[Epidemiological and clinical study on bee venom allergy among beekeepers].
A randomized population of 222 beekeepers from Lombardy (203 males, 19 females, of mean age 42.5 years) was studied to determine the frequency of allergic reactions to bee sting. The type of reactions, the clinical evolution at the subsequent stings and the risk factors concerning the development of allergy (presence of venom specific IgE, number of stings in a year, atopy, age) were evaluated. It was found that 170 beekeepers never presented reactions to stings while 52 (23.4%) showed allergic reactions consisting in 31 large local reactions and 21 systemic reactions; of these, 3 (5.7%) were life-threatening. In the group of beekeepers with allergic reactions at the subsequent stings, 26 (50%) showed a spontaneous loss of reactivity, 16 (30.8%) presented persistent, but unchanged in severity, reactions and 10 (19.2%) had a worsening of symptoms. Specific honey bee venom IgE levels (measured by means of RAST) were significantly lower in immune beekeepers when compared with the group with allergic reactions (p less than 0.01) and in beekeepers with previous allergy when compared to the ones with persistent reactions (p less than 0.05). We also found significant differences about the number of stings received in a year by beekeepers with persistent allergic reactions (17.5 stings), beekeepers with previous allergy (89.8 stings) and immune subjects (126.9 stings). On the contrary, no significant differences were detected about the age and the presence of atopy. These results suggest that practice of bee-keeping induces a relatively high incidence of allergic reactions but with a trend to the spontaneous improvement of symptoms and a low incidence of severe reactions.(
ABSTRACTTRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Istituto di Clinica Medica I, Università degli Studi di Milano., , , ,
Aged, 80 and over
Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
Insect Bites and Stings
Pub Type(s)English Abstract