Specific monoclonal antibodies and human immunoglobulin E show that Hev b 5 is an abundant allergen in high protein powdered latex gloves

M. F. Sutherland, A. Drew, J. M. Rolland, J. E. Slater, C. Suphioglu, R. E. O'Hehir

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Background: Hev b 5 is a major latex allergen recognized predominantly by latex-allergic health care workers (HCWs). Recombinant Hev b 5 (rHev b 5) was previously expressed as a fusion protein with maltose binding protein (MBP), itself an immunogenic molecule; therefore non-fusion rHev b 5 is desirable. Moreover, standardized immunological assays for the detection of Hev b 5 are currently lacking and may have important implications for both allergen avoidance and diagnosis in latex allergy. Objectives: To generate and use Hev b 5-specific mAbs to determine the relative abundance of Hev b 5 in different latex extracts, correlating this with the IgE reactivity of latex-allergic HCWs and to produce non-fusion rHev b 5. Methods: For the production of mAbs, mice were immunized with rHev b 5/MBP fusion protein and mAbs selected with rHev b 5/MBP but not MBP reactivity. The mAb reactivity was compared with polyclonal IgE from latex-allergic HCWs using direct and inhibition ELISA and immunoblot assays. Recombinant Hev b 5 was expressed and purified in the pPROEX-HTa bacterial expression system. Results: Four Hev b 5-specific mAbs were produced. Immunoblotting and ELISA using the mAbs indicate abundant Hev b 5 in high protein powdered latex glove extracts as compared with crude latex sap extracts. High quality surgical gloves with no detectable protein have no detectable Hev b 5. Inhibition ELISAs using serum IgE from latex-allergic HCWs and Hev b 5-specific mAbs gave strong correlation. Non-fusion recombinant Hev b 5 was successfully expressed and purified, showing reactivity with both the Hev b 5-specific mAbs and serum IgE of latex-allergic HCWs. Conclusion: Hev b 5-specific mAbs and human IgE from latex-allergic HCWs demonstrate the greater content of Hev b 5 in high protein powdered glove extracts. This may explain the observed higher frequency of sensitization to this allergen in HCWs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-589
Number of pages7
JournalClinical & Experimental Allergy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2002


  • Hey b 5
  • Latex allergy
  • Latex gloves
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Recombinant proteins

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