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Ann Agric Environ Med. 2008;15(1):163-6.

Catfish stings and the venom apparatus of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822), and stinging catfish Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch, 1794).

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1
Poison Information Centre, Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University, Os. Zlotej Jesieni 1, 31-826 Krakow, Poland. satora@wp.pl

Abstract

The ability of catfish to inflict extremely painful wounds with their pectoral and dorsal stings has been well known for many decades. The venom apparatus of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822), and stinging catfish Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch, 1794) is constituted by a single, sharp and stout sting immediately in front of the soft-rayed portion of the pectoral fins. The sting has well developed articulations, making it possible for it to become erect and locked. The toxicological centres in Poland have recorded 17 cases of envenomations caused by stinging catfish and African catfish; the injury was accompanied by intense pain, numbness of the site, dizziness, local oedema and erythema. In addition, systemic symptoms such as tachycardia, weakness and arterial hypotension were observed. The treatment of these injuries should include cleansing of the wound and surrounding area. Immersion of the wounded extremity in hot water (45 degrees C) was used for the pain control. An attempt to remove any spinal sheath or remnant must be undertaken. Antibiotic management depends on several factors: the age and immune status of the victim, the interval between injury and presentation, or the presence of a foreign body. The most serious long-term complications of sting envenomation involve infections.

PMID:
18581996
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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