Age-dependent sting recurrence and outcome in immunotherapy-treated children with anaphylaxis to Hymenoptera venom
Article first published online: 29 JUL 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Clinical & Experimental Allergy
Volume 43, Issue 8, pages 950–955, August 2013
How to Cite
Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2013 (43) 950–955., .
- Issue published online: 29 JUL 2013
- Article first published online: 29 JUL 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 4 MAY 2013 11:38AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 APR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 28 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 4 DEC 2012
- honeybee venom;
- hymenoptera venom allergy;
- long-term protection;
- venom immunotherapy;
- vespula venom
Data on outcome of insect venom immunotherapy in children are rare.
We investigated the rate of sting recurrence and outcome of Hymenoptera venom anaphylaxis in children of different age groups treated with immunotherapy.
Data from children consecutively referred for anaphylaxis to Hymenoptera venom were collected using a standardized questionnaire.
During mean follow-up of 7.7 years after commencement of immunotherapy, 45 of 83 children (56%) were re-stung 108 times by the insect they were allergic to. This corresponds to a rate of 0.23 stings per child and year of follow-up. The younger the subject, the higher was the prevalence of re-stings, with rates of 0.41 in children < 6 years, 0.21 at school age and 0.15 in adolescents (P = 0.001). In contrast, prevalence of systemic allergic reactions to field stings was significantly lower in pre-school (3.4%) and school-age children (4.3%) compared with adolescents (15.6%; P < 0.05). Overall, prevalence of systemic allergic reactions at re-sting was 15.6% in the honey bee venom and 5.9% in the Vespula venom allergic group (P = ns). Younger boys with anaphylaxis to honey bee venom predominated in our cohort (P = 0.019).
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance
A majority of children with anaphylaxis to Hymenoptera venom (56%) in our cohort were re-stung, equally by honey bees or Vespula species. Younger children were more likely to be re-stung, but less likely to have a systemic reaction. Venom immunotherapy induces long-term protection in most children: 84.4% of subjects with anaphylaxis to honey bee and 94.1% of those to Vespula venom were completely protected at re-stings.