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 REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 74  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 304--310

Natural rubber latex allergy


1 Institute of Pathology (ICMR), New Delhi, India
2 Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India
3 School of Studies in Biotechnology, Jiwaji University, Gwalior, MP, India, India

Correspondence Address:
Arun Kumar Jain
Institute of Pathology (ICMR), Safdarjung Hospital Campus, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.42885

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Natural rubber latex (NRL) is a ubiquitous allergen as it is a component of > 40,000 products in everyday life. Latex allergy might be attributed to skin contact or inhalation of latex particles. Latex allergy is an IgE-mediated hypersensitivity to NRL, presenting a wide range of clinical symptoms such as angioedema, swelling, cough, asthma, and anaphylactic reactions. Until 1979, latex allergy appeared only as type IV delayed hypersensitivity; subsequently, the proportion of different allergy types drifted towards type IV contact allergy reactions. Several risk factors for sensitization to NRL are already known and well documented. Some authors have established a positive correlation between a history of multiple surgical interventions, atopy, spina bifida malformation, and latex allergy incidence. We suspect an increase in latex allergy incidence in association with increased atopy and sensitivity to environmental allergens in the industrial population. It is often postulated in literature that the groups of workers at risk for this allergy are essentially workers in the latex industry and healthcare professionals. In this population, direct internal and mucosal contact with NRL medical devices may be the route of sensitization as factors such as the number of procedures and use of NRL materials (catheters and tubes) were associated with increased risk of latex sensitization and allergy.






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Online since 15th March '04
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