Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Stinger


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. 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.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Blood, Red blood cell, Bone marrow, Stinger, Soft drink, STING


Stings from the hydrozoan species in the genus Physalia cause intense, immediate skin pain and elicit serious systemic effects. There has been much scientific debate about the most appropriate first aid for these stings, particularly with regard to whether vinegar use is appropriate (most current recommendations recommend against vinegar). We found that only a small percentage (≤1.0%) of tentacle cnidae discharge during a sting event using an ex vivo tissue model which elicits spontaneous stinging from live cnidarian tentacles. We then tested a variety of rinse solutions on both Atlantic and Pacific Physalia species to determine if they elicit cnidae discharge, further investigating any that did not cause immediate significant discharge to determine if they are able to inhibit cnidae discharge in response to chemical and physical stimuli. We found commercially available vinegars, as well as the recently developed Sting No More(®) Spray, were the most effective rinse solutions, as they irreversibly inhibited cnidae discharge. However, even slight dilution of vinegar reduced its protective effects. Alcohols and folk remedies, such as urine, baking soda and shaving cream, caused varying amounts of immediate cnidae discharge and failed to inhibit further discharge, and thus likely worsen stings.

Concepts: Effectiveness, Jellyfish, Stinger, Vinegar, Sodium bicarbonate, Hydrozoa, STING


Despite the common occurrence of hymenopteran stings worldwide, primary neurologic manifestations including stroke are rare. We report a case of a healthy male who developed a right middle cerebral artery (MCA) territory ischemic stroke after getting stung by a wasp.

Concepts: Insect, Stroke, Middle cerebral artery, Bee, Stinger, Bee sting, Wasp


Massive wasp stings have been greatly underestimated and have not been systematically studied. The aim of this study was to identify the clinical features and treatment strategies of severe wasp stings.

Concepts: Stinger


Live bee acupuncture (Bong-Chim) dermatitis is an iatrogenic disease induced by so-called live bee acupuncture therapy, which applies the honeybee (Apis cerana) stinger directly into the lesion to treat various diseases in Korea. We present two cases of live bee acupuncture dermatitis and review previously published articles about this disease. We classify this entity into three stages: acute, subacute, and chronic. The acute stage is an inflammatory reaction, such as anaphylaxis or urticaria. In the chronic stage, a foreign body granuloma may develop from the remaining stingers, similar to that of a bee sting reaction. However, in the subacute stage, unlike bee stings, we see the characteristic histological “flame” figures resulting from eosinophilic stimulation induced by excessive bee venom exposure. We consider this stage to be different from the adverse skin reaction of accidental bee sting.

Concepts: Medicine, Medical terms, Anatomical pathology, Honey bee, Beekeeping, Stinger, Bee sting, Bumblebee


There is often a delay in offering quality and prompt treatment after a stingray sting. We present 3 cases of stings and discuss the Poisoning Severity Score (PSS) and a simple tool to assess the severity of such injuries. A 34-year-old man, who worked as an aquarium keeper, presented a wound on the left fifth digit caused by a stingray. Acute myocardial injury and rhabdomyolysis were detected. After 6weeks, the wound had almost healed. A 27-year-old man who experienced a stingray injury on the left second digit recovered without sequelae after 5weeks. A 45-year-old man with a history of diabetes, who was accidentally stung in the right palm by a stingray, experienced rhabdomyolysis and returned to work after 2months. We performed debridement, administered the tetanus toxoid and antibiotics, and immersed the wounded hand in warm water (about 43°C) for all three cases. Meanwhile, patients with rhabdomyolysis were administered intravenous hydration. Upon presentation at the emergency department, we recorded the severity of the injury by using PSS. We found that relatively high PSSs were associated with lower platelet counts that happen due to various adverse events. We suggest that dynamic changes in platelet counts may be associated with the severity of the injury. Furthermore, lower platelet counts in the normal or abnormal range may indicate poor prognoses.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Surgery, Injuries, Injury, Wound, Stinger, Accident, Stingray


Insect sting-related envenomation rarely produces seizures. We present a patient with confusion and seizures that began 24 hours after a yellow jacket (wasp) sting. Given the rapid onset and resolution of symptoms, as well as accompanying dermatological and orbital features, and the lack of any infectious or structural abnormalities identified, the toxic effect of the wasp venom (and related anaphylaxis reaction) was believed to be the cause of his presentation.

Concepts: Insect, Stinger, Wasp, Ant, Hymenoptera, Spider, Yellow jacket, Hornet


We report a case of an 87-year-old woman who presented with painful erythema of her right forearm 10 days after she had been stung by a wasp on her right hand. The lesion had rapidly deteriorated during the week before presentation, and treatment with antibiotics and glucocorticoids did not improve the condition. After careful evaluation, we performed cultures from the lesion aspiration, and morphological and genetic analysis of bacteria cultures confirmed a bacterial infection with Nocardia brasiliensis. The patient recovered after 3 weeks. Primary cutaneous nocardiosis due to Nocardia spp. is relatively uncommon in clinics, but it was the distance of the lesions from the affected area of the wasp sting that has made this an even rarer case and of interest to report.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Virus, Pneumonia, Infection, Penicillin, Stinger, Nocardia


Insect venom anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening disorder. Transient coagulopathy in insect venom anaphylaxis is a rare phenomenon.

Concepts: Bee, Stinger, Caterpillar, Wasp, Venom


Envenomation by wasp stings is a public health preoccupation, and signals after stings have variable effects depending on the number of attacks and individual sensitivities. Even with the high rate of wasp sting cases, the study of phatophysiological effects of the envenomation is still very incipient. In this context, early and accurate assessment of this prognostic can aid in the reduction of the symptomatology and complete remission of the later symptons. Then, the present study evaluated the toxicological effects caused by envenomation produced by S. surinama, a wasp easily found in Neotropical regions. In vivo tests comprised the evaluation of LD50 (OECD 423), nociception, edema, myotoxic lesion and hemorrhage induction, in vitro tests were realized to evaluate hemolysis, contractile and coagulation alteration. The envenomation effects observed were dose- and time-dependent; the LD50 observed for S. surinama was 178 μg/kg, approximately 17 times more lethal than that of the honeybee. Moreover, a potent algesic and oedema effect, and weak hemorrhagic signal were observed after injection of the venom wasp. Assays in vitro showed that this venom is able to prolong the clotting time of plasma and to increase creatine kinase levels. Our results demonstrated that this venom induced serious local and systemic effects in mammals and, so, to avoid permanent damage to the patient, health professionals should carefully investigate each accident. Moreover, due to its high occurrence in Neotropical regions, ecological management, particularly in areas with free access of children and elderly, should be performed.

Concepts: Blood, In vivo, Hemostasis, In vitro, Creatine kinase, Stinger