Ant venom immunotherapy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial

Simon Brown, M.D. Wiese, K.E. Blackman, R.J. Heddle

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    117 Citations (Scopus)


    BackgroundThe jack jumper ant Myrmecia pilosula is responsible for about 90% of ant venom anaphylaxis in southeastern Australia. We aimed to establish whether M pilosula venom immunotherapy (VIT) prevents lifethreatening sting anaphylaxis in otherwise healthy adults.MethodsWe did a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial of M pilosula VIT. Participants were randomly allocated either immunotherapy, in accordance with the semirush hyposensitisation regimen, or placebo. The primary endpoint was systemic reaction after a deliberate sting challenge. Analysis was per protocol.FindingsWe randomly allocated 68 healthy volunteers (aged 20–63 years) who were allergic to M pilosula venom to placebo (33) and VIT (35). Four on placebo were stopped early and 12 on VIT had their treatment allocations revealed before the sting challenge, thus 29 on placebo and 23 on VIT were included in the primary analysis. Objectively defined systemic reactions to sting challenges arose in 21 of 29 participants (72%) on placebo (8 reactions were associated with hypotension) and none of 23 on VIT (p
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1001-1006
    JournalThe Lancet
    Issue number9362
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    Dive into the research topics of 'Ant venom immunotherapy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this