Venom

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Venom is any of a variety of toxins[1] used by certain types of animals. Generally, venom is injected by such means as a bite or a sting.[2] Poison, by contrast, is ingested or inhaled by the victim.

Contents

Diversity

Arthropods and other invertebrates

Among animals using venom are spiders (see spider bite) and centipedes, which also inject venom through fangs; scorpions and stinging insects, which inject venom with a sting (which, in insects such as bees and wasps, is a modified egg-laying device – the ovipositor). Many caterpillars have defensive venom glands associated with specialized bristles on the body, known as urticating hairs, and can be lethal to humans (e.g., that of the Lonomia moth).

Because they are tasked to defend their hives and food stores, bees synthesize and employ an acidic venom (apitoxin) to cause pain in those that they sting, whereas wasps use a chemically different venom designed to paralyze prey, so it can be stored alive in the food chambers of their young. The use of venom is much more widespread than just these examples, of course. Other insects, such as true bugs [3] and many ants, also produce venom.

There are many other venomous invertebrates, including jellyfish and cone snails. The box jellyfish is widely considered one of the most dangerous creatures in the world, as a human being who is stung is likely to die.

A method for treating subjects allergic to the venom of certain insects, utilizes the steps of producing a polypeptide encoded by the nucleic acid. The host cell comprising the expression vector is cultured under appropriate conditions for expression of the polypeptide. The polypeptide is purified and can be used as such for therapy. Optionally, the polypeptide is further formulated with appropriate excipient and/or carriers in order to provide the vaccine. This therefore satisfies the need for a recombinant produced Hymenoptera venom acid phosphatase or the cDNA encoding the polypeptide, which can be used for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. [3]

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