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Concept: Cat allergy


Cats are the major source of indoor inhalant allergens after house dust mites. The global incidence of cat allergies is rising sharply, posing a major public health problem. Ten cat allergens have been identified. The major allergen responsible for symptoms is Fel d 1, a secretoglobin and not a lipocalin, making the cat a special case among mammals.

Concepts: Asthma, Atopy, Allergen, Cat, Allergen immunotherapy, House dust mite, Fel d 1, Cat allergy


We aimed to determine the profile of IgE reactivity to three major cat allergens, Fel d 1, Fel d 2 and Fel d 4, in cat-allergic patients in the Moscow region in Russia. sIgE levels to recombinant proteins expressed in Escherichia coli (Fel d 1 and Fel d 4) and to Fel d 2 protein purified from cat serum were measured using a microarray method developed in our laboratory. Sera from 174 anonymous subjects with a positive reaction (≥0.35 IU/mL) to cat dander extract (e1, ImmunoCAP) and 56 negative controls were used for IgE testing. Fel d 1 was recognized by 92.5%, Fel d 2 by 29.9% and Fel d 4 by 39.1% of the tested patient sera. The sensitivity to these three proteins was approximately 98% compared to cat dander extract (correlation coefficient to ImmunoCAP is 0.94 with PPV = 0.99 and NPV = 0.95). These predictive values appeared to be even more statistically significant than the divergence between the ISAC IgE test and the extract-based singleplex ImmunoCAP. The combination of the three investigated proteins (Fel d 1, Fel d 2 and Fel d 4) is suitable for in vitro molecular (serological) diagnosis of cat allergy in this region as a complement to cat dander extract. Moreover, with this method, we found distinction between Fel d 2 and other Feline sIgEs formation.

Concepts: DNA, Asthma, Escherichia coli, Allergen, Cat, Felidae, Fel d 1, Cat allergy


Cats (Felis domesticus) are rich source of airborne allergens that prevailed in the environment and sensitized a number of people to allergy. In this study, a mouse model of allergic rhinitis caused by the cat allergens was developed for the first time and the model was used for testing therapeutic efficacy of a novel intranasal liposome-entrapped vaccines made of native Fel d 1 (major cat allergen) in comparison with the vaccine made of crude cat hair extract (cCE). BALB/c mice were sensitized with cCE mixed with alum intraperitoneally and intranasally. The allergic mice were treated with eight doses of either liposome (L)-entrapped native Fel d 1 (L-nFD1), L-cCE), or placebo on every alternate day. Vaccine efficacy evaluation was performed one day after provoking the treated mice with aerosolic cCE. All allergenized mice developed histological features of allergic rhinitis with rises of serum specific-IgE and Th2 cytokine gene expression. Serum IgE and intranasal mucus production of allergic mice reduced significantly after vaccination in comparison with the placebo mice. The vaccines also caused a shift of the Th2 response (reduction of Th2 cytokine expressions) towards the non-pathogenic responses: Th1 (down-regulation of the Th1 suppressive cytokine gene, IL-35) and Treg (up-regulation of IL-10 and TGF-β). In conclusions, a mouse model of allergic rhinitis to cat allergens was successfully developed. The intranasal, liposome-adjuvanted vaccines, especially the refined single allergen formulation, assuaged the allergic manifestations in the modeled mice. The prototype vaccine is worthwhile testing further for clinical use in the pet allergic patients.

Concepts: Immune system, Gene, Asthma, Vaccine, Immunology, Allergy, Cat, Cat allergy


The major cat allergen, Fel d 1, is a structurally complex protein with two N-glycosylation sites that may be filled by different glycoforms. In addition, the protein contains three putative Ca2+ binding sites. Since the impact of these Fel d 1 structure modifications on the protein dynamics, physiology and pathology are not well established, the present work employed computational biology techniques to tackle these issues. While conformational effects brought upon by glycosylation were identified, potentially involved in cavity volume regulation, our results indicate that only the central Ca2+ ion remains coordinated to Fel d 1 in biological solutions, impairing its proposed role in modulating phospholipase A2 activity. As these results increase our understanding of Fel d 1 structural biology, they may offer new support for understanding its physiological role and impact into cat-promoted allergy.

Concepts: DNA, Molecular biology, Biology, Physiology, Structure, Tertiary structure, Anatomy, Cat allergy


The major cat allergen Fel d 1 represents one of the most important respiratory allergens. Aim of this study was the rational design of recombinant Fel d 1 derivatives with reduced IgE reactivity and preserved T cell epitopes for vaccination and tolerance induction.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Immunology, Allergy, Allergen, Allergology, Allergen immunotherapy, Cat allergy


Introduction: Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis is an increasingly common source of morbidity with sensitivity to cats accounting for 10 - 15% of the disease burden. Allergy to cats is a major risk factor for the development of asthma. Areas covered: Within the present manuscript, the current data on a novel therapeutic approach to treat cat allergy is reviewed. Cat Peptide Antigen Desensitisation ( Cat-PAD ) is a mixture of seven small peptides developed for the treatment of cat allergy. It is designed to induce immunological tolerance via binding to MHC class II on antigen presenting cells and interacting with regulatory T cells without triggering the cross-linking of IgE on mast cells and basophils. The peptide sequences are derived from the major cat allergen Fel d 1. The peptides have been selected to ensure a similar T cell response to that generated to whole cat dander in ex-vivo PBMC derived from cat allergic individuals. The size of the peptides is insufficient to induce cross-linking of IgE. Clinical data from a series of studies shows that Cat-PAD is able to significantly reduce allergic rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms after a short course of four injections over 12 weeks, and that the treatment effect is persistent lasting 2 years after the start of treatment. Expert opinion: Taken together Cat-PAD is a novel, well tolerated and promising therapeutic approach to treat cat allergic patients. Data from the current international Phase III study will unravel whether the concept is also efficient and tolerable under daily life circumstances.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Immunology, Allergy, Mast cell, Major histocompatibility complex, MHC class I, Cat allergy