Encyclopedia of Medical Immunology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Ian R. Mackay, Noel R. Rose, Dennis K. Ledford, Richard F. Lockey

Sensitization and Allergy to Natural Rubber Latex

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9194-1_468


Caoutchouc; Latex allergy


While additives which are required for the manufacturing process and for stabilization of rubber (like the sulfur-containing vulcanizers (mercaptobenzothiazoles, carbamates, thiurams), antioxidants (amines), and rubber pigments) may induce an allergic late-phase (type IV) sensitization and allergic contact dermatitis (Shah and Chowdhury 2011), rubber products made from natural latex contain a small amount of proteins, which can induce immediate-type (type I) sensitization and allergic immediate-type symptoms. This entry will focus on sensitization and allergy to natural rubber latex produced from the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis.

Historical Background

Latex is a sap-like extract which is derived from various plants. It is usually exuded upon tissue injury and has important functions involved in wound healing and antimicrobial defense. Latex contains a complex mixture of various biochemical compounds, e.g., proteins, resins, and gums. Some...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Allergy CenterLudwig-Maximilians-UniversitätMunichGermany