Congratulations Santiago Martinez, MD for his publication, "First Record of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, from Hispaniola" in BioInvasions Records

S Martinez MD

Fire Ants (Solenopsis Invicta) BioInvasions Records (2021) Volume 10, Issue 3: 567–576

Fire Ants (Solenopsis Invicta) is one of the most damaging pets species in the world. Fire Ants are known to damage Crops, and are medically relevant pets of people, pets, livestock and wildlife. The Fire Ant stings in certain individuals can be associated with anaphylaxis a life-threatening allergic reaction. Estimates of the exact economic costs of  Fire ant damage and control for the southeastern United States alone vary  from more than half a billion to billion dollars per year. 

In one of my trips to Dominican Republic, I evaluated a  patient that presented with recurrent episodes of angioedema with skin lesions consisting of pustules typical of S. Invicta stings. Through my initial investigation and discussions with Entomologist I was Able to confirm that S. Invicta had never been reported in the Island of the Hispaniola. Through the collaboration of Dr. Dietrich Gozek from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution Washington DC USA. Taxonomic and Genetic studies were performed confirming the presence of this pest for the first time in the Island. 

Since the initial case due to our findings, I was able to diagnose Fire Ant-induced Anaphylaxis in a second patient that experienced 4 episodes of anaphylaxis requiring emergency room visits. Since administering the patient Fire Ant immunotherapy he has not experienced recurrence of anaphylactic reactions in one year. This Pest definitely constitutes not only a public health issue but also has a marked negative effects on agriculture, and biodiversity.

In summary, I feel that this paper is a great contribution to the health of the inhabitants and the Economy of the Hispaniola, 
With warm regards,
Santiago Martinez, MD, FAAP, FACAAI, FAAAAI
Chief of Allergy, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children Orlando Florida
Clinical Assistant Professor, Florida State University College of Medicine