oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Hypersensitivity to stinging insects : review article

Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



Stings from bees, bumblebees, wasps and ants usually cause a transient local reaction which may last for several days and which generally resolves without treatment. Occasionally, life-threatening anaphylaxis may occur. Such severe reactions may be refractory to single doses of adrenaline. Each year in the USA about 40 individuals die from anaphylaxis caused by stinging insects. In South Africa, bee-sting hypersensitivity is the most common form of stinging insect allergy. Venom immunotherapy is available and effective for bee venom hypersensitivity but many individuals with stinging-insect allergy are not referred to an allergist for evaluation and are thus never offered this potentially life-saving therapy.

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