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Key Allergens

Latex is a product of the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis, it is in the Euphorbiaceae family of plants. It can not be used for food, but other edible plants in the family include cassava, used to make flour and tapioca and castor beans, which are used to make medicinal oils.

The rubber tree plant has 15 associated contact allergens.

The more common ones we know about are a hevein precursor protein, this allergen is important in cross reactivity with other foods containing hevein.

Patatin protein, is again important in cross reactivity.

Hev b 8 is a profilin profilin, these are panallergens found in many plants and foods.

Hev b 11 is a chitinase, these are proteins found in other foods and contribute to cross reactivity of latex.

Hev b 12 is a Lipid Transfer Protein (LTP), this is another panallergen and cause problems over multiple foods and plants.

An allergy to latex may give you the potential to be allergic to many foods and pollens, but many people only have contact allergic dermatitis with products containing latex only.

Associated Syndromes

Latex is primarily linked to allergic contact dermatitis.

Latex is often associated with Latex Food Syndrome. This is where the body is initially sensitised to the latex plant and later becomes allergic to foods which contain similarly shaped proteins.

Latex contains LTPs, this can link it to LTP Syndrome, where LTPs in multiple plants and foods cause allergic reactions.

The profilin proteins in latex can link it to an allergic syndrome called Celery-Mugwort-Spice Syndrome, it is essentially a sub-category of Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome. The body mistakes the shape of a protein that it is already sensitive to (a plant pollen) to a similarly shaped protein in certain fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, and nuts. The symptoms of this are like oral allergy symptoms.

Cross Reactivity

Turnips contain hevein, potatoes contain patatin and plants containing chitinase proteins are also found in chestnut, banana, avocado, pomegranate and maize (corn). These are all linked to Latex Food Syndrome. Airborne chitinase allergens are found in cockroaches, dust mites and coffee and might cause a problem for those who are very sensitive to latex.

Other plants containing airborne profilins are pigweed, ragweed, wormwood, birch tree, hemp, crocus, sunflower, olive, rice, plantain, poplar tree, mesquite, oak tree and maize (corn). Food containing profilins include pineapple, kiwi, celery, peanut, chilli, watermelon, muskmelon, hazelnut, orange, carrot, strawberry, soya beans, barley, walnut, lychee, lupin, apple, banana, dates, cherry, almond, peach, pear, mustard, tomato, aubergine and wheat.

Common foods involved in LTP allergy include kiwi, strawberries, sunflower seeds, walnut, apple, mulberry, banana, pea, apricot, cherry, plum, almond, peach pomegranate, raspberry, tomato, grape, celery, peanut, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, chestnut, lemon, tangerine, orange, hazelnut, lettuce, lentils, lupin, green bean, pear, mustard, wheat and maize.

Enolase is a less common allergen found in the rubber tree plant. In foods it is found in different types of fish and chicken, as an airway allergen it is ragweed, wormwood, grasses, yeasts and fungus.



DermNet NZ - Latex Allergy

Allergen Encyclopedia - Latex

Science Direct - Hevein

Science Direct - Latex Allergy

ACAAI - Latex Allergy

Anaphylaxis Campaign - Natural Rubber Latex

HSE - Latex Allergies in Health and Social Care

Articles and Journals

Anaphylaxis after Avocado ingestion in a patient located in the Rio Grande Valley, 2024

In silico approaches for the identification of potential allergens among hypothetical proteins from Alternaria alternata and its functional annotation, 2024

Jackfruit Anaphylaxis Due to Cross Reactivity with Latex, 2023

Prevalence of Type I Allergy to Latex and Type IV Allergy to Rubber Additives in Turkish Healthcare Workers, 2023

Latex anaphylaxis in healthcare worker and the occupational health management perspective: A case report, 2023

Impact of individual molecular components in determining primary sensitization to latex, 2023

Diagnostic Difficulties in the Natural Rubber Latex Allergy, 2022

Update on latex allergy: New insights into an old problem, 2021

Natural rubber latex allergy, 2021

Jackfruit Anaphylaxis in a Latex Allergic Non-Healthcare Worker, 2021

Latex Allergy: Current Status and Future Perspectives, 2020

Latex-fruit syndrome in Italian children and adolescents with natural rubber latex allergy, 2013

Diagnosis of latex allergy: the importance of Hev b 11, 2012

Latex Allergy: An Update, 2003

Cross-reactivity between Ficus benjamina latex and fig fruit in patients with clinical fig allergy, 2003

Class I chitinases as potential panallergens involved in the latex-fruit syndrome, 1999

Latex allergy, 1994

Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful. If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.

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