The recent reports of severe anaphylactic reactions and several fatalities caused by contact with latex-containing products raised concerns in the medical community. Although hypersensitivity to natural rubber has been widely reported in the literature, the prevalence and severity of reactions have rapidly increased in the last few years. Latex proteins, constituents of natural latex, appear to be responsible for the sensitization. Many investigators, including our laboratory, are focused on the identification of proteins in raw latex and latex products, specifically those responsible for the elicitation of allergic responses. This paper summarizes available information on the mechanism and epidemiology of latex sensitivity and reviews research efforts toward the identification of the antigen(s) responsible for the reactions. The questions of proper diagnosis and testing, heightening awareness, and prevention of reactions are also addressed.