Mammalian pets are an important source of indoor allergens. Cats and dogs are the most popular pets, followed by rabbits, guinea-pigs and hamsters. Several molecules are already available for component-resolved diagnosis of cat and dog allergy. Allergens from small mammals are less well characterized. Many animal allergens belong to the lipocalin or serum albumin protein family. The exposure to major cat and dog allergens was measured in numerous studies and it was shown that allergens are transported easily from homes to public places. They were found to be ubiquitous and to represent a risk factor for asthmatic or sensitized patients. Allergen concentrations in a particular environment showed high variability depending on numerous environmental factors. In addition, the use of different non-standardized dust sampling and analytical methods influences the results of exposure measurements and makes comparisons between studies difficult. There is still a lack of information on exposure risk limits.
- Allergen exposure