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Λεξικό .. Hymenoptera stings

Hymenoptera stings

Hymenoptera are the large group of insects which includes honey-bees, bumble-bees, paper wasps, hornets, ants. Female hymenoptera possess specialized stinging apparatus with which they inject their venom into prey's or intruder's body. It could be life-threatening for people sensitive to the venom.

The hymenoptera venom consists of mixture of biologically active substances, eg. enzymes (phospholipases, hialuronidase), peptides (melittin, apamin, mastoparans, bombolitins) and low-molecular-weight compounds (biogenic amines, acetylcholine, carbohydrates, lipids, free amino acids). Several types of reactions are possible to develop after stinging by hymenopteran insects: (1) non-allergic local reaction (pain, small oedema, redness at the site of the sting); allergic reactions: (2) large local reaction (extensive local swelling, exceeding 10 cm, persisting longer than 24 hours) and (3) anaphylaxis (generalized urticaria, bronchospasm, hypotension, cardiovascular collapse, loss of consciousness); (4) systemic toxic reaction (oedema, vomits, diarrhoea, headache, hypotension, seizures, altered mental status); (5) unusual reactions (cardiac ischaemia, encephalomyelitis et al.).

Therapeutic management after stings includes removing of the stinger (bee stings), local remedies (ice-packs, topical steroids) and prevention and treatment of an anaphylactic shock (epinephrine, general steroids, beta-mimetics, fluid resuscitation, oxygen therapy). In the present review types of reaction after hymenoptera stings were described with special interest of anaphylactic and toxic reactions as well as therapeutic management after stings.


Ciszowski K, Mietka-Ciszowska A. Hymenoptera stings Przegl Lek. 2007;64(4-5):282-9

Γκέλης Ν.Δ. - Λεξικό Αλλεργίας - Εκδόσεις ΒΕΛΛΕΡOΦΟΝΤΗΣ - Κόρινθος 2013

Gelis Ν.D. - Dictionary of Allergies - VELLEROFONTIS Publications - Corinth 2013