Researchers have found that children who keep cats at home develop a special immune response to the cat allergens that prevents asthma.
Recently a study conducted on 226 children showed that 1 out of 5 children developed an immune response to cat allergens without developing any allergic reaction. It was observed that the immune system of these children produced an antibody called IgG (IgG is the body’s defense against most antigens and bacterial invasions) and IgG4 rather than IgE (which is responsible for the allergic reactions). Researchers also believe that IgG4 suppresses the harmful IgE response (i.e. allergic reaction).
However, researchers warn that this is not applicable to everyone as only some of the children in the study developed immunity for asthma due to the specific type of antibody they developed. Researchers say that the findings are interesting and a significantly high exposure to cat allergens can provide a protective response against asthma in some children. However more studies will be required to support this finding.