21 April, 2015

The medical risk of Hottentotta saulcyi

Hottentotta saulcyi (Simon, 1828) (Buthidae) is distributed in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. Ersen Yagmur and co-workers have conducted a study to determinate if this species is potentially medical important in Turkey.

A LD50 value of 0.73 mg/kg was determinated, and based on the lethal potency in mice, it is concluded that H. saulcyi must be considered a risk for humans in the southeastern regions of Turkey.

Background: In this study, we investigated the lethal potency, electrophoretic protein pattern and in vivo effects of Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom in mice.
Methods: Scorpions were collected at night, by using a UV lamp from Mardin Province, Turkey. Venom was obtained from mature H. saulcyi scorpions by electrical stimulation of the telson. The lethality of the venom was determined by i.v. injections using Swiss mice. In vivo effects of the venom were assessed by using the intraperitoneal route (ip) injections into mice (20±1g) and monitored for 24 h. The protein profiles of the scorpion venom were analyzed by NuPAGE® Novex® 4–12 % gradient Bis-Tris gel followed by Coomassie blue staining.
Results: The lethal assay of the venom was 0.73 mg/kg in mice. We determined the electrophoretic protein pattern of this scorpion venom to be 4, 6, 9, 31, 35, 40, 46 and 69 kDa by SDS-PAGE. Analysis of electrophoresis indicated that H. saulcyi scorpion intoxicated mice exhibited autonomic nervous system symptoms (tachypnea, restlessness, hyperexcitability, convulsions, salivation, lacrimation, weakness).
Conclusions: Hottentotta saulcyi scorpion venom includes short-chain neurotoxins and long-chain neurotoxins according to the electrophoretic protein patterns. The stings of H. saulcyi scorpion must be considered of risk for humans in the southeastern region, Turkey.

Yagmur EA, Ozkan O, Karaer KZ. Determination of the median lethal dose and electrophoretic pattern of Hottentotta saulcyi (Scorpiones, Buthidae) scorpion venom. Journal of Arthropod-Borne Diseases. 2015;9(2):238-45. [Open Access]

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