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|Envenomation by the Scorpion Tityus breweri in the Guayana Shield, Venezuela: Report of a Case, Efficacy and Reactivity of Antivenom, and Proposal for a Toxinological Partitioning of the Venezuelan Scorpion Fauna
Rojas-Runjaic, Fernando J. M.
Faks, José G.
Op den Camp, Huub J. M.
De Sousa, Leonardo
|Palabras clave :
|Fecha de publicación :
|Wilderness and Environmental Medicine
|Wilderness & Environmental Medicine 21 (2010), 282-290
|Objectives.—Scorpion envenomation is a common public health problem in Venezuela. We report
an envenoming case by Tityus breweri, endemic to the Guayana Shield, southeast Venezuela, and the outcome of its treatment with antivenom anti–Tityus discrepans. Toxin composition and antigenic reactivity of T breweri venom were also explored. T breweri distribution range was re-evaluated.
Methods.—Clinical signs and symptoms in an adult male were recorded after envenoming and
treatment with antivenom. Toxin composition and antigenicity of T breweri venom were investigated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting, and mass spectrometry. T breweri distribution
range was reassessed by mapping new records of the species.
Results.—The moderately severe case (a 21-year-old man) presented autonomic manifestations, including cardiopulmonary and gastrointestinal effects. Full recovery was achieved after anti–T discrepans
antivenom administration. T breweri venom contains toxins in the 6–8 kd range that affect voltage-sensitive sodium channels. Based on new records, T breweri distribution area reaches 12,155 sq.km. Inclusion of southeast Venezuela as an endemic area of scorpionism prompted the examination of
clinical, immunological, and phylogenetic evidence for suggesting a partitioning of the Venezuelan Tityus fauna into toxinological provinces.
Conclusions.—The severity of the case reinforces categorization of the Guayana Shield region as a
macroendemic area of scorpionism in Venezuela and allows classification of T breweri as a species of medical importance, with toxins immunologically related to central-eastern Venezuelan Tityus. Partitioning of the territory incorporating multiple criteria may help health authorities establish and
implement preventive and therapeutic measures for scorpion envenoming in this region.
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