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Studies have shown that optimal venom immunotherapy (VIT) improves the safety and well-being of patients by providing effective protection against future anaphylactic reactions.
The correct venom(s) to be used in treatment are selected in each case in accordance with the patient´s reaction to true venom allergens.
In traditional clinical tests many patients with allergy to bee and wasp result positive for venom from both insects, although they show clinical reactions only to one type of substance.
In most cases, such double positivity is due to specific antibodies directed towards Cross-reactive Carbohydrate Determinants (CCDs).
It is possible to eliminate the problem of double positivity by testing with CCD-free recombinant allergen components. Tests using such components provide more detailed information than usual tests but they can also discriminate whether double positivity is merely the result of CCD-dependent cross-reactivity between venoms.
Speakers at the 2011 Istambul EAACI Congress concluded that both complete venom extracts and recombinant components are necessary for a precise patient assessment in venom allergy.