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June 1979

Allergic Hypersensitivity to Neomycin: Relationship Between Patch Test Reactions and 'Use' Tests

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, and the Letterman Army Institute of Research, Presidio of San Francisco.

Arch Dermatol. 1979;115(6):713-715. doi:10.1001/archderm.1979.04010060021020

The prevalence of neomycin patch test sensitivity in the general population is approximately 1%. We describe the relationship between positive neomycin patch tests and clinical "use tests" with two antibiotic combinations (Neosporin G cream and Neosporin ointment). The neomycin use test was positive in seven of eight subjects with a strongly positive patch test, and in two of four subjects with a weakly positive patch test. A positive use test usually occurred earlier and was always more intense with the cream base. The use test reactions were usually mild even with continued application of the antigen. Use tests with commercial products may be helpful in evaluating the clinical relevance of positive patch tests.

(Arch Dermatol 115:713-715, 1979)

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