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Mol Immunol. 2016 Jan;69:24-32. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2015.11.003. Epub 2015 Nov 28.

Current advances in ant venom proteins causing hypersensitivity reactions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Author information

1
Protein and Proteomics Research Center for Commercial and Industrial Purposes (ProCCI), Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
2
Protein and Proteomics Research Center for Commercial and Industrial Purposes (ProCCI), Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Division of Pharmacognosy and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand.
3
Molecular Allergy Research Laboratory College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia; Centre for Biodiscovery and Molecular Development of Therapeutics, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, Australia. Electronic address: andreas.lopata@jcu.edu.au.

Abstract

The main insects causing allergy reactions to stinging insect in humans are Apidae (bees), Vespidae (wasps, yellow jackets and hornets) and Formicidae (ants). Their venom stings are composed of various biologically active peptides and protein components, some of which can cause toxicity or anaphylaxis in humans. The protein venom demonstrate some common allergenic activity such as for fire ants and vespids, which have two common allergens that are phospholipase A1 (enzymatic activity) and antigen 5 with unknown biological activity. The common allergens seem to share some degree of immunological cross-reactivity, particularly when the sequence homology is above 70%. Therefore immunotherapeutic approaches targeting more than one specific species are of interest. Recent widespread increases of various ant species in many countries have resulted in higher number of reported about serious allergic reactions to stings. Most insect-allergy related cases have been reported for species from Solenopsis, Myrmecia and Pachycondyla genera, and their stings can often result in human fatalities. In addition, stinging ants can have serious health effects on livestock, agricultural damage adversely affecting the biodiversity of the region. This review discusses the impact of important ant species on human health in the Asia-Pacific region along with the molecular immunological aspects of the identified venoms and current status of diagnostics and therapeutics.

KEYWORDS:

Anaphylaxis; Ant distribution; Asia-Pacific; Fire ant sting; Immunotherapy; Insect allergy

PMID:
26641698
DOI:
10.1016/j.molimm.2015.11.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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