Table of contents
About this book
Scorpions have fascinated humans for a long time, ﬁrst and foremost because of the harm the sting of a few species could cause but also due to their unique natural history and for the many biologically active compounds found in their venoms. This volume of the Toxinology handbook series covers all those aspects. The subjects are divided into seven sections starting with an introduction to the general aspects of scorpion biology and ecology, followed by the description of the “envenomation” pathophysiology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of venoms and their complex interactions with the immune system. The future of anti-scorpion venom therapy is then covered in two chapters dedicated to alternatives to the century-old techniques currently used to produce “anti-venoms”. The next section presents a world tour of “scorpionism” and dangerous scorpion species and their impact on human health. It is worth remembering that envenomation due to scorpion stings is a substantial health hazard in Asian, Middle Eastern, African, and Latin American countries, with over one million people stung by scorpions every year, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths. Species-centered overviews of “scorpion venoms” are presented in the next section, after which a section details the two main types of “scorpion toxins”. The last section covers high-throughput transcriptome and proteome screenings now known as “venomics”.
This volume provides chapters that are accessible to a broad audience, yet also contains the depth of knowledge and detail which makes it of interest to experts in the field. Readers of this reference work will leave well informed on the current state of the art of scorpion venom research.