Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cat Hair at Home Poses an Allergy Risk, Particularly for Young Children

03.05.2007
GSF Scientists Recommend that Families at Risk Keep No Domestic Cat

Cats and cat allergens in the home clearly raise the risk of the allergic sensitisation of children up to the age of two. For older children, however, the influence of the environment at home on the development of cat allergen sensitization decreases. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the GSF – National Research Center for Environment and Health (GSF), Helmholtz-Association, when they evaluated the data of more than 2,000 children from Leipzig and Munich.

The study published by Chih-Mei Chen et al. in the May edition of the distinguished Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology did not approve earlier papers, according to which contact with cat allergens during the first few months of a child’s life has a protective effect. The team of authors could even show that apart from keeping cats, even just repeated contact with cat hair within or outside the parental household increases the frequency of allergic sensitisation on the basis of the detection of IgE-specific antibodies against cat allergens.

The study is based on data of the multicentric LISA study. LISA stands for Lifestyle – Immune - System – Allergy and is intended to demonstrate the influence of lifestyle on the immune system and the development of allergic diseases in children. Apart from the GSF – Research Center for Environment and Health (GSF) and the Centre for Environmental Research Halle Leipzig (UFZ), other university and clinical partners are also involved. In the framework of the study the parents of the children born between late 1997 and early 1999 were repeatedly questioned about different family and health parameters as well as the frequency of contact with cats and other pets.

The longitudinal analysis of the development of allergic sensitization due to contact with cats, as it has just been published, also relies on a house dust sample taken from the parental home three months after each child’s birth, in which cat allergens were determined, as well as on the determination of the content of IgE antibodies to cat allergens in the children’s blood. The blood tests were carried out at the age of two and six years.

Up to the age of two the scientists found clear connections between exposure to cat allergens at home and the frequency of allergic sensitisation. This connection was found to a lesser extent in six-year-old health outcomes “Contact with cat allergens at home does not have the main significance in this age group,” explains the head of the research unit Environmental Epidemiology at the GSF Institute of Epidemiology, Dr. Joachim Heinrich. Due to their greater range of action older children also come into contact with animal hair, when they are with friends and relatives, in child-care centres and playgrounds, and can get sensitised there. Statistical connections on the basis of cat allergen exposure at home are blurred by exposure outside the children’s homes.

In all the scientists found allergic sensitisation to cat allergens in 1.3 per cent of the two-year-old and 5 per cent of the six-year-old children.

“The most important risk factor for allergies in children,“ Joachim Heinrich, “is, however, still the family history. If the parents suffer from hay fever, asthma or pet allergies, their children are more likely to also show allergic symptoms”. The study also shows that risk families in particular must still be advised not to keep cats and to avoid contact with cats in general. This, however, does not guarantee sufficient protection from allergic sensitisation with cat allergens.

Chen, C-M, Rzehak P, Zutavern A, Fahlbusch B, Bischof W, Herbarth O, Borte M, Lehmann I, Behrendt H, Krämer U, Wichmann HE, Heinrich J: Longitudinal study on cat allergen exposure and the development of allergy in young children. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, May 2007

Michael van den Heuvel | alfa
Further information:
http://www.gsf.de
http://www.gsf.de/neu/Aktuelles/Presse/2007/allergie-katzenhaare_en.php

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>