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Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2012 Apr-Jun;25(2):445-53.

The clinical meaning of positive latex sIgE in patients with food/pollen adverse reactions.

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Allergy Unit, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Policlinico A. Gemelli, Rome, Italy.


Natural rubber latex allergy (NRL-A) is an international problem of public health. About 50-60% of NRL-A patients may present adverse reactions after ingestion of cross-reacting vegetable foods. This condition, called "Latex-fruit Syndrome", is a matter of research. The aim of our study is to distinguish between clinical/subclinical latex-fruit syndrome and cross-sensitization to latex and food/pollen allergens on the basis of latex recombinant allergens. We studied 51 patients with food hypersensitivity and serological evidence of NRL sensitization. The subjects underwent an accurate allergological evaluation (skin prick test with latex, food and pollen extracts, specific IgE to latex and recombinant allergens, challenge provocation tests). The patients were divided in two groups: group A) 34 patients with clinical and serological latex and fruit/vegetable allergies; group B) 17 patients allergic to fruits/vegetables and/or pollens, with serological, but not clinical NRL-A. All the latex challenge tests resulted positive in group A patients and only two patients of group B presented positive cutaneous challenge tests. Moreover, specific IgE-antibodies were detected to rHev b 5, to rHev b 6.01, to rHev b 6.02 and to rHev b 8 (and other profilins) of group A patients, while in group B we observed a monosensitization to Hev b8, probably linked to a cross-sensitization to pollens and foods. At the present state of knowledge, we need a multi-parametric approach based on a combination of clinical history, diagnostic tests (CRD) and latex challenge tests to make diagnosis of latex-fruit syndrome.

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