Ahmed has worked as a phlebotomist in the local hospital for 7 years. Last year, he began to complain of watery, nasal congestion and wheezing whenever he went to work. He suspected he was allergic to something at the hospital because his symptoms abated when he was at home over the weekends. One day, he arrives at work for the morning shift and put on his gloves. Within minutes, he went into severe respiratory distress requiring treatment in the emergency ward. It was determined at that time that his allergic response was due to latex exposure (Learning Objectives 5 and 7).
1. Ahmed experienced a type I, IgE-mediated hypersensitivity response. How can this be determined by his signs and symptoms? How might another type of latex hypersensitivity reactions present?
2. How do T2H cells, mast cells, and eosinophils function to produce the signs and symptoms typical of a type 1 hypersensitivity disorder?
3. How is it that someone who does not come in direct contact with latex can still have a hypersensitivity response to this material? What do food allergies have to do with latex allergies?
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