Cats are usually spreaders of allergens that are critical for sensitive people; the Siberian cat is a breed supposed to be low level allergenic, according to some breeders' statements. The sequence of the two genes, namely Ch1 and Ch2, that code for the allergen Fel d 1, the major allergen responsible for outbreaks of allergy symptoms, is not yet known in the Siberian cat, and finding this was the aim of our investigation. Notably, our work is the first survey of the genetic structure of these genes in Siberian cats. The comparison of the sequences of Siberian cats, non-Siberian cats, and sequences present in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database revealed a considerable number of mutations; some of those detected in the Siberian cat, due to their position in exon regions, could affect the Fel d 1 allergenic properties. Therefore, further investigations are recommended to assess if the identified mutations can be responsible for a reduced-allergen synthesis and can be used as markers for selection of low level allergenic cats.
Keywords: Ch1 gene; Ch2 gene; Fel d 1; Siberian cat; genetic selection; low-allergenic cat.