Open Access Research article

Specific immunotherapy in Albanian patients with anaphylaxis to hymenoptera venoms

Ervin Mingomataj12, Alfred Priftanji1, Etleva Qirko1, Q Thai Dinh2, Axel Fischer2, Christian Peiser2 and David A Groneberg2*

Author Affiliations

1 Dept. of Allergy, Mother Theresa School of Medicine, University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania

2 Division of Allergy Research, Dept. of Pediatric Pneumology and Immunology, Charité School of Medicine, Humboldt-University, D-13353 Berlin, Germany

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BMC Dermatology 2002, 2:11  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-2-11

Published: 30 August 2002

Abstract

Background

Severe allergic reactions during rush-specific immunotherapy (Rush-SIT) may occur in the treatment of hymenoptera sting allergy. The objective of the present study was to examine the characteristics of allergic reactions during Rush-SIT in a cohort of patients with allergy towards hymenoptera venom in the mediterranean population of Albania.

Methods

A retrospective study was performed using the clinical reports of 37 patients with venom of bee (apinae), wasp (vespidae, subfamily vespinae) or paperwasp (vespidae, subfamily polistinae) allergy treated with Rush-SIT between 1987 and 1996. After hymenoptera sting allergy diagnosis according to anamnesis and intracutaneous tests the patient were treated with Rush-SIT. The protocol lasted 3 – 4 d with an increase in the concentration from 0.01 μg/ml to 100 μg/ml. Anaphylactic reactions were classified according to the Mueller-classification.

Results

The frequency of reactions during Rush-SIT for bee-venom was 4.7% and for wasp-venom was 1.5% (p < 0.01). The mean frequency of reactions of Mueller grade II for the bee-venom Rush-SIT patients during the first 4 d (= 26 injections) was 0.73 and for the wasp-venom Rush-SIT patients 0.15. No patient experienced a third-degree reaction. 94.6% of the patient supported an end dose of 100 μg.

Conclusions

Rush-SIT is a reliable method for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions to hymenoptera venom even in less developed countries. Bee-venom Rush-SIT was found to cause higher numbers allergic reactions than wasp or paperwasp Rush-SIT.

Keywords:
hymenoptera; Rush; Rush-SIT; anaphylactic reactions