Cnidaria Envenomation Publications (130)


Cnidaria Envenomation Publications

Toxicon 2016 Sep 8;119:1-7. Epub 2016 May 8.
Laboratório de Imunopatologia, Instituto Butantan, Av. Vital Brasil 1500, 05503-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

Jellyfish venoms are of medical and biotechnological importance, with toxins displaying antimicrobial, analgesic and anti-tumor activities. Although proteolytic enzymes have also been described, detailed characterisation of these proteins is scant in Olindias spp. High throughput mass spectrometry profiling of cnidarian venoms has become increasingly popular since the first description of the proteomic profile of putative toxins isolated from nematocysts of the hydrozoan jellyfish Olindias sambaquiensis describing the presence of orthologous enzymes as presented in venoms of advanced species as snakes. Read More

Rigorous bioinformatics analyses can aid functional annotation, but biochemical assays are prerequisite to unambiguously assign toxic function to a peptide or protein. Here we present results that experimentally confirm previously predicted proteomic analysis that crude venom extracts from tentacles of O. sambaquiensis are composed of polypeptides with metalloproteinase, serine proteinase and phospholipases A2 activities. Surprisingly, levels of serine proteinase and phospholipase A2 activities were comparable to those observed in venoms of Bothrops snakes which were used as positive controls in this study. Hence, these data offer new opportunities to explore serine proteinase and phospholipase A2 activities in the clinical sequelae following O. sambaquiensis envenomation, with future possible biopharmaceutical applications.

BMC Res Notes
BMC Res Notes 2016 Feb 17;9:108. Epub 2016 Feb 17.
Epidemiology Bureau, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, 10100, Thailand.

Despite recent deaths caused by box jellyfish envenomation occurring on the islands of Samui and Pha-ngan in the Gulf of Thailand, many people do not believe box jellyfish can kill humans and many people dismiss the problem as insignificant. More evidence has been requested from the communities in order to evaluate the need for and the implementation of sustainable prevention measures. We aimed to determine the magnitude of cases of severe stinging by box jellyfish and describe the characteristics of these cases on the islands of Samui and Pha-ngan in Surat Thani Province from 1997 to 2015. Read More

Various strategies were integrated prospectively. Toxic jellyfish networks and surveillance system were established. Outbreak investigations were conducted retrospectively and prospectively from 2008 to 2015.
There were 15 box jellyfish cases. A small majority of them were women (60.0) with a median age of 26.0 years (range 5.0-45.0 years). The highest incidence by month were August (33.3%), September and October (20.0%), and July (13.3%). Eight cases occurred on Samui (53.3%), 6 cases on Pha-ngan island (40.0%), and one case on the boat. All cases developed symptoms and signs immediately after being stung. More than half of the cases were unconscious. There were six fatal cases (46.7%). The wound characteristics had an appearance similar to caterpillar tracks or step ladder-like burn marks. Almost all cases involved Chirodropidae. One fatal case received fresh water and ice packs applied to the wounds (16.7%). Among the cases with known first aid, only one out of six fatal cases had vinegar applied to the wounds (16.7%), while haft of six surviving cases received the vinegar treatment.
The islands of Samui and Pha-ngan have the highest incidence of fatal and near fatal box jellyfish cases in Thailand. There is an urgent need for informed pre-clinical emergent care. Optimal pre-clinical care is an area of active research.

Toxins (Basel)
Toxins (Basel) 2016 Jan 11;8(1). Epub 2016 Jan 11.
Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology, Pacific Biosciences Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu HI 96822, USA.

Despite the medical urgency presented by cubozoan envenomations, ineffective and contradictory first-aid management recommendations persist. A critical barrier to progress has been the lack of readily available and reproducible envenomation assays that (1) recapitulate live-tentacle stings; (2) allow quantitation and imaging of cnidae discharge; (3) allow primary quantitation of venom toxicity; and (4) employ rigorous controls. We report the implementation of an integrated array of three experimental approaches designed to meet the above-stated criteria. Read More

Mechanistically overlapping, yet distinct, the three approaches comprised (1) direct application of test solutions on live tentacles (termed tentacle solution assay, or TSA) with single image- and video-microscopy; (2) spontaneous stinging assay using freshly excised tentacles overlaid on substrate of live human red blood cells suspended in agarose (tentacle blood agarose assays, or TBAA); and (3) a "skin" covered adaptation of TBAA (tentacle skin blood agarose assay, or TSBAA). We report the use and results of these assays to evaluate the efficacy of topical first-aid approaches to inhibit tentacle firing and venom activity. TSA results included the potent stimulation of massive cnidae discharge by alcohols but only moderate induction by urine, freshwater, and "cola" (carbonated soft drink). Although vinegar, the 40-year field standard of first aid for the removal of adherent tentacles, completely inhibited cnidae firing in TSA and TSBAA ex vivo models, the most striking inhibition of both tentacle firing and subsequent venom-induced hemolysis was observed using newly-developed proprietary formulations (Sting No More™) containing copper gluconate, magnesium sulfate, and urea.

