Jellyfish Venom and Toxins: A Review
Although countless numbers of people are being stung every year by poisonous jellyfish throughout the world, statistical data is rarely available, even for fatal cases, except for Australia. There has been a significant amount of research for the treatment of cnidarian stings, but confusion still exists as to what is the most effective first aid and clinical management. In addition, only a few toxic components of jellyfish venoms have been identified so far, suggesting it is one of the most neglected areas in toxinology research. This is probably because jellyfish are difficult to obtain; many species are randomly distributed in the wide open sea, compared with other venomous animals. Secondly, unlike the milking of snake venom, it is extremely difficult to collect jellyfish venom of high purity without contamination of other tissue debris. Thirdly, all the toxins identified from jellyfish venoms until now are proteins, and many are intrinsically susceptible to and easily denatured by harsh environmental conditions (e.g., temperature, pH), resulting in the loss of their biological activities during the extraction and purification procedures. Therefore, the isolation and characterization of jellyfish toxins has lagged behind that of many other animal toxins. A few protein toxins have been reported, mainly from box jellyfish (Cubozoa) species. In this chapter, various jellyfish venoms that have been investigated are reviewed, as well as the protein toxins which have been identified to date.
KeywordsInsecticidal Activity Complete Open Reading Frame Crude Venom Venom Peptide Jellyfish Bloom
This research was partly supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2010-0013352). This study was partly conducted with a research grant from the National Fisheries Research and Development Institution (13-OE-15).
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