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Original Article


Microarrays of Recombinant Hevea brasiliensis Proteins: A Novel Tool for the Component-Resolved Diagnosis of Natural Rubber Latex Allergy


H Ott,1* C Schröder,1* M Raulf-Heimsoth,2 V Mahler,3 C Ocklenburg,4 HF Merk,1 JM Baron1

1Department of Dermatology and Allergology, University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany
2BGFA-Research Institute of Occupational Medicine, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany
3Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
4Institute of Medical Statistics, University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany
*Both authors contributed equally to the article.

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2010; Vol. 20(2): 129-138



Background: Component-resolved diagnosis using microarray technology has recently been introduced in clinical allergology, but its applicability in patients with natural rubber latex (NRL) allergy has not been investigated.

Objectives: To evaluate the utility of microarray-based immunoglobulin (Ig) E detection in the diagnostic workup of NRL allergy and to compare this new diagnostic tool with established methods of NRL-specific IgE detection.

Methods: We investigated 52 adults with immediate-type NRL allergy and 50 control patients. Determination of specific serum IgE against 8 recombinant Hevea brasiliensis allergen components was performed using a customized allergen microarray and a conventional fluorescence enzyme immunoassay (FEIA).

Results: The panel of microarrayed allergen components was shown to represent a comprehensive repertoire of clinically relevant NRL proteins. NRL-specific IgE recognition patterns and sensitization rates determined by microarray analysis were similar to those obtained by conventional FEIA. The diagnostic sensitivity rates of combined single-component data were not significantly different for the respective
recombinant test system, whereas the sensitivity level of extract-based FEIA analysis was markedly higher.

Conclusion: The current study provides evidence that microarrays of recombinant NRL allergen components are a suitable new tool for the diagnosis of NRL-specific sensitization. They show performance characteristics comparable to those of current diagnostic tests and could be indicated in small children in whom only limited blood volumes are obtainable. Further large-scale studies in unselected patient populations
and in high-risk groups are warranted before the microarray can be introduced into routine management of patients with NRL allergy.

Key words: Latex allergy. Hevea brasiliensis. Microarray. Component-resolved diagnosis.