Since IgE antibodies were shown to be involved in adverse reactions to natural rubber latex, extensive studies of the allergens and antibodies have made latex allergy a model system for IgE serology. Although IgE antibody patterns are individual it is clear that they are influenced by the route and the intensity of the exposure. A range of IgE binding proteins are identified and their role in allergy to natural rubber latex, to latex products, and to more or less related food products are under study. Allergen-specific IgE antibodies can be quantitated in serum, and testing should always be considered in the investigation of suspected latex allergy, in food allergy in children, and in urticaria and anaphylaxis of unknown cause. The clinical efficiency of specific IgE antibody measurement (Pharmacia CAP System(TM) is high in children and adults, with and without occupational exposure, and in spina bifida patients. Compiled data from 11 published studies show agreement with clinical judgement in 483 / 524 cases (92.2 %).
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