Latex Allergy

Erin M. Warshaw, MD

In This Article

Antigen Identification

Immunoblotting studies have shown that IgE from sera of latex-allergic patients binds heterogeneously to many different proteins ranging from 4–200 kd. Identification of one or two major allergens is a daunting task, complicated by the fact that different proteins are produced by H. brasiliensis during different seasons and by different plant hybrids. Variations in collection, preservation, and compounding of latex can lead to chemical hydrolysis resulting in different protein profiles. In addition, different patient populations produce antibodies that recognize distinct latex peptides.[28] The International Allergen Nomenclature Committee currently has designated a total of 11 major and minor allergens ( Table II ). Most of these allergens are integrally involved in the biosynthesis of important rubber components.