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MT04-003: Hyposensitization using allergen and CpG motifs for the treatment of feline allergic asthma

Asthma is one of the most common types of lung disease in cats, and can be debilitating or occasionally fatal. There is no cure for this disease, and treatment often relies on high doses of steroids given for the remainder of the cat’s life. Some cats become refractory to the effects of steroids and can develop life-threatening asthma attacks. In humans with life threatening allergies, a treatment option called rush immunotherapy (RIT) may be employed to attempt to quickly desensitize the patient to the allergen. High doses of the allergen are administered in the hospital under a doctor’s supervision over one to a few days. This procedure causes the body to become resistant to a life-threatening reaction when exposed to the allergen again under natural conditions. Another novel treatment option for asthma is to give CpG motifs, which are components of bacteria that normally serve to warn the body that it has been invaded by potentially dangerous organisms. The body responds by mounting an immune response that also protects against asthma. We have previously shown in an experimental model of asthma that both of these treatments show promise individually. In this current study, we propose to combine both therapies in our model to determine if RIT combined with CpG motif administration is effective in ameliorating the signs of asthma.

Grant ID: MT04-003

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2004

Amount awarded: $12,500

Investigator: Carol Reinero, Leah Cohn; University of Missouri-Columbia