Research recently published in the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) Journal has brought glad tiding for dog allergy sufferers! Scientists are getting ever closer to successfully developing a vaccine for canine allergies, allowing dog-lovers from all walks to enjoy the company of a canine companion.
According to the FEBS mentioned above study, there has been previous research done that has allowed scientists to be able to identify that there is a total of seven allergens that could trigger an allergic reaction. These allergens cause a reaction when they bind to antibodies and trigger an abnormally powerful immune response from sneezing, itching, eye-watering, and coughing.
The FEBS study has put a specific focus on creating a vaccine for the Can f 1 allergen as opposed to trying to cover all seven. Can f 1 be found in dog saliva glands, dog skin, and a dog’s tongue tissue? It has been identified that the Can f 1 protein is responsible for most allergic reactions, impacting around 50-75% of people with dog allergies.
However, the vaccine is still in development owing to research on how exactly the protein bonds to human antibodies. Effectively, scientists need to break down exactly where the protein latches on the antibody.
Studies using X-ray technology to map out and better understand the full structure of Can f 1 have helped scientists to figure out the folding pattern of the protein. With this information, they should be able to predict the exact spot at which the antibodies are most likely to bind with Can f 1.
The FEBS study also highlights that this approach of using X-rays to map out the entire protein is unique to this study. As of yet, nobody else has successfully mapped out Can f 1, giving FEBS a significant advantage on the road to creating a vaccine.
These advancements in the fight against canine allergies have given dog allergy sufferers a glimpse of hope that they may one day be able to interact with their little puppy pals without the worry of itching, sneezing, coughing, or coming out in a rash!