Banana allergy in patients with immediate-type hypersensitivity to natural rubber latex: Characterization of cross-reacting antibodies and allergens


      Background: An association between allergy to latex and banana has been reported. Even though cross-reacting IgE antibodies have been demonstrated, in no study has the existence of structurally similar allergens been confirmed. In the present study banana allergy was studied in a large series of patients with latex allergy. Specific IgE antibodies were characterized for cross-reactivity and compared with pollen RAST results. Latex and banana extracts were investigated for common antigens and allergens. Methods: Latex-, banana-, and pollen-specific (birch, timothy, mugwort) IgE were measured in 47 sera from patients with latex allergy. Thirty-one patients were skin prick tested with banana and questioned for possible reactions after eating bananas. Several RAST inhibition and immunospot inhibition studies were used to characterize cross-reacting IgE antibodies. Structurally similar antigens and allergens were evaluated with crossed-line immunoelectrophoresis and crossed-line radioimmunoelectrophoresis, respectively. Results: Latex RAST results were positive in 31 (66%) and banana RAST results were positive in 26 (55%) of the 47 sera. Of the 31 latex RAST–positive sera, 25 (81%) were also banana RAST–positive. Results from latex RAST correlated significantly with results from banana RAST (p < 0.001), but not with those from pollen RAST (p > 0.05). Banana skin prick test results were positive in 11 (35%) of the 31 patients tested. Symptoms after eating bananas were reported by 16 (52%) of the 31 patients. In inhibition studies the binding of IgE antibodies to solid-phase banana and to several latex preparations was inhibited by latex and banana, respectively. In crossed-line immunoelectrophoresis at least one antigen from banana fused with an antigen from latex, which also bound IgE antibodies in autoradiography (crossed-line radioimmunoelectrophoresis). Conclusions: Patients with latex allergy have symptoms caused by banana and show positive skin test and specific IgE test results. Cross-reacting IgE antibodies were confirmed by several inhibition techniques. For the first time, a structurally similar antigen/allergen was demonstrated. (J ALLERGY CLIN IMMUNOL 1994;93:990-6.)



      AL (Ammoniated natural rubber latex (i.e., NRL in 0.6% ammonia)), B (Banana extract), GE (Latex glove extract), ISI (Immunospot inhibition), NAL (Nonammoniated natural rubber latex), NRL (Natural rubber latex (includes all NRL products)), SPT (Skin prick test)
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