Hypersensitivity to banana in latex-allergic patients. Identification of two major banana allergens of 33 and 37 kD

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1996 Apr;76(4):321-6. doi: 10.1016/s1081-1206(10)60032-4.


Background: Allergy to banana often occurs in patients sensitized to latex. The spectrum of IgE-mediated responses to latex allergens is more and more documented but banana allergens and epitopes shared by these two allergens have not yet been characterized, even though the existence of cross-reacting IgE antibodies has been demonstrated.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between banana hypersensitivity and latex allergy in a population of 19 latex-allergic patients and to identify allergenic components in banana and the common structures shared with latex.

Methods: The in vivo study was conducted in our outpatient department in patients with well-documented latex allergy. Clinical histories were evaluated and skin prick tests were performed with banana and latex extracts. IgE responses from 19 patients were investigated by means of CAP RAST assay and SDS PAGE immunoblotting. Epitopes shared by banana and latex were investigated by means of immunoblotting experiments.

Results: Eight of 16 patients (50%) reported symptoms after eating bananas and banana skin prick tests were positive in 5 of 14 patients (36%). Banana RAST results were positive in 12 of the 19 patients (63%). In immunoblot experiments, 17 of the 19 patients (89%) exhibited specific banana IgE antibodies and 16 allergenic components were identified with molecular weights ranging from 17 to 128 kD. Two were considered as major allergens: 33 kD was detectable in 15 of 19 sera (88%) and 37 kD in 13 of 19 sera (76%). Inhibition studies by preincubation of two individual sera with banana or latex extract demonstrated the complete disappearance of IgE binding on banana blotted allergens.

Conclusion: This study confirms the "latex-fruit syndrome" already described by Blanco et al. Two major allergens were revealed in banana at 33 and 37 kD and the presence of more than ten common components with latex was observed.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / adverse effects
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Allergens / isolation & purification*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / metabolism
  • Fruit / adverse effects
  • Fruit / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Latex / adverse effects
  • Latex / immunology*
  • Male
  • Plant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Radioallergosorbent Test


  • Allergens
  • Latex
  • Plant Proteins