Purpose of review: Anaphylaxis is a severe form of allergic reaction that may cause death. Main triggers of anaphylaxis have been reported to also cause occupational anaphylaxis (OcAn). The purpose of this article was to summarize the current scientific evidence on OcAn and review the specific literature published in 2012 and 2013.
Recent findings: Allergens derived from Hymenoptera and natural rubber latex are the most frequently reported triggers of OcAn, but other high and low-molecular weight agents have been described. Among the latter, foods, insects, snakes, chemicals, and medications have been described in the last 2 years. Furthermore, reviews on the clinical significance of immunological contact urticaria as a risk factor for systemic allergic reaction and on Hymenoptera venom immunotherapy have been published.
Summary: OcAn is a serious event, and several agents and occupations have been identified as responsible. In any occupational setting, where there is a worker with a history of previous anaphylactic reactions, and in occupations at greater risk, a written emergency management plan of anaphylaxis episodes, along with the availability of adrenaline and trained personnel, are mandatory. Venom immunotherapy should be considered for patients with Hymenoptera venom allergy.