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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Arthropods and the Clinical Laboratory. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Arthropods and the Clinical Laboratory (online CE course)

Biting or stinging arthropods may cause direct injury to humans through hypersensitivity (itch) or toxic effects (eg., caused by arthropod salivary products). Of additional interest: some house mites, dust mites, and animal mites may cause allergies and hayfever.
Envenomation: Process whereby poison or toxin (venom) is injected into the human through the process of biting or stinging. The most common arthropod examples are:
  • Wasps
  • Bees
  • Ants
  • Spiders
  • Scorpions
  • Centipedes, millipedes
Blister beetles (dead or alive) may cause injury by contact with the secreted cantharidin (a poisonous substance, a vesicant that causes blisters). Some millipedes may also be capable of spraying vesicating substances. Other beetles may cause contact dermatitis. Papules may be confused with some of the rash-causing arthropods of medical importance that will be discussed later in this course.