Purina reveals a revolutionary approach to managing a major cat allergen: the science behind reducing active Fel d1 at its source in cats’ saliva

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The article is sponsored content brought to you by the Purina Institute – Advancing Science for Pet Health.

As many as 1 in 5 adults, worldwide, suffer from sensitivities to cat allergens.1,2 The main recommendation for people with these sensitivities is to avoid cats.3 After more than 10 years of research, Purina scientists discovered a new approach that can give people and cats a chance to stay closer together. This safe and proven approach uses cat food coated with an egg product ingredient that neutralizes the major cat allergen, Fel d 1, at its source in cats’ saliva before the allergen gets into the environment.4,5 This offers people sensitized to cat allergens a way to reduce their exposure to the allergen, not the cat.

A common problem for people and cats

Cat allergens can impair quality of life for allergy sufferers by interfering with daily activities.6,7 They also limit interactions between the allergic person and cats. Allergy to cats is a common reason for relinquishment to shelters,8-13 as well as a barrier to cat ownership.9,14

Fel d 1 is the major cat allergen

Fel d 1 is produced primarily in cats’ salivary and sebaceous glands, spread throughout the hair coat during grooming, and shed into the environment with hair and dander.15,17 All cats produce Fel d 1 regardless of breed, sex, age, hair length, hair colour, or body weight.3,7,15,17-21 The function of Fel d 1 is not yet known, but studies suggest a pheromone or chemical signalling role.2,15,22

A new approach to allergen management

Most methods of allergen management are effort-intensive, costly, and focus on managing exposure to the allergen in the environment.7,23 With Purina’s approach, the cat simply eats a nutritious food coated with an egg product ingredient containing anti-Fel d 1 antibodies.4,5 As the cat chews the kibble, the antibodies bind to active Fel d 1 in the cat’s saliva. Once bound, Fel d 1 is neutralised, and no longer recognized as an allergen. The neutralised Fel d 1 is transferred to the cat’s hair and dander during grooming, ultimately reducing active Fel d 1 levels in the environment. This approach does not stop a cat’s natural production of Fel d 1. A comprehensive safety study confirmed the ingredient is safe for cats.24

Neutralized Fel d 1

Proven science

In peer-reviewed, published studies4,5 cats showed significant reductions of active Fel d 1 in their saliva, and on their hair and dander, when fed a diet coated with an egg product ingredient containing anti-Fel d 1 antibodies. 

  • 97% of cats showed reduced active Fel d 1 on their hair and dander.5 
  • 47% reduction, on average, of active Fel d 1 on cats’ hair beginning with the third week of feeding the diet.5 
  • 86% of cats had a reduction of at least 30% from baseline levels.5 

Reducing active allergen levels can have real and positive impacts.25,26 Cat-allergic people exposed to dander from cats fed this diet showed significant reductions in nasal allergy symptoms and some ocular symptoms.25 This revolutionary new approach reduces exposure to the allergen, not to the cat—bringing cats and people closer together.

For more information visit
https://www.purinainstitute.com/centresquare/focused-nutrition/managing-cat-allergens


References 

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4. Satyaraj, E., Li, Q., Sun, P. & Sherrill, S. (2019). Anti-Fel d 1 immunoglobulin Y antibody-containing egg ingredient lowers allergen levels in cat saliva. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 21(10), 875-881. doi: 10.1177/1098612X19861218 

5. Satyaraj, E., Gardner, C., Filipi, I., Cramer, K. & Sherrill, S. (2019). Reduction of active Fel d 1 from cats using an antiFel d 1 egg IgY antibody. Immunity, Inflammation & Disease, 7, 68-73. doi: 10.1002/iid3.244.

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12.Zito, S., Morton, J., Vankan, D., Paterson, M., Bennett, P. C., Rand, J., Phillips, C. J. C. (2016). Reasons people surrender unowned and owned cats to Australian animal shelters and barriers to assuming ownership of unowned cats. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science,19, 303-319. doi: 10.1080/10888705.206.1141682.

13.Svanes, C., Zock, J.-P., Anto, J., Dharmage, S., Norback, D., Wjst, M., & the Early Life Working Group of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. (2006). Do asthma and allergy influence subsequent pet keeping? An analysis of childhood and adulthood. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,118(3), 691-698. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2006.06.017.

14. Bonnet, B., Messaoudi, K., Jacomet, F., Michaud, E. Fauquert, J. L., Caillaud, D., & Evrard, B. (2018). An update on molecular cat allergens: Fel d1 and what else? Chapter 1: Fel d1, the major cat allergen. Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, 14, 14. doi: 10.1186/s13223-018-0239-8 

15. Tsolakis, N., Malinovschi, A., Nordvall, L., Mattsson, L., Lidholm, J., Pedroletti, C.,…Alving, K. (2017). Sensitization to minor cat allergen components is associated with type-2 biomarkers in young asthmatics. Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 48(9), 1186-1194. doi: 10.1111/cea.13135.

16. Kelly, S. M., Karsh, J., Marcelo, J., Boeckh, D., Stepner, N., Litt, D.,…Yang, W. H. (2018). Fel d1 and Fel d4 levels in cat fur, saliva and urine. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 142, 1990-1992.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.07.033.

17.Bastien, B., Gardner, C. & Satyaraj, E. (2019). Influence of time and phenotype on salivary Fel d 1 in domestic shorthair cats. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 21(10), 867-874. doi: 10.1177/1098612X19850973.

18. Butt, A., Rashid, D., & Lockey, R. F. (2012). Do hypoallergenic dogs and cats exist? Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 108, 74-76. doi: 10.1016/j.anai.2011.12.005.

19.Salo, P. M., Cohn, R. D., & Zeldin, D. C. (2018). Bedroom allergen exposure beyond house dust mites. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, 18, 52. doi: 10.1007/s11882-018-0805-7.

20. Nicholas, C., Wegienka, G., Havstad, S., Ownby, D., & Johnson, C. C. (2008). Influence of cat characteristics on Fel d1 levels in the home. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 101, 47-50.

21.Durairaj, R., Pageat, P., & Bienboire-Frosini, C. (2018). Another cat and mouse game: deciphering the evolution of the SCGB superfamily and exploring the molecular singularity of major cat allergen Fel d1 and mouse ABP using computational approaches. PLoS ONE, 13(5), e0197618; doi: 10.1371/journal. pone.0197618.

22. Björnsdottir, U. S., Jakobinudottir, S., Runarsdottir, V. & Juliusson S. (2003). The effect of reducing levels of cat allergen (Fel d1) on clinical symptoms in patients with cat allergy. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 91, 189-194. 

23.Matulka, R. A., Thompson, L. & Corley, D. (2019). Evaluation of a multi-level safety study of anti-Fel d1 IgY.

24. Wedner, J., Satyaraj, E., Gardner, C., Al-Hammadi, N., Sherrill, S. & Mantia, T. (2019, June) Pilot study to determine effect of feeding cat food made with egg product containing anti-Fel d1 antibodies to cats on human allergy symptoms. Presented at the annual meeting of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Lisbon, Portugal.

25.Wickman, M., Egmar, A.-C., Emenius, G., Almqvist, C., Berglind, N., Larsson, P. & Van Hage-Hamsten, M. (1999). Fel d 1 and Can f1 in settled dust and airborne Fel d 1 in allergen avoidance day-care centres for atopic children in relation to number of pet-owners, ventilation and general cleaning. Clinical and Experimental Allergy, 29, 626-632.

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