Hymenoptera venom immunotherapy

Department of Internal Medicine, Immunology, Allergy & Respiratory Diseases, University Hospital, Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona, Ancona, Italy.
Immunotherapy (Impact Factor: 2.07). 02/2011; 3(2):229-46. DOI: 10.2217/imt.10.88
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Accumulating evidence have convincingly shown that in addition to alleviating symptoms, allergen specific immunotherapy can improve quality of life, reduce long-term costs and burden of allergies, and has the potential to change the course of the disease. Several appropriately designed and powered clinical trials have proven its good safety profile and effectiveness in allergic rhinitis, asthma and venom allergy [59,136,137]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This guidance for the management of patients with hymenoptera venom allergy has been prepared by the Standards of Care Committee (SOCC) of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI). The guideline is based on evidence as well as on expert opinion and is for use by both adult physicians and pediatricians practising allergy. During the development of these guidelines, all BSACI members were included in the consultation process using a web-based system. Their comments and suggestions were carefully considered by the SOCC. Where evidence was lacking, consensus was reached by the experts on the committee. Included in this guideline are epidemiology, risk factors, clinical features, diagnostic tests, natural history of hymenoptera venom allergy and guidance on undertaking venom immunotherapy (VIT). There are also separate sections on children, elevated baseline tryptase and mastocytosis and mechanisms underlying VIT. Finally, we have made recommendations for potential areas of future research.
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