• Are international partnerships important? Report of an experience Editor's Viewpoint

    de Souza, LR
  • African Society of Toxinology: a new opportunity for integrating the control of envenomations in Africa Letter to the Editor

    Chippaux, JP
  • Dangerous scorpion fauna of Mali Review Article

    Goyffon, M; Dabo, A; Coulibaly, SK; Togo, G; Chippaux, JP

    Abstract in English:

    Although the main Malian scorpion species of medical interest, Androctonus amoreuxi, is responsible for severe envenomings and perhaps some deaths, it has hitherto been considered not dangerous for humans. This population is located in the Saharian North-Eastern regions of Mali where it is accompanied by Leiurus quinquestriatus, a well known dangerous species of the Sahara. In the Gao district, divided by the Niger River, less desolate than the Tessalit and Kidal regions, one specimen of the dangerous species Androctonus australis was found. To summarize, Mali harbors at least three dangerous scorpion species: Leiurus quinquestriatus, Androctonus amoreuxi and A. australis, the latter recently having been identified in Mali for the first time. The absence of Androctonus aeneas is surprising in this context because it is found in neighboring countries (Algeria, Niger) and should be detected by new surveys. The possibility of preparing a single scorpion antivenom intended for Saharian and sub-Saharian populations is discussed.
  • Relationship between Helicobacter pylori detection and an increased risk of infection in childhood Original Papers

    Venerando, R; Rasmussen, LT; de Labio, RW; Gatti, LL; Francisco, O; Viani, GA; Rivera, LML; Payão, SLM

    Abstract in English:

    The risk of developing gastric cancer is believed to be related to differences among Helicobacter pylori strains and the inflammatory responses mediated by host genetic factors. H. pylori infection is acquired at an early age and in the absence of appropriate antibiotic therapy, it generally persists for life. Tp53 gene regulates the transcription of several cytokines and chemokines involved in innate immunity and its action may be influenced by the presence of different H. pylori strains. The present study aimed to detect H. pylori in pediatric patients, to access Tp53 polymorphism at codon 72 and to correlate such findings with age and histopathological results. Three hundred and forty-two patients were analyzed. DNA from their gastric biopsies was extracted and the detection of H. pylori was performed through polymerase chain reaction assays, urease test and histopathologic examination. Allelic discrimination of SNP rs1042522 (Tp53) was performed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Our results suggest a possible relationship between the presence of H. pylori and chronic gastritis in children and young patients, and showed a significant association between ageing and positivity for H. pylori. It was verified that patients aged < 10 years were 1.3 times more likely to have infection by H. pylori when compared with those aged > 10 years. Finally, no association was found between Tp53 polymorphisms and the presence of H. pylori.
  • A biodistribution study of Hemiscorpius lepturus scorpion venom and available polyclonal antivenom in rats Original Papers

    Seyedian, R; Jalali, A; Babaee, MH; Pipelzadeh, MH; Rezaee, S

    Abstract in English:

    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the biodistribution profile of the venom of Hemiscorpius lepturus, the most dangerous scorpion in Iran. Blood and tissue samples were taken at various predetermined intervals during a 400-minute period for the venom and a 360-minute period for the antivenom in rats. The radio-iodination was carried out using the chloramine-T method. The results showed that the descending order of venom uptake was skin, kidneys and intestine, respectively. The descending order of polyclonal antivenom uptake was kidneys, intestine, heart and lungs. The calculated pharmacokinetic parameters of the venom were Telimination half-life = 521.5 ± 12.6 minutes; Vd/F (apparent volume of distribution) = 14.9 ± 3.3 mL; clearance (CL/F, apparent total clearance of the drug from plasma) 0.02 ± 0.005 mL/minute and for the antivenom Telimination half-life = 113.7 ± 7.4 minutes; Vd/F = 13 ± 1.2 mL and CL/F 0.08 ± 0.01 mL/minute. The pharmacokinetics profile comparison of the venom with that of the antivenom shows that serotherapy may be more effective if administered within 2-4 hours following envenomation by H. lepturus.
  • Bee venom treatment reduced C-reactive protein and improved follicle quality in a rat model of estradiol valerate-induced polycystic ovarian syndrome Original Papers

