Influence of cat characteristics on Fel d 1 levels in the home

Charlotte Nicholas, Ganesa Wegienka, Suzanne Havstad, Dennis Ownby, Christine Cole Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Previous studies investigating cat characteristics and cat allergen production focused on clinical experiments that quantified allergen from either the shaved skin or the fur of the animal; however, these studies did not address these experimental relationships in the home. Objective: To determine the relationships between cat characteristics and cat allergen isolated from household dust. Methods: Fel d 1 allergen levels in dust from homes participating in a population-based study of environmental effect on allergy development were analyzed using a standard monoclonal antibody-based assay. Cat characteristics were based on interviews conducted during home visits by study personnel. Results: Households with any cats had higher geometric mean Fel d 1 levels than households without cats (32.88 vs 0.43; P < .01), and cat allergen levels increased with increasing numbers of cats in the home (P < .01). Length of cat hair, cat sex, reproductive status, and time spent indoors were analyzed; the only characteristic associated with higher levels of Fel d 1 was whether the cat had been neutered or spayed. Conclusions: Having cats in the home is significantly associated with increased Fel d 1 levels, and having more cats in the home is correlated with more cat allergen. Cat reproductive characteristics may be associated with measurable differences in cat allergen levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-50
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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