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March 17, 1975

Immunotherapy in Bee-Sting Anaphylaxis: Use of Honeybee Venom

Author Affiliations

From the University of Wisconsin Hospitals, Center for the Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison (Drs. Busse and Reed), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore (Dr. Lichtenstein), and the State University of New York at Buffalo (Dr. Reisman).

JAMA. 1975;231(11):1154-1156. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240230028014

After nine months of immunotherapy with commercially prepared wholebody bee extract, a beekeeper's wife experienced anaphylaxis after a controlled bee-sting challenge. High risk of future bee stings prompted a decision to attempt desensitization with honeybee venom. This was extracted from the bee into Coca solution and administered parenterally in increasing daily doses until an equivalent of one venom sac was given per day. This maintenance dosage was continued for a month. Anaphylaxis did not occur after another bee-sting challenge. Therapy has been maintained with venom. With this treatment, there has been an increase in the level of IgG-blocking antibody and a fall in IgE titer to bee venom (radioallergosorbent test [RAST]).

(JAMA 231:1154-1156, 1975)