Prem Menon, M.D. Vimla Menon, M.D.
Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Center
Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) Allergy is caused by sensitization to proteins in the sap-like fluid (latex) from the commercial rubber tree. Dipped or very soft, stretchy rubber products appear to have the highest content of latex proteins, and therefore, they have the greatest allergenic potential.
Type I (immediate type) hypersensitivity is an IgE antibody-mediated, immediate reaction to one or more proteins in natural rubber latex. This reaction may be local (such as a hive) or systemic (anaphylaxis).
Type IV (delayed type) hypersensitivity is T-cell mediated, and is a delayed immune response, typically occurring 48-96 hours after exposure. This reaction is also referred to as Allergic Contact Dermatitis.
Life threatening latex allergic reaction could occur:
Institutions and schools should develop Latex Allergy Policy. They may provide vinyl, nitrile or polyvinylchloride gloves to the employees. Provide training on latex allergy and Anaphylaxis Education to all concerned.
Have Epinephrine auto-injectors and Benadryl readily available to an anaphylaxis.
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