In 1962 a paper was published in the Journal of Immunology by Mary Loveless titled “Immunization in wasp-sting allergy through venom repositories and periodic stings”. Loveless reported that a patient with an extreme wasp sting allergy can be protected for months with a course of 6 sacsful of wasp venom over 2 and ½ hours. This study used a treatment which consisted of emulsified venom with mineral oil to achieve a slow release effect. The goal was to improve efficacy and reduce side effects.
This method was a modified version of earlier trials that included using the entire bug. The whole body extract in earlier versions was less effective than the method that only included the venom.
There were 11 people in the study for the 1962 study and 8 were later transferred to a regimen of intermittent stinging in an attempt at year round protection. Loveless reported that “Five trivial and one mild focal response have been engendered by 41 such sting treatments. The latter serve not only as probable booster stimuli but also as periodic tests of immunity.”
Many studies since then have shown that dosage increases also increase the side effects.