Diagnosis of hymenoptera venom allergy – with special emphasis on honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom allergy
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Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
Medical Faculty, Higher Vocational State School, Kalisz, Poland
Department of Paediatric Pneumonology, Allergology and Clinical Immunology, K. Jonscher Clinical Hospital, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(4):875–879
Hymenoptera stings occur very frequently and usually are not dangerous. The normal reaction after sting includes such symptoms as: mild swelling, redness and pain lasting from several minutes to several hours. In contrast, in people with allergy to insect venom, severe local reactions and systemic symptoms, including anaphylactic shock, may occur. Diagnostic tests should be performed in persons who experience systemic symptoms after a sting. The basic tests used in the diagnosis of allergy to hymenoptera venom are skin tests and detection of venom-specific IgE antibodies. If it is not possible to make a diagnosis on the basis of these data, specialized diagnostic tests, such as cellular tests, inhibition test and determination of tryptase and carboxypeptidase, can be performed. The presented study provides an overview of currently used diagnostic methods, both those used in everyday practice and allergy tests, which are available only in selected specialized centres.
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