    Karimzadeh, L; Nabiuni, M; Sheikholeslami, A; Irian, S

    Abstract in English:

    Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a low grade inflammatory disease characterized by hyperandrogenemia and chronic anovulation. C-reactive protein (CRP), released by adipocytes, plays a key role in PCOS. Apis mellifera honeybee venom (HBV) contains a variety of biologically active components with various pharmaceutical properties. This study was designed to assess the possibility of HBV application as an anti-inflammatory therapeutic agent. To induce PCOS, 1 mg/100 g body weight estradiol valerate (EV) was subcutaneously (SC) injected into eight-week-old rats. After 60 days, 0.5 mg/kg HBV was administered SC for 14 consecutive days, and the results of PCOS treatment were investigated. Rats were then anesthetized with chloroform, and their ovaries and livers were surgically removed to determine histomorphometrical changes. Testosterone and 17-β-estradiol were detected by chemiluminescence immunoassay. In order to detect serum CRP, ELISA kit was used in three groups of EV-induced PCOS, HBV-treated PCOS and control animals. Thickness of the theca layer, number of cysts and the level of serum CRP significantly decreased in HBV group in comparison with PCOS group. Moreover, corpus luteum, as a sign of ovulation, was observed in HBV-treated ovaries which were absent in PCOS group. Our results suggest that the beneficial effect of HBV may be mediated through its inhibitory effect on serum CRP levels.
  • Microhabitat use by species of the genera Bothrops and Crotalus (Viperidae) in semi-extensive captivity Original Papers

    Gomes, CA; Almeida-Santos, SM

    Abstract in English:

    Many factors influence microhabitat including climate and the occurrence of predators, prey and suitable shelters. The influence of predators in a semi-extensive breeding system is minimized due to frequent monitoring of the area. This situation enables the independent analysis of such other variables as refuges and temperature. Some specimens of the Viperidae family are kept in a semi-extensive breeding system at the Butantan Institute for display and study. These animals are widely distributed in the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, two biomes with distinct climatic characteristics. We compared the daily activity pattern and microhabitat use of the species Bothrops jararaca and Crotalus durissus terrificus. Our main questions were whether rattlesnakes and lancehead snakes respond to habitat selection differently in similar climatic conditions and if they choose similar microhabitats. Species of the genus Bothrops were frequently found under shelters regardless of the time of day. On the other hand, snakes of the genus Crotalus were frequently found sheltered during the early morning, then migrated to sunnier areas and returned to shelters in late afternoon.
  • Incidence and severity of scorpion stings in Algeria Original Papers

    Laïd, Y; Boutekdjiret, L; Oudjehane, R; Laraba-Djebari, F; Hellal, H; Guerinik, M; Griene, L; Alamir, B; Merad, R; Chippaux, JP

    Abstract in English:

    Scorpion stings are a public health problem in the Maghreb region. In Algeria, epidemiological data were collected over the past twenty years by the Algerian health authorities. This study is an analysis of morbidity and mortality data collected from 2001 to 2010. Annual incidence and mortality due to scorpion envenoming were 152 ± 3.6 stings and 0.236 ± 0.041 deaths per 100,000 people (95% CI), respectively. The risk of being stung by a scorpion was dramatically higher in southern areas and central highlands due to environmental conditions. Incidence of envenoming was especially higher in the adult population, and among young males. In contrast, mortality was significantly higher among children under 15 years, particularly ages 1-4. Upper limbs were more often affected than lower limbs. Most stings occurred at night, indoors and during the summer. Data collected since 2001 showed a reduction of mortality by nearly 50%, suggesting that the medical care defined by the national anti-scorpion project is bearing fruit.
  • General characterization of venom from the Moroccan snakes Macrovipera mauritanica and Cerastes cerastes Original Papers

    Oukkache, N; Lalaoui, M; Ghalim, N

    Abstract in English:

