Latex allergy in infants younger than 1 year


Hajime Kimata, Department of Allergy, Ujitakeda Hospital, 24-1 Umonji, Uji, Uji-City 611-0021, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.


Background The prevalence of latex allergy in children is increasing worldwide. Previous multiple operations or atopic predisposition are known risk factors. In contrast, only sporadic cases of latex allergy have been reported in infants younger than 1 year, and the causative latex-containing products or symptoms in young infants have not been studied in detail.

Objective The purpose of this study is to analyse the symptoms and risk factors of latex allergy in young infants.

Methods Cases of latex allergy in infants younger than 1 year were studied in detail. Clinical course, causative latex-containing products were spotted and detailed analysis for latex allergy in patients and patients' parents was performed.

Conclusion We report nine cases of latex allergy in infants younger than 1 year. None of them have any abnormality or previous operations. Six patients had atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome, one patient had bronchial asthma, whereas two patients had no overt allergic diseases. Symptoms of latex allergy were wheezing, swelling of face or lips, facial rash, or anaphylaxis, and causative latex-containing products were teat, pacifier, nose cleaner, teether, balloon, or enema tube. All of the nine patients had positive skin prick test to latex and extract from causative latex-containing products, whereas eight patients had positive serum latex-specific IgE. Study for family history revealed that latex allergy was noted in either father or mother in six patients, in both father and mother in one patient, whereas no latex allergy was noted in parents in two patients. It should be noted that all of these patients had latex-induced symptoms at home. Latex allergy in young infants may not be unusual. Physicians should be aware of latex allergy, and care should be taken to avoid contact with latex in young infants, especially when there is family history for latex allergy.