As the living cytoplasm of laticiferous cells, Hevea brasiliensis latex is a rich blend of organic substances that include a mélange of proteins. A small number of these proteins have given rise to the problem of latex allergy. The salient characteristics of H. brasiliensis latex allergens that are recognized by the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) are reviewed. These are the proteins associated with the rubber particles, the cytosolic C-serum proteins and the B-serum proteins that originate mainly from the lutoids. Procedures for the isolation and purification of latex allergens are discussed, from latex collection in the field to various preparative approaches adopted in the laboratory. As interest in recombinant latex allergens increases, there is a need to validate recombinant proteins to ascertain equivalence with their native counterparts when used in immunological studies, diagnostics, and immunotherapy.
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