Diagnosis of allergy to stinging insects by skin testing with Hymenoptera venoms

K. J. Hunt, M. D. Valentine, A. K. Sobotka, L. M. Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Skin testing was done on 30 patients with a history of anaphylactic reactions after a Hymenoptera sting and on 30 control subjects. The patients all had positive basophil histamine release to one or more venoms on challenge with the specific venoms used for skin testing (honey bee, yellow jacket, white faced hornet, yellow hornet and Polistes). At 0.1 μg of venom/ml and at 1.0 μg of venom/ml, 75% and 100%, respectively, of the sensitive patients had a positive skin test. There was a significant (P<0.001) correlation between skin test and histamine release results. Of the 150 skin tests in control patients, only 1 was positive. Venom skin tests provide, for the first time, a simple, readily available technique to accurately diagnose allergy to stinging insects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-59
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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