Type I latex allergy in health care workers with latex-induced contact urticaria syndrome: a follow-up study

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Latex allergy is an important occupational health issue among health care workers (HCWs). Secondary prevention in sensitized/allergic individuals involves avoiding exposure to NRL products.

Aims of the study

The aim of this follow-up study is to determine the long-term health consequences in HCWs with type I latex allergy with latex-related contact urticaria syndrome, of providing appropriate information and practical avoidance education.


Seventeen HCWs with latex-induced contact urticaria syndrome, as ascertained by the glove use test, were investigated. Initial and follow-up visits included: a detailed questionnaire, skin prick test (SPT) with glove eluates and with commercial latex extract, SPT with common inhalant and food extracts, serum specific immunoglobulin (Ig)E to latex and some foods and the glove use test.


On re-examination, 11 (64.7%) subjects showed positive SPTs to extemporaneous extract and 10 (58.8%) patients showed a positive SPT to commercial extract. Of the nine patients with detectable levels of serum latex specific IgE at first evaluation, four (44.4%) became negative and four were assigned to at least one class lower. Only one (11.1%) employee had higher radioallergosorbent test values than those at the latex allergy diagnosis. At follow-up, the 17 individuals had positive latex challenge results, although the duration of exposure causing a reaction increased.


Our study shows that preventive measures are sufficient to induce a reduction of sensitization. Continued avoidance is needed to prevent re-sensitization or adverse reactions on re-exposure.

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