    Ophidian envenomation accidents constitute a serious public health problem in many countries around the globe. Over 5 million such accident cases occur each year causing more than 100,000 deaths. In Africa, more than 20,000 deaths per year are registered while 400,000 envenomation victims retain severe and permanent functional sequelae. In Morocco, snakebites are frequent and of greater severity in children. They occur mostly in rural areas. The incidence of these bites remains poorly understood and vastly underestimated. The epidemiological data are not well known due to the absence of a national registry, whereas a significant proportion of envenomations receive only traditional treatment methods in non-medical intensive care. This prompted us to investigate the enzymatic and biological properties of venom biochemical constituents from two of the most dangerous snake venoms in Morocco: Cerastes cerastes (Cc) and Macrovipera mauritanica (Mm). Also, we studied the immune cross-reactivity of Cc and Mm venoms in comparison to that of another important dangerous Moroccan viper, Bitis arietans (Ba), to identify the best candidates (venom or a mixture of venoms) for producing the most efficient and protective antivenom. In the present study, we report a preliminary venom characterization of Cc and Mm and the cross-reactivity that may exist between their venoms and Ba. These venoms are known to be highly toxic and contain several proteins that differ by molecular weights. Interestingly, both Cc and Mm venoms are characterized by intense hemorrhagic and phospholipase A2 activities and their ability to degrade the α and γ chains of fibrinogen. They display very low proteolysis through the casein test. After injection into mice, Cc and Mm induce myonecrosis in skeletal muscles, which most likely reflects direct action of myotoxins and indirect action of hemorrhagic molecules present in these venoms. In mice, this myonecrosis diminishes serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) levels. As expected, Cc venom is immunogenic and induces highly protective antivenom against Mm and Ba venom antigens. This protective capacity is similar to that of the antivenom produced against the Mm venom.
  • Echocardiographic changes during acute pulmonary edema subsequent to scorpion sting Original Papers

    Delma, K

    Abstract in English:

    Acute pulmonary edema (APE) occurring after scorpion sting is the leading cause of death of the victims of scorpion envenomation. The APE origin is still questioned by physicians treating these patients. Based on echocardiographic study of 20 patients with severe envenomation treated in Ouargla Hospital resuscitation ward during the last four years, the APE etiology seems more likely cardiogenic, referring to cardiac symptoms confirmed by echocardiography although other mechanisms may also be involved. This hypothesis is further confirmed by the positive response of patients to the administration of dobutamine.
  • Symptom patterns in adult patients stung by scorpions with emphasis on coagulopathy and hemoglubinuria Short Communications

    Rahmani, AH; Jalali, A

    Abstract in English:

    The aim of this retrospective descriptive study was to highlight clinical manifestations 24-48 hours following referral of adult patients stung by scorpions. This study contains clinical records of 290 patients admitted to Razi Hospital due to scorpion stings in Ahvaz, Khuzestan province from 2004 to 2005. The most prevalent patient age range was 15-20 years (30.3%). The most common sting location (41.3%) was the upper extremity; nearly half (49.6%) had been admitted within 6-24 hours following sting, while a large majority (85.5%) were hospitalized for 24-48 hours. A total of 116 (40%) patients presented hemoglobinuria. Contrary to available prior reports, the symptoms in none of the patients were accompanied by neurological manifestations. Kidney manifestations (BUN, creatinine), coagulopathy and transfusion were observed in patients with blood cell lysis and hemoglobinuria. The kidney problems were seen more in patients who had been admitted more than 24 hours after the accident. Overall, the findings demonstrate that coagulation and hemoglobinuria signs produced by scorpion sting in Ahvaz differ significantly from those reported elsewhere.
  • Scorpions from the primeval subgenus Archaeotityus produce putative homologs of Tityus serrulatus toxins active on voltage-gated sodium channels Short Communications

    Borges, A; Jowers, MJ; Bónoli, S; De Sousa, L

    Abstract in English:

    It has been proposed that the subgenus Archaeotityus comprises the most ancient species group within the medically important scorpion genus Tityus. cDNA encoding sodium-channel active toxins from the type species of this subgenus, Tityus clathratus (central Venezuela), have been isolated and sequenced. Two cDNAs were retrieved that encoded 61 amino acid-long putative neurotoxins named Tcl1 and Tcl2. Sequence identity was highest (87%) when both were compared with β-toxin Ts1 from the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus and its homologs from T. bahiensis, T. stigmurus, and T. costatus. A Bayesian analysis indicated statistical support for the grouping of T. clathratus Tcl1 and Tcl2 with Brazilian gamma-like β-toxins, reinforcing previous phylogenetic studies which suggested an evolutionary relationship between the subgenus Archaeotityus and scorpion species inhabiting southeast South America belonging to the subgenus Tityus.
  • Antibacterial properties of contact defensive secretions in neotropical Crematogaster ants Short Communications

