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A first exploration of the venom of the Buthus (...)

Toxicon. 2014 Mar ;79:55-63
A first exploration of the venom of the Buthus occitanus scorpion found in southern France.
Martin-Eauclaire MF, Bosmans F, Ceard B, Diochot S, Bougis PE.

Even though Buthus occitanus scorpions are found throughout the Mediterranean region, a lack of distinctive characteristics has hampered their classification into different subspecies. Yet, stings from this particular scorpion family are reported each year to result in pain followed by various toxic symptoms. In order to determine the toxicity origin of the rare French B. occitanus Amoreux scorpion, we collected several specimens and studied their venom composition using a nano ultra high performance liquid chromatography and matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (nano UHPLC/MALDI-TOF-MS) automated workflow combined with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) approach. Moreover, we compared this dataset to that obtained from highly lethal Androctonus australis and Androctonus mauretanicus scorpions collected in North Africa. As a result, we found that the B. occitanus Amoreux venom is toxic to mice, an observation that is most likely caused by venom components that inhibit voltage-gated sodium channel inactivation. Moreover, we identified similarities in venom composition between B. occitanus scorpions living in the South of France and other Buthidae collected in Morocco and Algeria. As such, the results of this study should be taken into consideration when treating stings from the B. occitanus species living in the South of France.

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