Living With “Skeeter Syndrome”

Mosquito Bite

Allergic Reaction To Mosquito Bite

Mosquito bites are caused by the body’s reaction to protein components of the saliva a mosquito injects under the skin when it feeds. Infrequently, people can become sensitized to mosquito bites and respond with an immune reaction much more intense that a typical bite. Within hours to days of the bite, a large portion of the skin surrounding the bite turns red. A bite can cause more systemic symptoms such as a swollen limb and watery eyes.

Skeeter syndrome can develop suddenly. This phenomena may be explained if the allergy is only to saliva from a mosquito species that bites infrequently.  When the allergic person is bit by this species of mosquito, a hyper allergic response is elicited.  A mosquito bite can come from one of dozens of mosquito species. If most bites come from non-allergenic mosquitoes, then a hyper allergic reaction will not be elicited.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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One Response to Living With “Skeeter Syndrome”

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