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Allergic Individuals Should Keep Away from Cats, Say UK Scientists

rgens found in the mattress samples.

Methacholine is a liquid medication that will cause mild asthma symptoms in an asthmatic only. If breathing worsens by at least 20%, that would confirm a diagnosis of asthma.

Previous researches have found asthma to be strongly related to indoor allergens. However, that all patients exposed to cats showed greater responsiveness was unexpected. Our primary results showed no correlation between levels of house dust mite and BR among individuals with sensitisation to any of the four tested allergens, said Dr Chinn. But even moderate exposure to cat allergen resulted in significantly greater responsiveness.

The researchers said that they could not rule out the possibility that cat allergen exposure could be a proxy for exposure to endotoxins, which are found in bacteria that is thought to encourage asthmatic symptoms. Such compounds are found in higher concentrations in the homes of cat owners.

Based on the current research, it appears that many individuals could benefit from reduced cat ownership and exposure, Dr Chinn said. However, because the findings were unexpected, it is important that results are replicated in other studies before firm recommendations are made.

Muriel Simmons, the chief executive of the charity Allergy UK, said yesterday that the link between cat allergy and asthma was well established. We know that cat allergens are among the most sticky and resilient particles, and the most common source of allergies after the house dust mite. Even if you move into a house where cats have previously lived, allergens can maintain even after thorough cleaning.

Pets are the second-most-common cause of allergy in the home in Britain after house dust mites, and 50 per cent of asthmatic children are allergic to cats.

Pet allergens are proteins that, when in contact with the skin or breathed in, cause an allergic reaction that
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