Revista de Nutrição
Print version ISSN 1415-5273
MARIN, Flávia Andréia et al. Latex and fruit allergy in health care workers. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2003, vol.16, n.4, pp. 415-421. ISSN 1415-5273. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-52732003000400005.
INTRODUCTION: Latex allergy is becoming an increasing risk to exposed individuals, such as the health care workers, and the simultaneous allergy to different types of food, particularly fruits is an aggravating circumstance. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the occurrence of hypersensitivity to both fruits and latex among health care workers. METHODS: Fifth-three health care workers, 81.9% of whom women, were studied by means of a specific questionnaire and through puncture cutaneous tests using allergens of latex and fruits (papaya, kiwi, avocado, banana, fig, tomato, nuts) as well as some potential inhalatory allergens. RESULTS: Of the 53 subjects studied, 15 (28.5%) were allergic to the latex. Hypersensitivity to fruits was diagnosed in 14 (26.4%) individuals, 10 of whom (18.8%) presented a latex positive cutaneous test; papaya (80.0%), kiwi (60.0%) and avocado (50.0%) were the most frequent allergenic fruits. CONCLUSION: The present findings indicate a relatively high (18.8%) occurrence of latex-fruit allergy, as already described in the literature. It is important to detect such a condition in health care workers, since they are a potential group at risk.
Keywords : latex hypersensibility; cross-reactivity; health occupations.