Natural rubber latex and chestnut allergy: cross-reactivity or co-sensitization?


Monika Raulf-Heimsoth, PhD
Berufsgenossenschaftliches Forschungsinstitut
für Arbeitsmedizin (BGFA)
Institut der Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1
44789 Bochum


Background:  Chestnut and natural rubber latex (NRL) allergy are often associated in the latex-fruit syndrome.

Aim of the study:  To establish whether the concurrent NRL and chestnut IgE antibody reactivity are the results of co-sensitization or cross-reactivity.

Methods:  Sera from 19 patients with chestnut- and NRL-specific IgE were selected and tested for reactivity with recombinant (r) latex allergens. Cross-reactivity was explored by IgE-inhibition experiments using chestnut or NRL allergens as solid phase on ImmunoCAP.

Results:  IgE-antibodies were detected to rHev b 6.01 (prohevein) in 58% of the sera, to rHev b 5 in 32%, to rHev b 12 in four of 13 sera, to rHev b 7.02 and rHev b 11 in four, and to rHev b 1 in two of 19 sera. rHev b 8-IgE antibodies were found in nine sera (47%), whereas six displayed mono-sensitization to rHev b 8 with regard to our test panel. Three of 16 sera showed IgE to cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants. In most sera recognizing rHev b 5 and/or rHev b 6.01 as major allergens the IgE-reactivity to NRL remained unaffected by chestnut extract and chestnut-IgE remained unaffected by NRL extract. Conversely, in sera with rHev b 8 as dominant allergen IgE-binding to NRL was nearly completely inhibited by chestnut and vice versa. IgE-binding to rHev b 8 was abolished by chestnut extract.

Conclusions:  Although patients have concomitant IgE antibody reactivity to chestnut and NRL, cross-reactivity could be demonstrated mainly in those patients with IgE to Hev b 8 (profilin) from NRL.