Toxicon 2015 Dec 4;108:232-9. Epub 2015 Nov 4.
Marine Bio-pharmaceutical Institute, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China; Department of Marine Biotechnology, Faculty of Naval Medicine, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China. Electronic address:

Previously, we established delayed jellyfish envenomation syndrome (DJES) models and proposed that the hemorrhagic toxins in jellyfish tentacle extracts (TE) play a significant role in the liver and kidney injuries of the experimental model. Further, we also demonstrated that metalloproteinases are the central toxic components of the jellyfish Cyanea capillata (C. capillata), which may be responsible for the hemorrhagic effects. Read More

Thus, metalloproteinase inhibitors appear to be a promising therapeutic alternative for the treatment of hemorrhagic injuries in DJES. In this study, we examined the metalloproteinase activity of TE from the jellyfish C. capillata using zymography analyses. Our results confirmed that TE possessed a metalloproteinase activity, which was also sensitive to heat. Then, we tested the effect of metalloproteinase inhibitor batimastat (BB-94) on TE-induced hemorrhagic injuries in DJES models. Firstly, using SR-based X-ray microangiography, we found that BB-94 significantly improved TE-induced hepatic and renal microvasculature alterations in DJES mouse model. Secondly, under synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography (SR-μCT), we also confirmed that BB-94 reduced TE-induced hepatic and renal microvasculature changes in DJES rat model. In addition, being consistent with the imaging results, histopathological and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated UTP end labeling (TUNEL)-like staining observations also clearly corroborated this hypothesis, as BB-94 was highly effective in neutralizing TE-induced extensive hemorrhage and necrosis in DJES rat model. Although it may require further clinical studies in the near future, the current study opens up the possibilities for the use of the metalloproteinase inhibitor, BB-94, in the treatment of multiple organ hemorrhagic injuries in DJES.

Comp. Biochem. Physiol. C Toxicol. Pharmacol.
Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2016 Feb 30;180:31-9. Epub 2015 Oct 30.
Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Guangxi Medicinal University, Nanning 530021, China. Electronic address:

The present work investigated the in vitro cytotoxicity of nematocyst venom (NV) from Chrysaora helvola Brandt (C. helvola) jellyfish against human MCF-7 and CNE-2 tumor cell lines. Potent cytotoxicity was quantified using the MTT assay (LC50=12. Read More

07±3.13 and 1.6±0.22μg/mL (n=4), respectively). Apoptosis-like cell death was further confirmed using the LDH release assay and Annexin V/PI double staining-based flow cytometry analysis. However, only activation of caspase-4 was observed. It is possible that some caspase-independent pathways were activated by the NV treatment. Since no reference or antivenom is available, the effects of several commonly used antidotes on the cytotoxicity of NV were examined on more sensitive CNE-2 cells to determine the appropriate emergency measures for envenomation by C. helvola. The phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibitor para-bromophenacyl bromide (pBPB) showed no protective effect, while Mg(2+) potentiated cytotoxicity. Voltage-gated L-type Ca(2+) channel blockers (verapamil, nifedipine and felodipine) and Na-Ca(2+) exchanger inhibitor KB-R7943 also showed no effect. Assays using Ca(2+)-free culture media or the intracellular Ca(2+) chelator BAPTA also could not inhibit the cytotoxicity. Taken together, these results suggest that PLA2 and Ca(2+) are not directly involved in the cytotoxicity of NV from C. helvola. Our work also suggests caution regarding the choice for first aid for envenomation by C. helvola jellyfish.

Toxins (Basel)
Toxins (Basel) 2015 Jun 18;7(6):2251-71. Epub 2015 Jun 18.
Venom Evolution Lab, School of Biological Sciences, the University of Queensland, St. Lucia 4072, QLD, Australia.
BMC Genomics
BMC Genomics 2015 May 27;16:407. Epub 2015 May 27.
Infectious Diseases Program, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

The box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, is the largest and most dangerous cubozoan jellyfish to humans. It produces potent and rapid-acting venom and its sting causes severe localized and systemic effects that are potentially life-threatening. In this study, a combined transcriptomic and proteomic approach was used to identify C. Read More

fleckeri proteins that elicit toxic effects in envenoming.
More than 40,000,000 Illumina reads were used to de novo assemble ∼ 34,000 contiguous cDNA sequences and ∼ 20,000 proteins were predicted based on homology searches, protein motifs, gene ontology and biological pathway mapping. More than 170 potential toxin proteins were identified from the transcriptome on the basis of homology to known toxins in publicly available sequence databases. MS/MS analysis of C. fleckeri venom identified over 250 proteins, including a subset of the toxins predicted from analysis of the transcriptome. Potential toxins identified using MS/MS included metalloproteinases, an alpha-macroglobulin domain containing protein, two CRISP proteins and a turripeptide-like protease inhibitor. Nine novel examples of a taxonomically restricted family of potent cnidarian pore-forming toxins were also identified. Members of this toxin family are potently haemolytic and cause pain, inflammation, dermonecrosis, cardiovascular collapse and death in experimental animals, suggesting that these toxins are responsible for many of the symptoms of C. fleckeri envenomation.
This study provides the first overview of a box jellyfish transcriptome which, coupled with venom proteomics data, enhances our current understanding of box jellyfish venom composition and the molecular structure and function of cnidarian toxins. The generated data represent a useful resource to guide future comparative studies, novel protein/peptide discovery and the development of more effective treatments for jellyfish stings in humans. (Length: 300).

Wilderness Environ Med
Wilderness Environ Med 2015 Sep 29;26(3):422-9. Epub 2015 Apr 29.
Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon.

Jellyfish have a worldwide distribution. Their stings can cause different reactions, ranging from cutaneous, localized, and self-limited to serious systemic or fatal ones, depending on the envenoming species. Several first aid treatments are used to manage such stings but few have evidence behind their use. Read More

This review of the literature describes and discusses the different related first aid and treatment recommendations, ending with a summarized practical approach. Further randomized controlled trials in this field are needed.

Clin Toxicol (Phila)
Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2015 Feb 22;53(2):137. Epub 2015 Jan 22.
Division of Medical Toxicology, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California San Diego Health System , San Diego, CA , USA.