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W01-004: Prevalence of Positive Aeroallergen Reactions in Cats with Idiopathic Feline Asthma

Feline asthma is a respiratory disease syndrome of cats characterized by recurrent episodes of coughing, wheezing, and difficulty in breathing. The onset of clinical signs may be sudden and life threatening. In most cats, a correctable cause is never found and the cat may require life-long corticosteroid therapy to control the symptoms. There is increasing evidence to support the suspicion that the underlying cause of feline asthma is an allergy to an inhaled allergen. In the past, allergy testing has not been helpful in uncovering the cause of the allergy, but the reason may be that the incorrect allergens were used. Allergy testing has previously focused on outdoor or seasonal allergens, and not on indoor allergens. In fact, when a small group of cats with feline asthma were intradermally skin tested using indoor allergens, positive reactions to mites, house dust, and cockroach were found. More importantly, these cats responded to immunotherapy (“allergy shots”). The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of positive aeroallergen reactions in cats with feline asthma. In addition to commonly used allergens, a battery of indoor allergens including house dust, several species of house dust and storage mites, and cockroach will be used. Information from this study will be used for studies on the pathophysiology of the feline asthma and treatment trials.

Grant ID: W01-004

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2001

Amount awarded: $4,325

Investigator: Karen Moriello, Rebecca Stepien; University of Wisconsin-Madison