A pharmacological and biochemical characterisation of Australian box jellyfish venoms

2017-01-16T23:32:27Z (GMT) by Winter, Kelly Lee
Box jellyfish are found throughout the northern tropical waters of Australia and are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality. Chironex fleckeri is arguably the most venomous creature in the world and has been responsible for over 70 deaths. Despite considerable research, the mechanisms of action of these venoms have yet to be elucidated. The current study investigated the pharmacological and biochemical characteristics of venom from the following species of box jellyfish: C. fleckeri, Carukia barnesi and Alatina nr mordens; which all showed profound cardiovascular activity and differential responses to the current commercially available antivenom. We were also able to isolate and identify toxins from C. fleckeri venom that are responsible for the cardiovascular response seen in envenoming. [Author edited abstract].