A step towards better prediction of cat and dog allergy

Published Online: December 12, 2015

Presence of IgE antibodies to cat or dog allergen extracts is common among children, but the extract based diagnostic tests are poor with respect to prediction of future cat or dog allergy. In recent years, the availability of molecular-based allergy diagnostic tests has made it possible to investigate how individual allergenic proteins contribute in triggering the IgE immune response. However, the development of IgE to different cat and dog allergen molecules during childhood in relation to symptoms to cat and dog up to adolescence has not been thoroughly investigated.

In an article recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), Asarnoj et al. followed 779 children from the general Swedish population from short after birth and up to adolescence. Blood samples were collected at 4, 8 and 16 years of age and IgE to cat and dog allergen molecules were analyzed. Allergy symptom questionnaires to cat and dog were collected throughout childhood.

The study shows that presence of IgE antibodies to several cat or dog allergen molecules at 4 and 8 years of age is a better predictor of future cat or dog allergy than IgE to cat or dog extract. IgE to the major cat allergen molecule Fel d 1 is shown to be as good as IgE to cat extract in predicting cat allergy. In the case of, dog allergy, IgE to the major dog allergen molecule Can f 1 is the most important prognostic marker and superior to dog allergen extract IgE.

The new high resolution molecular-based allergy diagnostics offer new opportunities for improving diagnosis and prediction of furry animal allergy and in particular allergy to dog.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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