Online doctors diary, 29.08.2019
Antibody tests for insect venom are indicated in case of a serious immediate allergic reaction after a bite, experts say.
AACHEN. The Bavarian Ministry of Health has recently called for more frequent investigations of people suspected of allergy to insect venom. The Society for Pediatric Allergy and Environmental Medicine e.V. (GPA) supports this initiative.
It is important that a strong swelling after an insect bite is still not an indication of an allergy to insect venom requiring preventive treatment, recalls the GPA in a statement. Very few patients with strong local reactions have experienced allergic shock in future bites, usually significant swelling occurs again. This can be mitigated by local therapy initiated early.
Many people are sensitized
The GPA points out that the test for antibodies to insect venom is only indicated if a serious immediate allergic reaction has already occurred immediately after a puncture. A high proportion of the population – up to 40% of adults and 50% of children – had been trained in the use of insecticidal antibodies; so be aware, but only a few of them, about 3.5%, were severely allergic.
Even a particularly strong sensitization does not predict the existence of a risk of allergy. This means that unnecessary testing in about 47 out of 100 people would raise unjustified concerns about insect bites, according to the GPA.
Who should bring emergency medicine?
The resulting anxiety worsens the quality of life of the patients and may even in some cases increase the risk of stinging causing irritation of the animals by rapid defense movements. In this regard, the test should only be performed if this is necessary for the preparation of a specific immunotherapy.
Even emergency medications, which should include an epinephrine auto-injector, should only be worn by patients who have had a serious allergic reaction. (Eb)
Other contributions of this topic