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For those suffering from feline allergies, a bright new hope on the horizon could relieve both their symptoms and their cat-adoring friends. Imagine the symptoms caused by an extreme allergy - the sneezing, itchy eyes, and trouble breathing - being a thing of the past. Imagine a person who was unable to be in the same room as a cat suddenly being able to stroke one without consequences. That future is closer than it has ever been before.
Incredible research at the University of Cambridge has finally unraveled the cause of the raging, unnecessary immune response to cat dander. A single protein in the dander interacts with a common bacterial toxin in the environment, and is then misinterpreted by a specific immune receptor known as TLR4, which causes the body's immune system to overreact.
Development of medication to inhibit TLR4's response is already underway, so the ability to stop the symptoms of a cat-fur-induced allergy attack is likely to be just around the corner. It all boils down to the freedom to listen without fear to the sound of a cat purring.