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Phadia’s K82 test is used to detect blood levels of the IgE (antibodies) responsible for allergic reactions to latex. Latex is a plant product used in the manufacture of medical equipment (gloves, catheters) and other products (condoms, children’s balloons, sports equipment, etc.). Allergic reactions (hives) can occur following direct exposure to products containing latex or by inhaling the powder contained in latex gloves. Cross allergies with banana, kiwi, avocado and papaya are also possible. The interpretation chart accompanying the result expresses the probability of an allergic reaction to latex, but not necessarily the severity of the reaction. Case history (symptoms, history of contact with products containing latex, etc.) and clinical examination by the physician are essential for a reliable interpretation of the results.

A negative anti-latex IgE result (< 0.35 kU/L) indicates that latex is probably not responsible for the symptoms reported by the person, but it DOES NOT COMPLETELY RULE OUT THIS POSSIBILITY. Both negative and positive results must be interpreted in light of the case history. Skin tests are also useful in helping make a diagnosis.

Term of the Week

Hot zone

A hot zone is a section of a facility (sometimes an entire facility or even a city district) where there is a high risk of contamination by patients with an infectious disease. All individuals entering a hot zone must respect appropriate protective measures. By analogy, “cold zone” and “warm zone” are used to refer to areas where there is no infected individual or only individuals suspected of having an infection.