found in a home, on the walls and ceiling or fittings, even a few years after a cat has ceased to live there," Jenkins said. "Therefore, this new information identifying the specific receptor interaction in the immune system could pave the way for treatments for those with persistent disease triggered by cat allergen and, in the future, potentially dog and house dust mite allergen."

In the meantime, individuals who suffer from pet dander allergies can rest assured knowing that there are certain products that can help them co-exist with their furry friends. A whole house air purifier, which can be found on the Allergy Be Gone website, eliminates allergens directly from the air, ensuring that people can breathe easier and more comfortably in their home. 

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