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Vol. 102. Issue 9.
Pages 658-667 (November 2011)
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Vol. 102. Issue 9.
Pages 658-667 (November 2011)
Review
DOI: 10.1016/j.adengl.2011.11.005
Skin Reactions on Exposure to the Pine Processionary Caterpillar (Thaumetopoea pityocampa)
Manifestaciones cutáneas originadas por la oruga procesionaria del pino (Thaumetopoea pityocampa)
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J. Vegaa,
Corresponding author
jvegagu@gmail.com

Corresponding author.
, J.M. Vegab, I. Moneoc
a Servicio de Dermatología, Hospital Universitario Río Hortega, Valladolid, Spain
b Sección de Alergia, Hospital Universitario Río Hortega, Valladolid, Spain
c Centro de Investigación Clínica y Medicina Preventiva, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain
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Tables (2)
Table 1. Differences Between Individuals With Allergic and Nonallergic Reactions to Thaumetopoea pityocampa.
Table 2. Recommendations for Avoiding Reactions to Processionary Pine Caterpillar, of Particular Importance for Patients Allergic to the Insect.
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Abstract

The pine processionary caterpillar is the larval form of the Thaumetopoea pityocampa moth. Mediterranean forests regularly suffer plagues of this insect, which has been moving north as a result of global warming. When the small urticating hairs that develop during the last 3 larval stages are shed and can become airborne. If they come in contact with skin, they can cause a variety of reactions, notably contact urticaria and papular rashes. Irritation can also occur if the hairs lodge in the mucosa of the conjunctiva or in the respiratory tract. Several cases of anaphylactic reactions have been reported in recent years. Mechanical (irritative) mechanisms may be involved in the pathogenesis of lesions, or immunoglobulin E-mediated allergic hypersensitivity reactions may be implicated when the process is rapid, recurrent, and progressively more severe.

Keywords:
Pine processionary caterpillar
Thaumetopoea pityocampa
Dermatitis
Urticaria
Resumen

La oruga procesionaria del pino es la forma larvaria del lepidóptero nocturno Thaumetopoea pityocampa (TP). Supone una plaga forestal en los países mediterráneos y se está expandiendo hacia el norte de Europa por el calentamiento global. Durante sus tres últimos estadios larvarios presenta unos pelos urticantes de pequeño tamaño, que se desprenden con facilidad y pueden ser transportados por el viento. Estos pelos pueden producir distintas patologías, entre las que destaca la afectación cutánea que se manifiesta fundamentalmente como urticaria de contacto y dermatitis papulosa. También son capaces de clavarse e irritar la mucosa conjuntival y de penetrar en la vía respiratoria produciendo manifestaciones a este nivel. En los últimos años se han descrito varios casos de reacciones anafilácticas por este insecto.

Los mecanismos patogénicos implicados incluyen el mecánico o irritativo y el alérgico por hipersensibilidad mediada por IgE, donde las reacciones son inmediatas, repetidas y progresivamente más graves.

Palabras clave:
Oruga procesionaria del pino
Thaumetopoea pityocampa
Dermatitis
Urticaria

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