METHODS: Sera from 27 patients from Finland and 18 from the United States with latex allergy and control sera from nonsensitive individuals were studied for latex-specific IgE antibodies. Four antigen preparations were used: two extracted from gloves and one each extracted from rubber tree sap from Malaysia and India. All 45 patients had skin prick test results that were positive to latex antigens, and all sera were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with the various antigens.
RESULTS: There were considerable differences in the reactivity of patient sera with the different antigens. Only 50% of the sera from patients with latex allergy from Finland demonstrated significant levels of IgE to latex as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. These patients showed more reactivity with rubber tree sap antigens than with glove antigens. However, 72% of the patients from the United States demonstrated antibodies to latex, and no marked differences were noted between the antigen extracts.
CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that reagents such as rubber tree sap, which contain multiple clinically significant antigenic components, should be included in evaluation of latex allergy and that differences in patient populations may result in serologic variances.
METHODS: A protein of 58 kd with an isoelectric point of 8.45 was purified from raw latex and from latex gloves and identified as the major allergen, completely blocking specific IgE antibodies in the serum of latex-sensitized subjects. The allergen is a noncovalent homotetramer molecule, in which the 14.6 kd monomer was identified, by amino acid composition and sequence homologies of tryptic peptides, to be the rubber elongation factor found in natural latex of the Malaysian rubber tree.
RESULTS: Competitive immunoinhibition tests showed that the starch powder covering the finished gloves is the airborne carrier of the allergen, resulting in bronchial asthma on inhalation. The purified allergen can induce allergic reactions in the nanogram range.
CONCLUSION: The identification of the allergen (Hev b I) may help to eliminate it during the production of latex-based articles in the future.
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.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the purified latex allergens and to demonstrate specific IgE antibody in the sera of health care workers and spina bifida patients with clinical latex allergy.
METHODS: Two radioallergosorbent and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using latex proteins Hev b 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 along with two glove extracts and Malaysian nonammoniated latex (MNA) were evaluated to demonstrate IgE in the sera of health care workers and spina bifida with latex allergy and controls with no history of latex allergy.
RESULTS: ELISA using the purified latex allergens demonstrated specific IgE in 32-65% health care workers and 54-100% of spina bifida patients with latex allergy. The corresponding figures for RAST were 13-48 and 23-85 for RAST-1 and 19-61 and 36-57 for RAST-2. These results were comparable with the results obtained with glove extracts and crude rubber latex proteins.
CONCLUSIONS: When used simultaneously, latex proteins Hev b 2 and Hev b 7 reacted significantly with specific serum IgE in 80% of health care workers and 92% of spina bifida patients with latex allergy by ELISA technique, while this combination gave lower positivity when the RASTs were used. By the addition of Hev b 3, specific IgE was detected in all spina bifida patients with latex allergy. Both RASTs failed to show specific IgE in the control subjects, while the ELISA showed significant latex-specific IgE in 22% of controls.