Venom immunotherapy was initiated in 94 children from April 1977 to October 1979. As of February 1983, 66 children had continued receiving treatment and had recent immunologic evaluation. Assessment of prolonged venom treatment included analysis of immunologic parameters, efficacy of treatment, and long-term safety. Venom skin tests, venom-specific IgE antibody levels, and venom-specific IgG antibody levels comprised the immunologic parameters evaluated. A decrease in allergic sensitivity was demonstrated over time in the skin and serum. Forty-three of 57 (75%) children had less positive vespid venom skin tests, and the mean venom-specific IgE antibody level declined to less than the pretreatment value with 3 or more years of yellow jacket venom therapy. Venom-specific IgG antibody measurements rose rapidly after the initiation of venom injections and were maintained for the duration of this evaluation. During a 3- to 6-year period, 200 stings in 49 treated children resulted in only four mild systemic reactions (98% efficacy). The benign nature of interval histories, physical examinations, and laboratory analyses in these children argues optimistically for the safety of prolonged venom immunotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy