Document Type




Publication Date



BioMed Central

Source Publication

Clinical and Molecular Allergy

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1186/1476-7961-3-11; PubMed Central: PMCID 1187902



In recent years, allergy to natural rubber latex has emerged as a major allergy among certain occupational groups and patients with underlying diseases. The sensitization and development of latex allergy has been attributed to exposure to products containing residual latex proteins. Although improved manufacturing procedures resulted in a considerable reduction of new cases, the potential risk for some patient groups is still great. In addition the prevalent cross-reactivity of latex proteins with other food allergens poses a major concern. A number of purified allergens and a few commercial kits are currently available, but no concerted effort was undertaken to evaluate them.


We studied 11 purified latex allergens, Hev b 1 to Hev b 10, and Hev b 13 along with several crude allergen extracts and two commercial ImmunoCAP assays to evaluate specific IgE antibody in the sera from latex allergic patients and controls. Health care workers and spina bifida patients with clinical symptoms of latex allergy, spina bifida patients without latex allergy, and non-atopic health care workers have been studied.


The results suggest that Hev b 2, 5, 6, and 13 together identified over 80 percent health care workers with latex allergy, while Hev b 6 along with Hev b 1 or 3 detected specific IgE antibody in all sera studied from patients with spina bifida and latex allergy. The ImmunoCAP results using both Hev b 5 amplified and non-amplified closely agreed with the clinical diagnosis of latex allergy in health care workers and in spina bifida.


Although the purified allergens and crude extracts reacted diversely with IgE from different patient groups, the results indicated that use of certain combinations of purified recombinant antigens will be useful in commercial kits or in in-house assays for detecting specific IgE antibody in the sera. The results suggest that a combination of Hev b 2, 3, 5, 6, and 13 together detected specific IgE in 80% of the sera from latex allergic patients. Both ImmunoCAPs correctly identified over 95% of latex allergic patients, however, showed reactivity with a few normal control subjects


Published version. Clinical and Molecular Allergy, Vol. 3, No. 11 (August 2005). DOI. © 2005 Kurup et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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