Most of the major allergens that have been isolated from laboratory and domestic animals have been found to be acidic proteins, with molecular weights lower than that of serum albumin (Table II). Recent advances in characterization of antigens from these animals have emphasized that urine and saliva can be as important as epithelia as sources of relevant allergens. Urinary protein allergens are found in mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits, whereas cat saliva contains all the major allergens found in cat pelt extract. Urinary proteins from mice, rats and guinea pigs and salivary proteins from cats have been identified in air samples of rooms inhabited by these animals. There is now sufficient immunochemical data to standardize allergens from mice, rats and cats for diagnosis and immunotherapeutic trials.
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