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Contact Dermatitis. 2017 Feb;76(2):81-88. doi: 10.1111/cod.12619. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

Two decades of p-phenylenediamine and toluene-2,5-diamine patch testing - focus on co-sensitizations in the European baseline series and cross-reactions with chemically related substances.

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Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, 9700, RB, The Netherlands.



Cross-reactions and co-sensitizations are of great importance in understanding contact allergy and exposure sources.


To investigate common cross-reactions and co-sensitizations in p-phenylenediamine (PPD)-sensitized and toluene-2,5-diamine (TDA)-sensitized individuals.


From our patch test population, 8036 patients patch tested with the European baseline series were extracted. Readings had to be performed at least on day 3 according to ICDRG guidelines.


Two hundred and fifty-one patients were sensitized to PPD and/or TDA; 231 patients were sensitized to PPD, and 109 to TDA. Significant differences were observed regarding the strengths of patch test reactions to PPD and number of cross-reactions. For TDA, a difference was found between all reaction strengths, except between + and ++ strengths. PPD-sensitized individuals were more likely to be sensitized to carba mix, cobalt chloride, colophonium, p-tert-butyl phenolformaldehyde resin, paraben mix, and methylisothiazolinone. TDA-sensitized individuals were more often sensitized to carba mix.


Cross-reactivity was commonly found among individuals sensitized to PPD or TDA, and was strongly related to the strength of the patch test reaction. Regarding co-sensitizations, a frequently appearing or common exposure source could not be determined. However, modification of the allergen by, for example, the skin microbiota may have caused the formation of molecules that are, for the human immune system, indistinguishable from PPD.


European baseline series; allergic contact dermatitis; co-sensitization; cross-reaction; p-phenylenediamine; patch tests; toluene-2,5-diamine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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