Characterization of the allergen(s) in latex protein extracts

Vesna J. Tomazic, Thomas J. Withrow, Robert G. Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background: Immediate hypersensitivity to latex, induced by natural latex proteins remaining on the finished products, may lead to severe anaphylactic reactions. Methods: We investigated the distribution of latex proteins by molecular weight and identified the specific allergenic molecules. Proteins extracted from various latex products were compared with those extracted from raw latex sap, both ammoniated and nonammoniated. Results: Variations in the levels of extractable protein, as well as in the number of molecules and the molecular weight distribution, were observed especially among finished latex products. To identify allergenic (i.e., IgE-binding) molecules, we performed immunoblots with the sera from latex-sensitive persons. The results indicated that antigenic molecule profiles differed among the products and also between the finished products and the raw material. In addition, specificities of the anti-latex IgE antibodies varied among the sensitized persons. Conclusions: It appeared that persons with the same history of sensitization had similar patterns of antigenic specificities. If the history of exposure, as well as genetic predisposition and medical history of the patient, plays a significant role in the specific IgE response, it may be difficult to select a "standard" antigen and a "standard" antiserum for the evaluation of the latex sensitivity and allergenicity. (J ALLERGY CLIN IMMUNOL 1995;96:635-42.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-642
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • IgE antibodies
  • allergen
  • anaphylaxis
  • gel electrophoresis
  • immunoblotting
  • latex
  • type I allergic reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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