On the trail of a dog allergy vaccine


It is often said that the dog is man’s best friend. Except maybe for people who are allergic to it. In Japan, scientists are working on a vaccine that would fight most dog allergies.

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About a quarter of the French have a dog, it’s a little less than cat owners (about a third of the French), but it still represents 8 million canines. While for most people, owning a dog is a joy, for those who are allergic to it it can become a nightmare.

The dog is less allergen than the cat. Scientists have nonetheless identified seven different allergens, noted Can f-1 to f-7, responsible for symptoms common allergy. One of them, Can f-1, is responsible for 50 to 75% of allergies. It’s about a molecule present in the saliva of dogs and on their hair.

A future vaccine to reduce allergies to dogs

If the allergen is known, the precise region of it recognized by theimmunity, more particularly the IgE, is not. For the first time, the complete structure of Can f-1 has been analyzed by crystallography at X-rays. This work, made by scientists at Osaka University, identified five amino acids (His86, Glu98, Arg111, Glu138, and Arg152), potential targets of IgE due to their structure. Japanese scientists are continuing their research to find the ideal candidate that would go into the composition of a vaccine against allergies to dogs.

Hypo-allergenic vaccines are rare, in the case of dogs, there are none to date. To limit allergic symptoms, doctors usually prescribe antihistamines or eye drops to relieve itching from eyes. From desensitization are possible, but the success of these protocols very much depends on the allergy to be treated.

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