Comparison of the allergenicity and antigenicity of Polistes venom and other vespid venoms

Robert E. Reisman, John I. Wypych, Ulrich R. Mueller, J. Andrew Grant

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50 Scopus citations


The crossantigenicity of Polistes venom with other vespid venoms was examined with rabbit and human antisera. Venom preparations from various Polistes species were obtained by electrical stimulation of individual insects and venom sac dissection. Rabbit antibodies were raised to the venom (P. apachus) and venom sac extract (P. exclamans). Human antisera were obtained from patients allergic to Polistes and other vespid venoms. The venom appeared to be more potent than the venom sac preparations in reactions with rabbit IgG and human IgE antibodies. Among the Polistes species, P. exclamans, P. instablis, and P. apachus venoms showed several lines of precipitation with rabbit antisera, and P. annularis and P. fuscatus venoms only one line, suggesting quantitative or qualitative antigenic differences. In RAST analysis, most sera reacted equally to all Polistes species but occasional exceptions were noted, again suggesting differences in venom allergens. P. exclamans-coupled discs gave the most consistent results. In gel diffusion experiments, there was no crossreactivity between Polistes and yellow jacket venoms and only limited crossreactivity between Polistes and hornet venoms. Patients sensitive to Polistes venom showed varying degrees of reactivity to yellow jacket and hornet venoms in RAST analysis. Patients sensitive to other vespid venoms also showed varying degrees of sensitivity to Polistes venom. Polistes venom appears to contain a genus-unique antigen (allergen). In addition, there appear to be some crossreacting antigens in Polistes and other vespid venoms but to a much lesser degree than found previously in the analysis of the relationship of yellow jacket and hornet venoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-287
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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