Background: Differences in latex allergen sensitization profiles have been described between children subjected to repetitive surgical interventions and health care workers (HCW). 'Major' allergens for patients with spina bifida are Hev b 1, 3 and 7, while for HCW, 'major' allergens are Hev b 2, 5, 6.01 and 13. The reason for these differential sensitization profiles is currently unknown.
Objectives: To investigate latex allergen profiles on internal and external surfaces of natural rubber latex gloves.
Methods: Eighty-two samples of commonly used surgical gloves (41 glove brands) were used for analysis. Specific allergen levels of Hev b 1, 3, 5 and 6.02 on both surfaces of the gloves were quantified using an enzyme immunometric assay, a FITkit (FIT Biotech, Tampere, Finland).
Results: Differences in allergen levels were observed between internal and external surfaces of all glove types. Concentrations of Hev b 1 and Hev b 3 were significantly higher on external surfaces, while internal surfaces had higher allergen levels of Hev b 5 and Hev b 6.02. Analysis of surgical and examination gloves, powdered and nonpowdered gloves also showed that the content of Hev b 5 and Hev b 6.02 was significantly higher on internal surfaces while that of Hev b 1 and Hev b 3 was higher on external surfaces.
Conclusions: Our study showed different allergen profiles on internal and external surfaces of natural rubber latex gloves. These results may suggest a relationship between latex allergen localization and sensitization routes in different risk groups.