Open Access Research

Comparison between two methods of scorpion venom milking in Morocco

Naoual Oukkache1, Fatima Chgoury1, Mekki Lalaoui1, Alejandro Alagón Cano2 and Noreddine Ghalim1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Venoms and Toxins, Pasteur Institute of Morocco, 1 Place Louis Pasteur, Casablanca 20360, Morocco

2 Institute of Biotechnology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Cuernavaca, Mexico

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Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 2013, 19:5  doi:10.1186/1678-9199-19-5

Published: 28 March 2013

Abstract

Background

The present study compared two methods used successfully in a large-scale program for the collection of scorpion venoms, namely the milking of adult scorpions via manual and electrical stimulation.

Results

Our immunobiochemical characterizations clearly demonstrate that regularly applied electrical stimulation obtains scorpion venom more easily and, most importantly, in greater quantity. Qualitatively, the electrically collected venom showed lack of hemolymph contaminants such as hemocyanin. In contrast, manual obtainment of venom subjects scorpions to maximal trauma, leading to hemocyanin secretion. Our study highlighted the importance of reducing scorpion trauma during venom milking.

Conclusions

In conclusion, to produce high quality antivenom with specific antibodies, it is necessary to collect venom by the gentler electrical stimulation method.

Keywords:
Scorpion venoms; Manual stimulation; Electrical stimulation; Antivenom; Lethality