One in five visits to the veterinarian are connected to allergy, making allergy one of the most common diseases in dogs. The prevalence is increasing rapidly and, according to Agria Pet Insurance, allergy diagnoses have doubled over the past eight years. Today, it is estimated that more than ten percent of all dogs, regardless of breed, suffer from allergies. In some breeds, for example among Bull Terriers, Boxers, West highland white terries and German shepherd dogs, the risk is significantly higher. Atopic dermatitis (eczema) and food allergies are the most common allergic diseases, requiring life-long treatment that not only reduces the quality of life for both dog and owner, but also entails high costs for the dog owner.
Developing the world’s first preventive treatment for canine allergies
Building on leading research in bacteriology and immunology at University of Gothenburg, Premune is developing the world’s first preventive treatment for canine allergies. The finished product is intended as oral drops, given to the puppy during the first weeks of life to trigger the natural protection of allergies.
Promoting activation of immunological tolerance mechanisms
The discovery is based on 15 years of detailed birth cohort studies, where the research team behind Premune has been mapping the gut colonization patterns of Western infants. From the studies, the research team has identified a naturally occurring bacterial protein, known as superantigen, that has a unique ability to stimulate the early immune system. Whereas an ordinary bacterium activates <0.1% of all T-lymphocytes, the superantigen has the ability to activate up to 30% of all T-lymphocytes in the body. This massive immune stimulation promotes activation of immunological regulatory mechanisms that protects from allergy development. The research team behind Premune believes that the effect has the potential to recreate a broad immune stimulation that is today lost due to an all too clean lifestyle.
Unique field trial on canine allergy
In May 2013, Premune initiated a unique field trial, aiming to confirm if an early immune activation can be applied to lower the risk of canine allergy development. The trial is performed in collaboration with Agria Pet Insurance, Swedish Kennel Club, Swedish University of Agricultural Science and Royal Canin. The first indications regarding allergy preventive effect of the treatment is expected within 12 to 18 months into the trial.