Volume 1, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Summary and Discussion

The morphology exhibited in the sections of arthropod bite reactions permits a dynamic interpretation. In the search for the blood meal, the biting mechanism of the arthropod appears to penetrate through the epidermis with minimal difficulty. Some spreading factor in the saliva is suggested by the rapid spread of the tissue reaction. The perivascular phases of the reaction also suggest a rapid vascular transportation of the material injected. The sensitivity of an individual to the bite of a given arthropod influences the intensity of the inflammatory response. However, an individual may be sensitive to one arthropod and insensitive to the bites of others. The insensitive individual who develops no clinical bite reaction may be bitten without being aware of it. The histological studies of Boltz (1951) of the skin reactions following injections of needle puncture show that the changes in the skin following a bite by an arthropod is not one of simple “mechanical” puncture even in a non-reactive individual. The persistent late nodular response may be due to the intrinsic nature of the bite (including retained cuticular fragments?) or to a neurodermatitic response secondary to the scratch reaction to itching.

Histopathologic methods are valuable in the study of bite reactions. Improvements such as vacuum freeze drying technics and histochemical studies may permit more detailed studies of the variations in the cellular response of the individual to the bites of arthropods. With better fixation technics it may be possible to pick up fine bodies retained after the insect bite. Improvement in the technic of study of the biting parts , will make possible observations relating to the effect of the artificially induced retention of a piece of the biting apparatus within the skin. It is also possible that isotopic studies with other isotopes and more refined autoradiographic technics may enable us to follow the path of the bite more accurately. Progress in the study of the peripheral mechanisms of reaction of Compound F deposited locally may also help in the analysis of the bite reaction.

With the bite reaction of an individual determined, it should then be possible to study in detail local and systemic factors which may modify some parts of the bite reaction, as for example, the vascular response, the inflammatory cell response, the degree of pruritus, additive local trauma, etc.


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