• 1

    Diaz J, 2005. The evolving global epidemiology, syndromic classification of caterpillar envenoming. Am J Trop Med Hyg 72 :347–357.

  • 2

    Lee D, Pitetti RD, Casselbrant ML, 1999. Oropharyngeal manifestations of lepidopterism. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 25 :50–52.

  • 3

    Benaim-Pinto C, Pernía-Rosales B, Rojas-Peralta R, 1991. Dermatitis caused by moths of Hylesia Genus (Lepidoptera, Saturniidae) in Northeastern States of Venezuela: I. Bioecology of Hylesia metabus Cramer. Clinical features of Lepidopterism determined by this species. Am J Contact Dermatol 2 :213–221.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4

    Dinehart SM, Archer ME, Wolf JE Jr, McGavran MH, Reitz C, Smith EB, 1985. Caripito itch: dermatitis from contact with Hylesia moths. J Am Acad Dermatol 13 :743–747.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5

    Martínez J, 1986. Informe sobre invasión de mariposas alergizantes. Hospital Centro de Salud “Irapa.” Dirección Regional de Salud, Cumaná, Venezuela.

  • 6

    Creole Oil Company, Revista Farol. 1939. Creole Oil Company, Monagas, Venzuela.

  • 7

    Arocha-Pinango CL, Marval E, Guerrero B, 2000. Lonomia genus cartepillar toxins: biochemical aspects. Biochimie 82 :937–942.

  • 8

    Wirtz RA, 1984. Allergic and toxic reactions to non-stinging arthropods. Annual Review of Entomology 29 :47–69.

  • 9

    Zaias N, Ioannides G, Taplin D, 1969. Dermatitis from contact with moths (genus Hylesia). JAMA 207 :525–527.

  • 10

    Ducombs G, Lamy M, Michel M, Pradinaud R, Jamet P, Vincendeau P, Maleville J, Texier L, 1983. French Guiana “papillonite” (lepidopterism). Clinical and epidemiological study. Ann Dermatol Venereol 110 :809–816.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11

    Fernandez G, Morales E, Beutelspacher C, Villanueva A, Ruiz C, Stetler HC, 1992. Epidemic dermatitis due to contact with a moth in Cozumel, Mexico. Am J Trop Med Hyg 46 :560–563.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12

    Maier H, Spiegel W, Kinaciyan T, Honigsmann H, 2004. Caterpillar dermatitis in two siblings due to the larvae of Thaumetopoea processionea L, the oak processionary caterpillar. Dermatology 208 :70–73.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13

    Benvenuti LA, Cardoso JLC, Morales RHP, 1998. Cutaneous leucocytoclastic vasculitis from contact with Hylesia moths (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae). Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 92 :428–429.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14

    Osborn F, Berilos L, Vitelli-Flores J, Monsalve W, Dorta B, Rodriguez-Lemoine V, 2002. Pathogenic effects of bacteria isolated from larvae of Hylesia metabus Krammer (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae). J Invertebrate Pathol 80 :7–12.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation





View More View Less
  • 1 Direction of Environmental Sanitary Epidemiological Surveillance, General Direction of Environmental Health and Sanitary Control, Ministry of Health and Social Development, Maracay, Venezuela; Environmental Health and Malariology Sucre State Office, Carúpano, Sucre, Venezuela; Epidemiology Department, Cajigal Sanitary District, Yaguaraparo, Sucre, Venezuela; Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Lepidopterism refers to a spectrum of medical conditions in humans that usually involves the skin and results from contact with the adult or larval forms of certain butterflies and moths. We analyzed the epidemiologic and clinical features associated with exposure to the moth Hylesia metabus between 1970 and 2002 in the Cajigal district, Sucre, Venezuela. Fifty cases of lepidopterism mostly affecting individuals under 18 years of age were identified during this period and manifested as pruritic dermatitis with or without associated respiratory symptoms. With increased travel to endemic areas of lepidopterism, travel and tropical medicine practitioners should be aware of the clinical spectrum of this condition.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Carlos Franco-Paredes, M.D., M.P.H., Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, 69 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA 30303, Telephone: 404-686-5885, Fax: 404-686-4508, E-mail: cfranco@sph.emory.edu.