Research Topic

Immune responses and immune mechanisms triggered by snake and scorpion venoms

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About this Research Topic

Snake and scorpion venoms are composed by families of proteins and peptides that make them a cocktail of diverse molecules. These biomolecules are responsible for the disturbance in fundamental physiological systems of the envenomed victim. In fact, researchers have turned these life-threatening toxins

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Snake and scorpion venoms are composed by families of proteins and peptides that make them a cocktail of diverse molecules. These biomolecules are responsible for the disturbance in fundamental physiological systems of the envenomed victim. In fact, researchers have turned these life-threatening toxins into life-saving therapeutics and important tools for investigating the mechanisms underlying the pathology of envenomation and discovering new pharmacologically active compounds in these complex secretions. 


The immune system is one of the major physiological systems affected by snake and scorpion envenomation, which are often associated with the inflammatory response during envenomings. These result in edema formation, neutrophil recruitment, activation of the complement system, and release of cytokines (e.g. IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α) and other inflammatory mediators such as PGE2 and LTB4. Thus, the comprehension of the mechanisms underlying the immune modulating action of snake venom-derived and scorpion venom-derived toxins may help to understand the molecular basis of envenomation, as well as enable us to design novel molecules for immunomodulation across numerous diseases. 


This research topic focuses on the latest advances in the interactions between snake and scorpion venom-derived toxins and their effects on innate and acquired immune responses. 

We welcome the submission of Reviews and Original Research on, but not limited to, the following sub-topics:

- Local and/or systemic immune responses and immune mechanisms caused by snake and scorpion venom-derived toxins  

- Immune responses to snake and scorpion envenomation, including novel biomarkers of clinically relevant outcomes 

- Regulatory approved and therapeutics in preclinical development that treat snake and scorpion envenomation (e.g. antivenoms)

- Use of immunological methods for the diagnosis of snake and scorpion envenomings

- Immunotherapeutic approaches via drug bioprospecting from snake and scorpion venom

- Modulation of the immune system during snake and scorpion envenomings using anti-inflammatories, cytokine blockers and other approaches in vitro or in vivo



Keywords: snake-derived toxins, scorpion-derived toxins, immune system, immunomodulators, snakebite, scorpion sting, envenomation


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