Hymenoptera venom immunotherapy.

Department of Internal Medicine, Immunology, Allergy & Respiratory Diseases, University Hospital, Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona, Ancona, Italy.
Immunotherapy (Impact Factor: 2.44). 02/2011; 3(2):229-46. DOI: 10.2217/imt.10.88
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Subcutaneous venom immunotherapy is the only effective treatment for patients who experience severe hymenoptera sting-induced allergic reactions, and the treatment also improves health-related quality of life. This article examines advances in various areas of this treatment, which include the immunological mechanisms of early and long-term efficacy, indications and contraindications, selection of venom, treatment protocols, duration, risk factors for systemic reactions in untreated and treated patients as well as for relapse following cessation of treatment. Current and future strategies for improving safety and efficacy are also examined. However, although progress in the past few years has been fruitful, much remains to be accomplished.

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