Medical Conditions Caused by Arthropod Stings or Bites
Arthropods cause a wide variety of clinical conditions in humans, but especially skin lesions, because people are inevitably exposed to biting and stinging organisms in the urban and suburban environment (1–4). Skin lesions resulting from arthropod exposure may arise via various pathologic pathways, such as direct damage to tissue, hypersensitivity reactions to venom or saliva, or infectious disease. The subject of hypersensitivity reactions is outside the scope of this volume, but even in the absence of allergic reactions to venom or saliva, much human morbidity is the result of direct effects (injury) of arthropod biting/stinging. Direct injury can occur from mouthparts or stingers piercing human skin (5). In addition, secondary infections may result from bacteria entering the skin via the bite/sting punctum. This is especially likely if the bite/sting site is scratched extensively. As discussed in Part II, many vector-borne infectious diseases can produce skin lesions such as rash, ulcers, or eschar.
KeywordsVenom Gland Suburban Environment Bite Site Stinging Wasp Scabies Mite
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