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The new vaccine works by producing high levels of antibodies to Fel D 1 in cats so that these antibodies bind to and neutralize the protein before people can be exposed to it. This process is akin to making cats hypoallergenic. New clinical trial data on the vaccine was recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
In the series of studies, cats received 3 doses of vaccines through hind leg injections over a 9 week period. Researchers found that cats tolerated the injections well and did not experience any adverse side effects. They also found that these cats showed increased levels of antibodies to Fel D 1 and that the antibodies effectively neutralized Fel D 1 activity, resulting in lower levels of the problematic protein in the cat’s saliva and tears.
Importantly, when samples from the cats were mixed with blood from people who suffer from cat allergies, fewer reactions indicative of allergies occurred. These observations are promising when we consider how people may be affected by cats who have been vaccinated. They suggest that when around cats who have received the vaccine, cat allergy sufferers will be exposed to lower levels of Fel D 1 and therefore experience less of the immune response that leads to allergy symptoms.