Allergies: New Prevention for Cat, Dog and Hay Fever Reactions Discovered in Breakthrough Study

Stuffy nose and watery eyes keeping you away from adopting a pet? That could someday become a nuisance of the past as researchers have found a new way to prevent allergic reactions from even starting.

Related: A Kid Like Emmett: Raising a Child with Severe Food Allergies  

Allergies occur when your body creates the IgE antibody to a particular item, like pollen or cigarette smoke (two of the most common irritants). When we come into contact with these triggers, our body produces more IgE. These attach to cells in our immune system and the chemical histamine is released by white blood cells in an attempt to tackle what is thought of as an invasion. This is what causes allergic reactions, like the sniffly nose.

Scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark were working on research that focused on improving current allergy treatments. Instead, they discovered how to target the IgE antibody to completely suppress allergic responses. Using blood samples of patients who were allergic to birch pollen and insect venom, they found that administering something called the 026 single domain antibody could prevent IgE from clasping onto cells, thus preventing allergic symptoms from even starting. According to ScienceAlert, the antibody was first found in llamas and is similar to other molecules found in fish that have skeletons made from cartilage rather than bone.

"Once the IgE on immune cells can be eliminated, it doesn’t matter that the body produces millions of allergen-specific IgE molecules. When we can remove the trigger, the allergic reaction and symptoms will not occur," study co-author and Immunobiologist Edzard Spillner said in a statement.

According to the researchers, this new development could help develop new ways of dealing with allergies that aren’t your typical antihistamines.

 



“We can now precisely map how the antibody prevents binding of IgE to its receptors. This allows us to envision completely new strategies for engineering medicine of the future," Aarhus University biologist and study co-author Nick Laursen, said in a statement.

However, the research is still in the beginning stages and clinical trials in actual people are needed before any new medications go to market.

“Essentially we have done basic research on the antibody, so a medication might still take some time,” Spillner said in an email to Newsweek.

For now, those who are allergic to man’s best friend will still need to take over-the-counter allergy medications or live a dog-free life.

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