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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cow's milk casein, a hidden allergen in natural rubber latex gloves.

BACKGROUND: We have previously noted that one natural rubber latex (NRL) glove brand used for skin prick testing in the diagnosis of NRL allergy contained cow's milk casein. OBJECTIVE: We sought to examine whether other commonly marketed NRL glove brands contain cow's milk casein. METHODS: The casein content of 30 NRL glove extracts (1:5 wt/vol) was measured by RAST inhibition and by rocket immunoelectrophoresis and rocket radioimmunoelectrophoresis by using casein-specific rabbit antiserum, a serum pool from patients with cow's milk allergy, and radiolabeled anti-human IgE. The NRL allergen content was measured by ELISA inhibition. RESULTS: The casein content of the glove used in NRL allergy screening (Triflex, Baxter) was rather high (ie, about 400 microgram/g of glove). Its total protein content was 1000 microgram/g of glove. Rocket radioimmunoelectrophoresis detected distinct amounts of casein in 8, minimal amounts in 7, and no casein in the remaining 15 NRL glove brands. CONCLUSIONS: Several brands of NRL gloves were found to contain casein, implying that extracts prepared from such gloves can cause false-positive skin prick test reactions when diagnosing NRL allergy. The use of casein as a stabilizer in glove manufacture without appropriate labeling should be stopped because it can also cause contact urticaria syndrome in individuals with cow's milk allergy.[1]


  1. Cow's milk casein, a hidden allergen in natural rubber latex gloves. Ylitalo, L., Mäkinen-Kiljunen, S., Turjanmaa, K., Palosuo, T., Reunala, T. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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