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Pet dander and perennial allergic rhinitis: Therapeutic options

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Pet allergy may now be the most common perennial allergen in the United States based on recent skin-prick testing data. This trend corresponds with the rise (from 56 to 63%) in U.S. households having indoor pets over the past 10 years. Furthermore small, suspended, particulate animal allergens may be found in 90% of all homes and most public indoor areas. Although the most important cat and dog allergens are Fel d 1 and Can f 1, respectively, there are five well-described allergens for both cats and dogs. The effects of early life domestic pet and endotoxin exposure and subsequent clinical sensitivity remain controversial. Given that only the rare pet-allergic patient is willing to give away his/her pet, it is important to take an evidence-based approach to environmental control. Unfortunately, the benefits from changes in the environment that have been shown in research studies relate more to a reduction of allergens than symptoms. The pharmacotherapy for pet allergy will vary based on whether this is episodic or perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) and on the severity of the symptoms. A stepwise approach for management, using both mono- and combination therapy, is proposed. Allergen immunotherapy, the only disease-modifying treatment available, may be the best therapeutic recommendation for patients with moderate to severe pet-induced PAR.

Keywords: Allergen immunotherapy; Can f 1; Fel d 1; allergic conjunctivitis; allergic rhinitis; efficacy; environmental control; episodic allergic rhinitis; pet allergy; pharmacotherapy; safety

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2500/aap.2009.30.3286

Affiliations: Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida, USA. drdanawallace@gmail.com

Publication date: November 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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