Heat deactivation of the stonefish Synanceia horrida venom – implications for first-aid management

Barnett, Samantha, Saggiomo, Silvia, Smout, Michael, and Seymour, Jamie (2017) Heat deactivation of the stonefish Synanceia horrida venom – implications for first-aid management. Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine, 47 (3). pp. 155-158.

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Objectives: To investigate the effects of temperature and hot water immersion time on neutralising venom lethality of the Australian estuarine stonefish (Synanceia horrida).

Design: Depths of the spines were measured while venom was extracted from S. horrida individuals. The venom was then exposed to temperatures of 4°C, 37.0°C, 40.1°C, 42.3°C, 45.0°C, 47.7°C, 55.2°C, and 60.0°C for either five or 20 minutes incubation periods. Venom samples were added to cultured human cardiomyocytes and cell viability curves were produced using the ACEA's xCELLigence real-time cell monitoring system.

Main outcome measures: Determination of venom lethality on cardiomyocytes at a range of temperatures.

Results: The average depth of the spine required to go into a victims' flesh before the venom gland compressed and expelled venom was 18 mm. Cardiomyocytes exposed to heat-treated venom for five minutes required higher temperatures to neutralise 99% of the venom, namely 44.6°C in comparison to 42.1°C with an incubation time of 20 minutes.

Conclusion: This study supports the use of hot water immersion therapy in the treatment of S. horrida stings. It is suggested that due to the depth of the puncture wound longer incubation times should be sought to allow heat to penetrate the deeper portions of the dermis and effectively begin venom deactivation.

Item ID: 50150
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1833-3516
Keywords: marine animals; toxins; envenomation; first aid; water; temperature; myocytes, cardiac
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Funders: James Cook University
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2017 04:25
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310999 Zoology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 100%
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