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Open Access Latex Sensitivity in a Macaque (Macaca mulatta)

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Background and History: An adult Macaca mulatta was examined because of a history of multiple episodes of conjunctivitis and an acute, pruritic, dermatitic eruption that affected the axillary and inguinal regions, forearms, thorax, and neck.

Methods and Results: Results of corneal staining, examination of skin scrapings and feces, fungal culture, CBC, and a thyroid profile (thyroxine/triiodothyronine concentrations) were negative or normal, with the exception of eosinophilia (1,040/mm 3). Examination of a punch biopsy specimen of the skin indicated chronic, nonsuppurative eosinophilic dermatitis. Skin patch testing against 25 contact allergens was negative for a delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction. Allergen-specific IgE testing, using six monkey chow additives, also yielded negative results, but testing against latex revealed a strong positive result (0.74 KU/L) consistent with a latex allergy. A skin prick test performed by use of a latex supernatant revealed significant inflammation at the latex site at 72 h and one week. Vinyl gloves were substituted for latex gloves, and that resulted in a marked decrease in erythema, pruritus, and lichenification with no flares of dermatitis for four years. Repeat skin biopsy fourteen weeks after the original biopsy revealed normal epidermis; however, mild chronic active nonsuppurative, perifolliculitis persisted.

Conclusion: Latex can induce allergic dermatitis in nonhuman primates and should be included in the differential diagnosis for atopic dermatitis.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Yale University School of Medicine, PO Box 208016, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8016

Publication date: 2001-10-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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