Background Differences in latex allergen sensitization profiles have been described between children subjected to repetitive surgical interventions and health care workers (HCW). ‘Major’ allergens for patients with spina bifida are Hev b 1, 3 and 7, while for HCW, ‘major’ allergens are Hev b 2, 5, 6.01 and 13. The reason for these differential sensitization profiles is currently unknown.
Objectives To investigate latex allergen profiles on internal and external surfaces of natural rubber latex gloves.
Methods Eighty-two samples of commonly used surgical gloves (41 glove brands) were used for analysis. Specific allergen levels of Hev b 1, 3, 5 and 6.02 on both surfaces of the gloves were quantified using an enzyme immunometric assay, a FITkit® (FIT Biotech, Tampere, Finland).
Results Differences in allergen levels were observed between internal and external surfaces of all glove types. Concentrations of Hev b 1 and Hev b 3 were significantly higher on external surfaces, while internal surfaces had higher allergen levels of Hev b 5 and Hev b 6.02. Analysis of surgical and examination gloves, powdered and nonpowdered gloves also showed that the content of Hev b 5 and Hev b 6.02 was significantly higher on internal surfaces while that of Hev b 1 and Hev b 3 was higher on external surfaces.
Conclusions Our study showed different allergen profiles on internal and external surfaces of natural rubber latex gloves. These results may suggest a relationship between latex allergen localization and sensitization routes in different risk groups.