A double blind study on immunotherapy with chemically modified honey bee venom: monomethoxy polyethylene glycol-coupled versus crude honey bee venom

Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol. 1985;77(1-2):201-3. doi: 10.1159/000233786.


24 patients with honey bee sting allergy were treated with either honey bee venom (HBV) or monomethoxy polyethylene glycol-coupled HBV (PEG-HBV) in a double blind trial. Both treatments induced a strong increase in HBV-specific IgG antibodies in most patients. Immunotherapy with PEG-HBV was much better tolerated than that with HBV. Conversely, patients on HBV did considerably better during a sting challenge with a living honey bee. Only 4 developed a large local and one a mild systemic reaction compared to 7 large local and 3 moderate to severe systemic reactions in the PEG-HBV-group. A higher maintenance dose of PEG-HBV may still be well tolerated but prove more effective at reexposure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bee Venoms / administration & dosage*
  • Bee Venoms / immunology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunotherapy
  • Insect Bites and Stings / immunology
  • Insect Bites and Stings / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use


  • Bee Venoms
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • monomethoxypolyethylene glycol