Glove allergy and sensitization to natural rubber latex among nursing staff at Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen, Thailand

J Med Assoc Thai. 2006 Mar;89(3):368-76.


Background: According to studies from different countries, the prevalence of natural rubber latex (NRL) sensitization in healthcare workers ranges from 2.9 to 17%. The incidence and prevalence of sensitization and allergy to NRL in Thailand is limited to two studies. There is no study among the high risk healthcare workers.

Objectives: 1) To estimate the prevalence of natural rubber latex (NRL) glove allergy and NRL sensitization among nurses; 2) To describe its clinical symptoms.

Material and method: Included in the present study were 412 nursing and medical record staff. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect personal biodata and individual allergy histories to NRL products. Skin prick tests (SPTs) with the commercial NRL allergens; Stallergènes, S.A, Fresnes, France, and common environmental allergens, were performed.

Results: The questionnaire response rate was 88% (412/470), 93% females. The response rate of SPT was 72% (295/412) (95%CI 67.2, 76.0). The prevalence of NRL glove allergic symptoms and NRL sensitization was 24% (95%CI 19.9, 28.1) and 2% (95%CI 0.4, 3.6), respectively. The mostfrequently reported symptoms among the positive SPT to NRL was angioedema. Five of the six NRL sensitised subjects had had high exposure to NRL.

Conclusion: NRL sensitization among Thai nursing staff is less prevalent than in healthcare workers in Europe.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Allergens / analysis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gloves, Protective*
  • Hospitals, University*
  • Humans
  • Latex / adverse effects*
  • Latex Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Male
  • Nursing Staff*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Thailand


  • Allergens
  • Latex