Immunotherapy with Yellow Jacket Venom

A Comparative Study Including Three Different Extracts, One Adsorbed to Aluminium Hydroxide and Two Unmodified


H. Mosbech, M.D., Medical Dept. TA 7511, Rigshospitalet, Tagensvej 20, DK-2200 Gopenhagen N, Denmark


Thirty-two patients with previous systemic allergic reaction to yellow jacket stings were randomly allocated to three groups receiving immunotherapy with different preparations of yellow jacket venom: 1) extract adsorbed to aluminium hydroxide (Alutard®-SQ), 2) Pharmalgen® extract or 3) non-adsorbed extract from Allergologisk Laboratorium (ALK aq.). Regular examinations showed a decrease in skin prick test size in nearly all patients. Specific IgE-antibody (RAST and CRIE scores) showed a similar, but not significant tendency to decrease in all three groups. Specific IgG-antibody increased considerably in the Alutard group only; after 2 years, however, no difference could be detected between the three groups. During dose increase, patients treated with ALK aq. generally had smaller local reactions to injections than those treated with Pharmalgen. Few systemic reactions occurred in all three groups. Nineteen patients treated for 21/2–31/2 years were challenged in-hospital with stings from yellow jackets. No systemic and only minor local reactions occurred. Consequently, with the dose regimens applied all three extracts seem effective even though no common changes in either specific IgE or IgG could be demonstrated.