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Journal Articles Military Medicine Year : 2022

Blister Beetle Dermatitis Outbreaks in Mali


Introduction Meloidae are distributed in temperate and arid regions but are also common in subtropical and tropical savannahs. These insects contain cantharidin, a vesicant substance that can cause poisoning by ingestion and dermatitis by direct contact. Material and Methods We describe recurrent Meloidae-related dermatitis outbreaks and their health impact by analyzing medical consultation records and meteorological data. Results Between 2015 and 2019, dermatitis outbreaks took place at a French military base at the end of the rainy season, from July to August, with 100 cases reported in 2015, 74 in 2017, 100 in 2018, and 36 in 2019. In 2017, the incidence rate was 4.4% for the base’s population. Initial medical consultations represented 31.5% of total medical care activity. Meloidae were identified as Cyaneolytta fryi. Conclusions These outbreaks of burn-like lesions, although clinically benign, can place a considerable burden on the medical activity of health care facilities. The diagnosis of Meloidae dermatitis is exclusively anamnestic and clinical and requires reported contact with the insect. The treatment protocol is that of standard burn care, and the best preventive measure is to avoid bright white lights. Military personnel, foreign workers, and travelers venturing into the Sahel should be warned of the risks associated with these beetles.

Dates and versions

hal-03678676 , version 1 (25-05-2022)



Guillaume Velut, Martin Grau, Aude Valois, Lise Holterbach, Mickaël François, et al.. Blister Beetle Dermatitis Outbreaks in Mali. Military Medicine, 2022, ⟨10.1093/milmed/usac101⟩. ⟨hal-03678676⟩
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