    Quinet, Y; Vieira, RHSF; Sousa, MR; Evangelista-Barreto, NS; Carvalho, FCT; Guedes, MIF; Alves, CR; de Biseau, JC; Heredia, A

    Abstract in English:

    Crematogaster ants use their contact venoms to compete with other ants. Although those venoms are used primarily as repellent and toxic secretions, they may have other functions. The present study aimed to test the antibacterial property of abdominal venom of three neotropical Crematogaster ant species (C. distans, C. pygmaea and C. rochai) against gram-negative (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and gram-positive (Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria. Sterile filter paper was soaked with C. distans, C. pygmaea or C. rochai crude venom and placed on an agar dish that was inoculated with bacterial suspensions. The agar dish was incubated overnight at 37ºC and examined for zones of growth inhibition. For each tested venom and bacterial strain, three venom concentrations were used, with six replicates for each concentration: 1, 2 and 4 DGE (Dufour's gland equivalent). The venom of C. pygmaea, but not those of C. rochai and C. distans, inhibited the growth of all tested gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial strains. This is the first evidence of antibacterial properties of contact venoms in Crematogaster ants and it supports the claim that ant venoms are multifunctional. It is hypothesized that only C. pygmaea venom showed antibacterial activities due to its nesting habits.
  • Epidemiological investigation on envenomation: from theory to practice Short Communications

    Chippaux, JP

    Abstract in English:

    A better understanding of the epidemiology of envenoming would improve care, provided that the survey is representative, reliable and accurate. Several types of surveys could help to clarify the incidence, severity, circumstances, factors and determinants of envenomations. The relevant information may be collected and analyzed from hospital records or case report forms (for retrospective studies) or established from a protocol of longitudinal observation of cases attended at health facilities during a given period (prospective study). The household survey includes interviewing all or part of the population of a locality with a standardized questionnaire to obtain information on the circumstances of the accident. Finally, standardized questionnaires can be administered to health workers in order to ascertain the circumstances and procedures of care, the availability and use of treatment and the level of knowledge of agents. Correctly performed, these surveys should promote the organization of the management of snakebites or scorpion stings because they identify the location of envenomation and quantify the needs. However, the surveyed localities should be chosen for relevance to be representative of the territory, just as methodology and analysis should be rigorous in order to give useful results.
  • Scorpion envenomation in pygmies from Democratic Republic of Congo, the example of Pelenge Center, Lomela, DRC Short Communications

    Biezakala Mudiandambu, E; Odio Wobin, T; Kabele Ngiefu, C; Tati Kinkela, R; Mbanzulu Makola, K

    Abstract in English:

    In a survey among the pygmies of central Democratic Republic of Congo, the incidence of scorpion stings seemed very high with a severity greater than expected. Species responsible were not identified. Specific studies are needed to clarify the risk emerging in the equatorial African forest.
  • Isolation of Staphylococcus epidermidis from inflamed upper respiratory tract of an orange-spined hairy dwarf porcupine (Sphiggurus villosus) Case Reports

    Fornazari, F; Guimarães, FF; Teixeira, CR; Langoni, H

    Abstract in English:

    The orange-spined hairy dwarf porcupine (Sphiggurus villosus) is a rodent species common in most parts of South America, and little is known about the pathologies that can afflict it. A specimen was delivered at the Wildlife Research and Medical Center (CEMPAS), School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry, UNESP, Botucatu, SP, Brazil. The animal showed intense apathy, with purulent secretion in the nasal cavity and fracture of the lumbar spine. Due to the unfavorable prognosis, the porcupine was euthanized and microbiological culture of nasal discharge showed Staphylococcus epidermidis. The antimicrobial resistance test revealed sensitivity to all tested antimicrobials (ampicillin, oxacillin, tetracycline, penicillin G, neomycin, cephalexin, gentamicin, enrofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, cotrimoxazol, cefoxitin and cephalothin). This bacterium is part of the nasal flora of humans and other animals, and may cause infection under certain conditions. In the present study, the infection and colonization by S. epidermidis was the probable cause of the inflammatory process. The sensitivity to all tested antimicrobials suggests that this strain has not been previously exposed to such drugs.
  • The first reported case of human tick paralysis in Brazil: a new induction pattern by immature stages Case Reports

