Imported fire ant immunotherapy

Brittanie I Neaves, Christopher A Coop

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Imported fire ants (IFAs) permeate many areas of the United States. The IFA allergy is a significant health problem for children and adults. Stings from IFAs cause pustules, localized reactions, and anaphylaxis. There have been at least 32 deaths attributed to IFA stings. Because of the difficulty with the extraction of venom from the fire ants, whole body extracts are the only commercially available serum for immunotherapy. Fortunately, whole body extract immunotherapy given conventionally or through the rush method has proven to be efficacious and safe. It is recommended for the treatment of IFA hypersensitivity. Maintenance immunotherapy is typically given at 4-week intervals. However, more recent research has revealed that these intervals can gradually be extended up to 12 weeks similar to flying Hymenoptera venom immunotherapy. Long-term adherence to IFA immunotherapy remains an obstacle for many patients despite its potential as a life-saving treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
StateE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes


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