Background:The purpose of this study has been to give a review about latex allergy. Prevalence and clinical findings in different populations, diagnosing methods and therapy has been studied. The latex allergen has also been described. This information ends up in a discussion on the use of latex in our society.
Methods:A search was performed on Pubmed with “latex and allergy”. 3 articles were added after search on Google. Relevant articles have been taken from this material to form this study. Results:The prevalence is about 1 %. Risk groups (Health care workers, atopic people and patients with spina bifida) have a higher prevalence, 17 %. Type I and IV are the reactions to expect. They present clinically different, type I give anafylaxis, and type IV give contact eczema. Major allergens in latex proteins are described as Hev b 1-10, and they have almost identical structure to major allergens in other plants. This can explain the cross reactivity to birch, avocado and kiwi. There are several diagnostic methods. The treatment is avoiding exposure.
Conclusion:The diagnostic methods are not good enough. There is no gold standard. No specific therapy exists. Employees and patients with risk of developing allergy should be treated in, and work in latex free environment. The research has revealed information about the latex allergen, and further study could reveal more about the connection to other allergens, and develop a treatment, like it is for other allergies. More research will hopefully develop better diagnostic methods.