Insect sting allergy: New guidelines from the European and USA consensus groups: Algorithms and recommendations

David B.K. Golden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewGuidelines on insect sting allergy and venom immunotherapy (VIT) have been updated. This review describes the evolution of these guidelines and their similarities and differences.Recent findingsThe US and European guidelines show the evolution of guideline development in the grading of recommendations and the transparency of the evaluation of evidence. The US and European guidelines on VIT are similar in most areas and complimentary in others. The European guidelines are limited to VIT and are based on a published systematic review; the US practice parameters cover all areas of the diagnosis and management of insect sting allergy and do not use the Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.There is general agreement that both children and adults with cutaneous systemic reactions do not require VIT, and that there is minimal risk associated with β-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors during VIT. There are minor differences in the details of VIT dose, regimen, and choice of venom, but agreement on the duration and risk factors for relapse after VIT. The US and European guidelines are complementary in their discussion of the relation of mastocystosis and insect sting anaphylaxis and the value of measuring basal serum tryptase.SummaryThe updated guidelines on insect sting allergy from the US and European groups differ in scope, with a somewhat different focus in specific areas but are complementary overall. Where they overlap, there are relatively few differences in recommendations, and these are subtle. The US practice parameter offers an annotated algorithm for the evaluation and treatment of patients with reactions to insect stings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-461
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in allergy and clinical immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Hymenoptera
  • anaphylaxis
  • immunotherapy
  • insect sting
  • venom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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