OBJECTIVE: We have conducted a multicenter clinical skin testing study to document the safety and diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of a candidate Hevea brasiliensis nonammoniated latex (NAL) extract. These data are intended to support the licensing of this reagent for the diagnosis of latex allergy in high-risk populations.
METHODS: Three hundred twenty-four subjects (304 adults and 20 children) were classified by their clinical history as having latex allergy (LA group, 124 adults and 10 children) or having no latex allergy (NLA group, 180 adults and 10 children). All subjects provided blood samples and then received sequential puncture skin tests (PSTs) at 1, 100, or 1000 microg/mL protein with a bifurcated needle and NAL (Greer Laboratories) from Malaysian Hevea brasiliensis (clone 600) sap. A 2-stage glove provocation test was used to clarify latex allergy status of individuals with positive history/negative PST result and negative history/positive PST result mismatches.
RESULTS: Twenty-four subjects (15%) originally designated as having LA on the basis of their initial clinical history were reclassified to the NLA group on the basis of a negative glove provocation test result. Of the 134 subjects with LA, 54 (40%) were highly sensitive to latex, with a positive PST result at 1 microg/mL NAL. The Greer NAL reagent produced a positive PST rate (sensitivity) of 95% and 99% in subjects with LA at 100 microg/mL and 1 mg/mL, respectively. The negative PST rate (specificity) in 190 subjects with a negative history with the NAL extract at 100 microg/mL and 1 mg/mL, was 100% and 96%, respectively. Immediately after the PST, mild systemic reactions (mainly pruritus) were recorded in 16.1 % of the adults in the LA group and 4.4% of the adults in the NLA group. No reactions required treatment with epinephrine. Only mild delayed reactions were observed in 9.6% (LA group) and 2.8% (NLA group) of subjects 24 to 48 hours after PST. Mean wheal and erythema diameters measured in the 10 children in the LA group with spina bifida at 100 microg/mL and 1 mg/mL were similar to those observed in the adults in the LA group, suggesting that children are not at increased risk for systemic reactions compared with adults.
CONCLUSIONS: A suggestive clinical history is necessary but not sufficient for a definitive diagnosis of IgE-dependent latex allergy. These data support the safety and diagnostic efficacy of the Greer NAL, skin test reagent at 100 micro/mL and 1 mg/mL for confirmatory PSTs.
OBJECTIVE: We conducted a phase 1/2 clinical study to examine the safety and diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity and specificity) of nonammoniated latex, ammoniated latex, and rubber glove extracts as skin test extracts to identify the most efficacious source material for future skin test reagent development.
METHODS: Twenty-four adults not allergic to latex, 19 adults with hand dermatitis or pruritus, and 59 adults with a latex allergy were identified by clinical history. All provided blood and then received puncture skin tests and intradermal skin tests with nonammoniated latex, ammoniated latex, and rubber glove extracts from Malaysian H. brasiliensis latex by use of sequential titration. A glove provocation test and IgE anti-latex RAST were used to clarify positive history-negative skin test response and negative history-positive skin test response mismatches.
RESULTS: All three extracts were biologically safe and sterile. After normalization to 1 mg/ml of total protein, all three extracts produced equivalent diagnostic sensitivity and specificity in puncture skin tests and intradermal skin tests at various extract concentrations. Optimal diagnostic accuracy was safely achieved at 100 micrograms/ml for intradermal skin tests (e.g., nonammoniated latex: puncture skin test sensitivity 96%, specificity 100%; intradermal skin test sensitivity 93%, specificity 96%). The presence of IgE antibody in skin was highly correlated with IgE anti-latex in serum (nonammoniated latex: r = 0.98, p < 0.001; ammoniated latex: r = 0.94, p < 0.001; rubber glove extract: r = 0.96, p < 0.001). All five available subjects with a positive history, negative skin test response, and absence of IgE antibody in serum had a negative glove provocation test response, indicating no clinical evidence of latex allergy. No systemic or large local allergic reactions were observed with puncture skin tests or intradermal skin tests.
CONCLUSIONS: Equivalent diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were observed with the nonammoniated latex, ammoniated latex, and rubber glove extract skin test reagents after normalization for total protein; nonammoniated latex may be considered the reagent of choice on the basis of practical quality control and reproducibility considerations.