The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology

Absence of cross-reactivity of IgE antibodies from subjects allergic to Hevea brasiliensis latex with a new source of natural rubber latex from guayule (Parthenium argentatum).

PMID 8939152


Natural rubber latex sensitization is caused by proteins from the latex of Hevea brasiliensis, the Brazilian rubber tree. Alternative non-cross-reactive latex rubber sources are needed for the manufacture of nonallergenic medical devices (e.g., catheters) that require elasticity, which is not currently provided by synthetic materials. We have studied the ability of IgE antibodies from subjects allergic to Hevea latex and IgG antibodies from hyperimmunized mice to detect proteins derived from guayule (Parthenium argentatum), an alternative rubber source, using a direct binding and competitive inhibition RAST and Western blot analysis. IgE antibodies from 62 subjects allergic to Hevea latex (46 adults and 16 children with spina bifida) and from serum pools of adults allergic to Hevea latex (n = 183), pediatric patients (n = 101), and patients with spina bifida (n = 53), as well as IgG antibodies from hyperimmunized mice, were unable to detect any proteins in guayule by RAST or Western blot analysis. No competitive inhibition of IgE anti-Hevea binding to Hevea solid phase was detected by the preincubation of sera from subjects allergic to Hevea latex with soluble guayule latex before RAST analysis. These results demonstrate that proteins in guayule latex are not cross-reactive with Hevea latex allergens. Devices that require the elasticity provided by rubber may be manufactured with guayule latex as an alternative rubber source for patients with Hevea latex allergy.