Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Clinical and biochemical manifestation produced by scorpion (Hemiscorpius lepturus) venom in experimental animals

Mirakabbadi A., ZareZolfagharian, H.Hedayat, A.Jalali, A.

Several studies have been published about the clinical and biochemical manifestations produced by the venom of scorpions of the Buthidae family, but very few reports have indicated the manifestations induced by the venom of the Scorpionidae family. Hemiscorpius lepturus is an important scorpion species present in the south and southwestern part of Iran, causing morbidity and mortality in children and adults. For the present study, H. lepturus venom was extracted by electric shock and subcutaneously injected (6.3mg/kg) into a group of six rabbits. Blood collection was carried out before and three hours after venom injection for determination of osmotic fragility and levels of blood sugar, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). In vitro studies were also carried out to verify the osmotic fragility of red blood cells (RBCs) exposed to venom concentrations ranging from 0-90µg/2ml blood. Results showed the extreme effect of this venom on the lysis of RBCs both in vitro and in vivo. Venom injection caused significant (p>0.001) increase in ALT, AST, LDH and blood sugar levels. There was also an increase in CPK, and ALP levels after venom injection; however, it was not statistically significant. All animals died four hours after having received the venom. The current study revealed that the neurological effect of H. lepturus venom is similar to that of scorpions of the Buthidae family. However, they differ in RBCs lysis, which was highly significant when induced by H. lepturus venom, probably due to the presence of a type of phospholipase in this venom. Further studies are needed to provide a clearer view of the mechanism of action of H. lepturus venom.

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