Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

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Envenomation by caterpillars (erucism): proposal for simple pain relief treatment

Haddad, VidalCarlos Lastória, Joel

Erucism is the name given to injuries caused by moth larvae in humans. The lesions are provoked by caterpillar bristles filled with toxins that penetrate the skin [1-4]. The bristles are hollow and when they enter the skin and break, toxins that contain thermolabile proteins, proteolytic enzymes and histamine are released [2]. The shape of bristles indicates the families of caterpillars mainly associated with injuries: Megalopygidae (fine setae throughout the body) and Saturniidae (setae in small pine tree format, see Figure 1) [3]. The toxins cause immediate severe pain, erythema, edema and immediate lymphangitis (Figure 1). In later stages, there may be vesicles, bullae, erosions, petechiae, superficial skin necrosis, and ulcerations [4]. Some genera (Lonomia, Periga) can cause severe hemorrhagic syndromes, but most manifestations are limited to excruciating pain and mild to moderate local inflammation(AU)

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