Venom Hypersensitivity

Prim Care. 2023 Jun;50(2):305-324. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2023.01.005. Epub 2023 Mar 10.


Stinging insects are a frequent cause of local and systemic hypersensitivity reactions, including anaphylaxis. For those with a history of life-threatening anaphylaxis, venom immunotherapy is effective, safe, and can be life-saving. Arachnids are a much less common source of envenomation through bites or stings and are less likely to cause a hypersensitivity reaction. However, recognizing the clinical manifestations when they do present is important for accurate diagnosis and treatment, and, when indicated, consideration of other diagnoses.

Keywords: Anaphylaxis; Imported fire ant; Spider bite; Stinging hymenoptera; Stinging insect; Venom hypersensitivity; Venom immunotherapy; Widow spider.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis* / diagnosis
  • Anaphylaxis* / etiology
  • Anaphylaxis* / therapy
  • Animals
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hymenoptera*
  • Hypersensitivity* / diagnosis
  • Hypersensitivity* / therapy
  • Insect Bites and Stings* / complications
  • Insect Bites and Stings* / diagnosis
  • Insect Bites and Stings* / therapy
  • Venom Hypersensitivity*