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

Prospective study of extractable latex allergen contents of disposable medical gloves.

BACKGROUND. Exposure to natural rubber latex medical gloves poses risks to latex-sensitive patients and medical workers. Preliminary studies have shown that the latex allergen contents of these gloves vary widely. OBJECTIVE. To study long-term trends in latex allergen levels of disposable medical gloves prospectively, and to identify lower allergen gloves for purchase by our medical center. METHODS. Extractable total latex allergen was measured by solid-phase inhibition immunoassay. Allergen contents of gloves were expressed in allergy units (AU)/mL relative to a raw latex standard assigned an arbitrary potency of 100,000 AU/mL. RESULTS. For gloves in use during July, 1993, extractable allergen levels ranged from < 10 to 5,500 AU/mL among nine lots of examination gloves, from < 10 to 2,300 AU/mL among 13 lots of surgical gloves, and from < 10 to 1,000 AU/mL among five lots of chemotherapy, autopsy, or utility gloves. Among ten lots of examination gloves purchased on two occasions between July, 1993 and January, 1994, the allergen levels in two of the three private label brands were more variable (6- to 40-fold) than in the other eight brands tested (0- to 2-fold). CONCLUSIONS. Extractable allergen levels in latex medical gloves remain highly variable, particularly among some private label brands. Use of synthetic gloves or lower allergen latex gloves should lessen exposure of latex-sensitized patients and health care workers to latex aeroallergens.[1]


  1. Prospective study of extractable latex allergen contents of disposable medical gloves. Jones, R.T., Scheppmann, D.L., Heilman, D.K., Yunginger, J.W. Annals of allergy. (1994) [Pubmed]
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