|Allergy and Anaphylaxis|
Anaphylaxis is a series allergic condition defined as a “systemic reaction with immediate hypersensitivity” (Przybilla and Ruëff, 2010). Systemic reactions occur in 0.3-7.5% of the population. Their rates are considerably higher in bee keepers and their family members at 14-32% (Krishna et al., 2011). These allergic reactions can be caused by many factors including, but 20% fatal anaphylatic reactions come from insect stings
The anaphylatic mechanism is caused by IgE antibody production, which in turn increases cells’ response to vasoactive mediators (Töro et al., 2011). This allergy can occur after only one sting from a member of the Hymenoptera family (Ozdemir et al. 2011). Recent studies have also shown that the C5a protein plays an important role in the blood vessels during anaphylaxis (Töro et al., 2011).
Hypotension is frequent in systemic reactions to stings. Other reactions include conjunctivitis, rhinitis, seizures, and incontinence (Krishna et al.,2011). The most common cause of fatalities associated with Hymenoptera stings is laryngeal edema (Tracy, 2011).
Risk factors for a systemic reaction include a sting within the last two months, especially if the first sting created a large localized reaction or a systemic reaction, sensitization to venom, being a bee keeper, older age, high levels of tryptase cardiovascular disease, and use of some medications including b-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (Krishna et al., 2011; Bilò, 2011). The best immediate treatment for anaphylaxis is injection of epinephrine (Tracy, 2011).
This website was made as part of a project for Animal Physiology class at Davidson College.