Sensitization to natural rubber latex has been linked to proteins from medical latex gloves. Various assays to estimate the amount of residual allergenic proteins extractable from latex gloves to assess their potential exposure hazard have inherent weaknesses.
This investigation was aimed at developing 2-site immunoenzymetric assays and identifying appropriate protein markers to assess the allergenic potential of latex gloves.
The presence of 6 latex allergens--Hev b 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 13--was measured in a cross-section of commercial latex medical gloves by using monoclonal and polyclonal antibody-based 2-site immunoenzymetric assays. The overall allergenic potential of these gloves was assessed by IgE-inhibition assay. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were performed to identify marker allergens that best explained the variation in latex glove allergenicity.
All 6 latex allergens were detected in at least some of the glove samples. Hev b 5 and Hev b 13 were identified as the marker allergens that combined best to explain the variation in the glove allergenicity. The significant multiple correlation (R=0.855) between these 2 markers and glove allergenic potency forms the basis of an assay to gauge latex glove allergenicity.
The overall allergenic potential of latex gloves can be estimated by using Hev b 5 and Hev b 13 as indicator allergens. The correlation between glove allergenicity and the level of these allergens was maintained for low-protein gloves (<200 microg/g). This estimation of glove allergenicity was superior to that obtained by using total protein readings.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.