Rats are in the Rodentia family of animals which also includes hamsters, mice and guinea pigs.
The allergen associated with an allergy to rats is a protein called lipocalin. These proteins transport molecules like lipids and steroids around the body.
Most pet dander allergies are down to lipocalin proteins (with the exception of cats).
Allergy to rat dander is strongly strongly associated with allergic rhinitis as well as asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic dermatitis.
A rat allergy can be strongly linked to other animal allergies due to the lipocalin proteins. There is evidence of cross reactivity due to this protein with cockroaches, cows, dogs, guinea pigs, horses, cats, hamsters, mice and rabbitts.
Science Direct - Lipocalin
Allergy UK - Pet Allergy
Articles and Journals
In silico analysis of a major allergen from Rattus norvegicus, Rat n 1, and cross-reactivity with domestic pets, 2019
In silico Analysis of Cross Reactivity between Lipocalin of Domestic Animals, 2018
Sensitization and exposure to pets: The effect on asthma morbidity in the United States population, 2018
Anaphylaxis in laboratory workers because of rodent handling: two case reports, 2016
Allergy to furry animals: New insights, diagnostic approaches, and challenges, 2015
Analysis of allergens in rat fur and saliva, 2001
Mapping of IgE binding regions in the major rat urinary protein, alpha 2u-globulin, using overlapping peptides, 1999
Purification and identification of allergenic alpha (2u)-globulin species of rat urine, 1996
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