London: Scientists from the Nottingham University are on the way to making a drug that may put an end to all the miseries caused by feline allergies, ranging from a fit of sneezes to a dangerous asthma attack.
"Most treatments at the moment are symptomatic – you have the allergy and then you try to stop the symptoms. What we are saying is that if you understand what happens at the time the irritant interacts with the body, you can intervene early on," a newspaper quoted researcher Dr Amir Ghaem-Maghami (CORR) as saying.
Microscopic flakes of cat skin or dander are breathed in from the air, walls or clothing and cause problems when the `watchman` cells of the immune system identify them as being a threat.
These cells then raise the alarm, sending signals to other immune cells to mobilise and attack these threats and thus create the symptoms of an allergy.
Dr Ghaem-Maghami has identified a protein, known as the mannose receptor, on the surface of the dendritic cells that initiates the whole process.
The breakthrough may lead to the making of a pill, five to 10 years from now, that will be able to pacify the agony of the allergy for millions.