Scientists at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom have discovered the receptor protein in human cells that triggers cat allergies. They anticipate that new drugs will be developed to bind the protein and prevent people from having an inflammatory response.
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"It has long been known that cat allergies are caused by people reacting to cat proteins secreted by the salivary or scent glands being transferred to the fur," Dr. Clare Bryant, lead researcher, told Yahoo! Shine. "Other allergen — for example, house dust mite allergy protein — triggers a receptor protein in host [human] cells, and we wondered if cat allergen would have similar effects. We did not expect this to happen because the cat allergy protein is very different to the house dust mite protein, so we were very surprised to find that it triggered inflammation through the same receptor."