Serum sickness reaction following multiple insect stings

A H Lazoglu, L R Boglioli, M L Taff, M Rosenbluth, N T Macris
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 1995, 75 (6): 522-4

BACKGROUND: Anaphylaxis is the most common systemic allergic reaction caused by stinging insects. Serum sickness reactions occur much less frequently.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the level of venom-specific IgG and IgE antibodies during and after a serum sickness reaction to vespid venom.

METHODS: Case report; ELISA determination of venom-specific IgG and IgE; complement levels and tests for immune complexes were performed.

RESULTS: We report the case of a 66-year-old woman who developed a serum sickness reaction nine days after receiving multiple vespid stings. She developed urticaria, angioedema, fever, and arthralgias. She had elevated IgG and IgE venom-specific titers which declined during the recovery phase. Complement levels were normal and tests for immune complexes were negative. She was successfully treated with venom-specific immunotherapy without any serum sickness reaction.

CONCLUSIONS: A serum sickness reaction with elevated venom-specific IgG and IgE is reported with successful immunotherapy.

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