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Quantitative analysis of immunoglobulin E reactivity profiles in patients allergic or sensitized to natural rubber latex (Hevea brasiliensis)


Raulf-Heimsoth, Monika, PhD, Allergology/Immunology, BGFA - Forschungsinstitut für Arbeitsmedizin der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung, Institut der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, 44789 Bochum, Germany. E-mail:


Background Characterized native and recombinant Hevea brasiliensis (rHev b) natural rubber latex (NRL) allergens are available to assess patient allergen sensitization profiles.

Objective Quantification of individual IgE responses to the spectrum of documented NRL allergens and evaluation of cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCDs) for more definitive diagnosis.

Methods Sera of 104 healthcare workers (HCW; 51 German, 21 Portuguese, 32 American), 31 spina bifida patients (SB; 11 German, 20 Portuguese) and 10 Portuguese with multiple surgeries (MS) were analysed for allergen-specific IgE antibody (sIgE) to NRL, single Hev b allergens and CCDs with ImmunoCAP technology.

Results In all patient groups rHev b 5-sIgE concentrations were the most pronounced. Hev b 2, 5, 6.01 and 13 were identified as the major allergens in HCW and combined with Hev b 1 and Hev b 3 in SB. In MS Hev b 1 displayed an intermediate relevance. Different sIgE antibody levels to native Hevea brasiliensis (nHev b) 2 and rHev b 6.01 allowed discrimination of SB with clinical relevant latex allergy vs. those with latex sensitization. Sensitization profiles of German, Portuguese and American patients were equivalent. rHev b 5, 6.01 and nHev b 13 combined detected 100% of the latex-allergic HCW and 80.1% of the SB. Only 8.3% of the sera showed sIgE response to CCDs.

Conclusions Hev b 1, 2, 5, 6.01 and 13 were identified as the major Hev b allergens and they should be present in standardized latex extracts and in vitro allergosorbents. CCDs are only of minor relevance in patients with clinical relevant latex allergy. Component-resolved diagnostic analyses for latex allergy set the stage for an allergen-directed immunotherapy strategy.