    Almeida, RAMB; Ferreira, MA; Barraviera, B; Haddad Jr, V

    Abstract in English:

    Tick paralysis (TP) is a rare disease with rapid progression and potential fatal evolution. Immediately after the diagnosis, removal of all ticks from the body of the patient is mandatory. The present study reports for the first time a human case of the disease in Brazil. The patient had loss of muscle strength, decreased reflexes and marked palpebral ptosis. Six hours after removal of the last tick, the ptosis improved and on the following day, the patient had near total regression of the symptoms. This report emphasizes the possible presence of similar cases that should be promptly diagnosed and quickly treated. A new induction pattern for TP in humans associated with immature stages of ticks is also presented.
  • Stings from Euscorpius flavicaudis (De Geer, 1778) (Scorpiones, Euscorpiidae) during pregnancy: a clinical case report Case Reports

    Dutto, M; Dutto, L; Bertero, M; Goyffon, M

    Abstract in English:

    We report a case in which a 21-week pregnant woman was stung by a Euscorpius flavicaudis (De Geer, 1778) scorpion. Symptoms and signs experienced by the patient were the same as those documented in the literature and with no ill-effects for the pregnancy. Envenoming was local and of low degree of intensity. It is important to emphasize that the patient was stung in her home, which differs from stings in most other parts of the world, in which scorpionism is mostly a risk in outdoor areas.
  • Snakebite on the hand: lessons from two clinical cases illustrating difficulties of surgical indication Case Reports

    Gras, S; Plantefève, G; Baud, F; Chippaux, JP

    Abstract in English:

    Snakebite is a particularly important health problem in rural areas of tropical regions. A large number of victims survive with permanent physical sequelae due to local tissue necrosis. However, necrosis may be associated with compartment syndrome especially when the bite is on the hands or feet. Herein, we describe two cases reported at a rural district hospital in Central African Republic. The present study suggests that active multidisciplinary management may improve patient prognosis while evidencing how difficult it is to decide on surgical intervention.
  • About a case of blindness following scorpion envenomation Case Reports

    Delma, K

    Abstract in English:

    The author reports a case of blindness occurred after three scorpion stings in a young woman from the region Ouargla, Algeria. The absence of signs of neurological and cardiovascular envenomation and the functional examinations of eyes is likely to be the consequence of a toxic neuropathy. Two months later, blindness persists and functional prognosis remains reserved.
  • Snakebite in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso: illustration of realities and challenges for care based on a clinical case Case Reports

    Kyelem, CG; Yaméogo, TM; Ouédraogo, SM; Zoungrana, J; Poda, GEA; Rouamba, MM; Ouangré, A; Kissou, SA; Rouamba, A

    Abstract in English:

    We report herein the case of 19-year-old female farmer who suffered a double snakebite on the right foot. After an unsuccessful traditional treatment, she consulted a health center, 48 hours after the bite. Upon arrival at the hospital, she showed signs of severe damage, including hemorrhagic syndrome, extensive gangrene of the bitten limb and severe acute renal failure. Due to financial constraints, neither antivenom nor the scheduled amputation was performed. After 35 days of hospitalization, she returned home, against the advice of medical personnel. Our case summarizes the daily challenges of patients and practitioners that suffer snakebite envenomation in Bobo-Dioulasso, western Burkina Faso.
Centro de Estudos de Venenos e Animais Peçonhentos (CEVAP/UNESP) Av. Universitária, 3780, Fazenda Lageado, Botucatu, SP, CEP 18610-034, Brasil, Tel.: +55 14 3880-7693 - Botucatu - SP - Brazil
E-mail: editorial.jvatitd@unesp.br