Pet allergies

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Pet allergies

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Pet allergies
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What is an allergy?

An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to certain substances, which are called exogenous, because they come from outside the body. These substances, the allergens, are, for example animal hair, pollen, mould fungi or the excrement of the house-dust-mite.
 
Normally, the immune system protects the human body from pathogens such as viruses or bacteria.
An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to certain substances, which are called exogenous, because they come from outside the body. These substances, the allergens, are, for example animal hair, pollen, mould fungi or the excrement of the house-dust-mite.
 
Normally, the immune system protects the human body from pathogens such as viruses or bacteria. In the case of an allergy, the reaction by the immune system is also called “over-reactive” because the system responds to substances, which are actually harmless to our bodies. According to conservative estimates by the German Allergy and Asthma Association (Deutscher Allergie- und Asthmabund e.V.), around 20,000 substances are known to have allergenic, i.e. allergy-triggering effects. They cause allergic symptoms around the eyes, in the respiratory system, on the skin and in the gastrointestinal tract. Most allergens are protein substances of animal or vegetable origin, for instance from flower pollen, mites or mould fungi.
www.daab.de/was_ist_all.php
 
Haustierallergien

But there are allergies to bird feathers, for example in pigeon breeders. Can the same happen with bed-feathers, too?

 
This form of allergy occurs when substances, which trigger the allergic symptoms, enter the human body via the airway system.
It is an allergy, however, which is virtually unknown in the context of the bed-feather allergen.
 
This form of allergy occurs when substances, which trigger the allergic symptoms, enter the human body via the airway system.
It is an allergy, however, which is virtually unknown in the context of the bed-feather allergen.

A survey on bed-feather (keratin) allergy by Prof. Dr. med. Dietrich Hof­mann from the Clinical Center of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Center for Pediatrics led to the following results:
 
This form of allergy – the type III allergy, which can basically be triggered by bird feathers, for example by feathers from pigeons and budgerigars, “is, however, virtually unknown in the context of the bed-feather allergen, since long-lasting exposure to high concentrations of the allergen is the precondition for the manifestation of this group of diseases (allergic alveolitis). At the most, such a scenario could become reality for somebody, who worked, say, in the bed-feather industry and would be in close contact with the filling materials themselves.“
Haustierallergien

Can pet-allergic patients use down- and feather-filled bedding?

Two recent scientific studies have demonstrated that synthetic bedding articles contain higher concentrations of animal allergens than feather bedding.
 
The guideline on Allergy Prevention by the Allergy Prevention Action Alliance states the following:
„Synthetic bedding contains a significantly higher number of animal allergens than feather bedding [Custovic 2000] and the allergen infestation took place in a shorter span of time than in feather bedding [Custovic 2001].“
 
  • Custovic, A./Hallam, C./Wood
Two recent scientific studies have demonstrated that synthetic bedding articles contain higher concentrations of animal allergens than feather bedding.
 
The guideline on Allergy Prevention by the Allergy Prevention Action Alliance states the following:
„Synthetic bedding contains a significantly higher number of animal allergens than feather bedding [Custovic 2000] and the allergen infestation took place in a shorter span of time than in feather bedding [Custovic 2001].“
 
  • Custovic, A./Hallam, C./Woodcock, H./Simpson, B./Houghton, N./Simpson, A. et al.
    Synthetic pillows contain higher levels of cat and dog allergen than feather pillows.
    Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2000; 11: 71-73
  • Custovic, A./Woodcock, A.,
    Environmental allergen exposure and asthma: prospects for primary prevention. Mediators Inflamm 2001; 10: 295-298
 
Further information at  on the guideline on Allergy prevention: