Two decades of p-phenylenediamine and toluene-2,5-diamine patch testing - focus on co-sensitizations in the European baseline series and cross-reactions with chemically related substances

Tatiana A. Vogel, Rakita W. Heijnen, Pieter-Jan Coenraads, Marie-Louise A. Schuttelaar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Cross-reactions and co-sensitizations are of great importance in understanding contact allergy and exposure sources.

Objectives. To investigate common cross-reactions and co-sensitizations in p-phenylenediamine (PPD)-sensitized and toluene-2,5-diamine (TDA)-sensitized individuals.

Methods. Fromour patch test population, 8036 patients patch tested with the European baseline series were extracted. Readings had to be performed at least on day 3 according to ICDRG guidelines.

Results. Two hundred and fifty-one patients were sensitized to PPD and/or TDA; 231 patients were sensitized to PPD, and 109 to TDA. Significant differences were observed regarding the strengths of patch test reactions to PPD and number of cross-reactions. For TDA, a difference was found between all reaction strengths, except between + and ++ strengths. PPD-sensitized individuals were more likely to be sensitized to carba mix, cobalt chloride, colophonium, p-tert-butyl phenolformaldehyde resin, paraben mix, and methylisothiazolinone. TDA-sensitized individuals were more often sensitized to carba mix.

Conclusions. Cross-reactivity was commonly found among individuals sensitized to PPD or TDA, and was strongly related to the strength of the patch test reaction. Regarding co-sensitizations, a frequently appearing or common exposure source could not be determined. However, modification of the allergen by, for example, the skin microbiota may have caused the formation of molecules that are, for the human immune system, indistinguishable from PPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2017


  • allergic contact dermatitis
  • co-sensitization
  • cross-reaction
  • European baseline series
  • p-phenylenediamine
  • patch tests
  • toluene-2,5-diamine
  • 2 methyl 4 isothiazolin 3 one
  • 2,5 diaminotoluene
  • 4 hydroxybenzoic acid ester
  • 4 tert butyl phenolformaldehyde
  • cobalt chloride
  • formaldehyde
  • phenylenediamine
  • resin
  • rosin
  • unclassified drug
  • adolescent
  • adult
  • aged
  • article
  • child
  • cross reaction
  • female
  • human
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • patch test
  • practice guideline
  • sensitization

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