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A comprehensive summary of disease variants implicated in metal allergy

New article lists hundreds of publications describing metal-specific hypersensitivity responses, identifying over 50 unique manifestations.

Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B. Critical Reviews. Volume 25, 2022 - Issue 6

Allergic disease represents one of the most prominent global public health crises of the 21st century. Although many different substances are known to produce hypersensitivity responses, metals constitute one of the major classes of allergens responsible for a disproportionately large segment of the total burden of disease associated with allergy. Some of the most prevalent forms of metal allergy – including allergic contact dermatitis – are well-recognized; however, to our knowledge, a comprehensive review of the many unique disease variants implicated in human cases of metal allergy is not available within the current scientific literature. Consequently, the main goal in composing this review was to (1) generate an up-to-date reference document containing this information to assist in the efforts of lab researchers, clinicians, regulatory toxicologists, industrial hygienists, and other scientists concerned with metal allergy and (2) identify knowledge gaps related to disease. Accordingly, an extensive review of the scientific literature was performed – from which, hundreds of publications describing cases of metal-specific allergic responses in human patients were identified, collected, and analyzed. The information obtained from these articles was then used to compile an exhaustive list of distinctive dermal/ocular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and systemic hypersensitivity responses associated with metal allergy. Each of these disease variants is discussed briefly within this review, wherein specific metals implicated in each response type are identified, underlying immunological mechanisms are summarized, and major clinical presentations of each reaction are described.