Snakes, Jellyfish and Spiders
Our knowledge of animal and human physiological processes owes much to over a century of study of natural toxins. The neurotoxins of kraits (bungarotoxins from Bungarus spp.) and cobras (Naja spp.) have helped define the acetylcholine receptor and neuromuscular transmission. Axonal trafficking and sodium channels have been studied using tetrodotoxin from the blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena spp.) and puffer fish (fugu). Unravelling the complexities of the human coagulation pathways (intrinsic and extrinsic) has involved studies using haemotoxins from various snakes, including Russell's vipers (Daboia russelii), the saw-scaled vipers (Echis spp.) and the Australian taipans (Oxyuranus spp.). Ancrod is a snake venom enzyme from the Malayan pit viper (Calloselasma rhodostoma) which has been successfully used to treat thrombotic stroke.
KeywordsEcthyma Gangrenosum Cutaneous Anthrax Toxicol Clin Toxicol Brown Recluse Spider Spider Bite
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