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Ozkan O.,Refik Saydam Public Health Agency | Ciftci G.,University of 19 May
Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases | Year: 2010

Mesobuthus gibbosus (Brullé, 1832) scorpions were collected from the Mugla province in the Aegean region of Turkey and housed in individual boxes. After extraction, the venom composition was analyzed using gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Interestingly, all scorpion venom samples contained only one protein band (~68 kDa) in common. Two protein bands (30 and 98 kDa) were common in six venom samples and were absent in the other venoms. Furthermore, two different protein bands (28 and 45 kDa) were detected in seven venom samples. This study proposes possible variations in the composition of individual scorpion venom samples collected from the same geographic region, based on the electrophoretic profile. Additional studies will be necessary in order to assess these variations further and to identify the proteins corresponding to the bands. © CEVAP 2010.

Ozkan O.,Refik Saydam Public Health Agency | Yagmur E.A.,Ege University | Ark M.,Gazi University
Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases | Year: 2011

Currently, medically significant scorpion species belong to the Buthidae family and are represented by the genera Androctonus, Buthus, Mesobuthus, Hottentotta, Parabuthus, Tityus, Centruroides, Leiurus. Although Leiurus was originally considered a monotypic genus, four additional species have since been described. Leiurus abdullahbayrami (previously identified as L. quinquestriatus in Turkey) was classified as a new Leiurus species. This is the first report conducted on the lethality and biologic effects of L. abdullahbayrami scorpion venom in mice. In this study, the electrophoretic protein pattern of its venom was also determined. Two protein bands with molecular masses of 4 and 6 kDa were more strongly detected than other protein bands in the venom sample. Electrophoresis showed that L. abdullahbayrami scorpion venom possesses both short- and long-chain neurotoxins. The median lethal dose of this venom was found to be 0.19 mg/kg by subcutaneous (SC) injection in mice. Animals experimentally envenomed with L. abdullahbayrami venom exhibited hyperexcitability, agitation, aggressive behavior, squeaking and fighting, tachypnea, weakness, convulsions, and death due to cardiac and respiratory failure. In further studies, the potency of antivenom should be investigated in relation to the scorpion venom. Molecular and pharmacological studies are also required to identify and characterize L. abdullahbayrami scorpion venom. © CEVAP 2011.

Ozkan O.,Refik Saydam Public Health Agency | Ozkan O.,Ankara University | Ahmet C.,Turkish Accreditation Agency | Zafer K.,Ankara University
Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases | Year: 2010

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has been widely employed in phylogeographic and phylogenetic studies. In the present study, the genetic identification of the scorpion Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807) was carried out by using the 16S mitochondrial gene, since this scorpion represents the most important species in Turkey regarding scorpionism and antivenom production. Two genetic groups were found according to the sequence analysis results, while five different loci at the nucleotide level presented genetic variation in the 16S region when compared to a known A. crassicauda sequence data (GenBank, AJ277598). Nucleotide variations found in the current work constitute the first descriptive report for A. crassicauda. Moreover, future studies may enlighten the genetic and venom composition variations for this scorpion species. © CEVAP 2010.

Cesaretli Y.,Refik Saydam Public Health Agency | Ozkan O.,Refik Saydam Public Health Agency
Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases | Year: 2010

The venom of poisonous snakes comprises a complex mixture of several proteins with other less significant constituents, resulting in principles capable of changing viable tissues. The hemotoxic factor is the main responsible for necrosis and tissue sloughing. Envenomations are common in rural areas of Turkey caused by snake species that present hepatotoxic venom, which causes local swelling, ecchymosis and alterations in blood profile. The epidemiological and clinical findings of snake envenomations in Turkey were evaluated based on data recorded by the National Poison Information Center (NPIC) between 1995 and 2004, in a total of 550 snakebite cases. The month of peak incidence was June (24.3%) while most incidents occurred in Marmara, Central Anatolia and Black Sea regions of Turkey. The victims were mainly adults (54.1%). Hospitalized patients displayed clinical signs of local (75.2%) and systemic effects (24.7%). Local clinical symptoms comprised edema, pain, hyperemia, numbness and ecchymosis, while systemic clinical symptoms included nausea, vomiting, hypotension, tachycardia, dyspnea, dry mouth, paresthesia, generalized edema, cyanosis and compartment syndrome. Occasionally, convulsions, confusion, loss of consciousness, hyperthermia, hepatic and circulation failure, hematoma, drowsiness, epistaxis, chest and abdominal pain, venous spasm, thrombocytopenia and bradycardia were recorded. Approximately one third (34.2%) of the patients were treated symptomatically, while 10.5% required antivenom therapy along with symptomatic treatments and 26.3% of all patients were exclusively treated with antivenom. Although a significant number of incidents were reported, no deaths occurred. These findings emphasize the presence of multiple medically important snake species in Turkey and that public awareness and therapeutic approaches appear sufficient to manage snakebite incidents. © CEVAP 2010.

Cesaretli Y.,Refik Saydam Public Health Agency | Ozkan O.,Refik Saydam Public Health Agency
Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de Sao Paulo | Year: 2010

The most important health-threatening scorpions found in Turkey are; Androctonus crassicauda, Leiurus quinquestriatus, Mesobuthus gibbosus and M. eupeus species, all of which belong to the Buthidae family. The epidemiological and clinical findings of scorpion stings in Turkey were evaluated between the years 1995 and 2004 based on data recorded in the National Poison Information Center (NPIC). A total of 930 cases were recorded. The cases mostly occurred in the month of July. The gender distribution was 50.22% female and 45.48% male. It was shown that the 20-29 age group presented more scorpion stings. Most of the stings occurred in Central Anatolia and Marmara regions of Turkey. Patients at the hospital showed signs of localized (pain, hyperemia, edema and numbness) and systemic effects (hyperthermia, nausea and vomiting, tachycardia, shivering and lethargy) but no lethality was notified. According to records, 33% of the poisoned patients were treated with antivenin in healthcare facilities.

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