Australian researchers believe they have found an antidote to a sting from the world's most venomous creature, the much-feared box jellyfish.
Researchers at the University of Sydney had been investigating how the venom is so deadly that one box jellyfish can kill 60 people.
The team noticed the venom needs cholesterol to kill human cells and decided to test whether existing drugs could stop it.
"Since there are lots of drugs available that target cholesterol" the team tried one out, said lead author Raymond Lau.
"It worked," he said. "It's a molecular antidote."
Running tests using human cells and mice, the team found it could stop tissue scarring and pain associated with the sting as long as the medicine was injected within 15 minutes.
Stings from box jellyfish -- which can be smaller than a fingernail or up to three meters long depending on the species -- can cause acute muscular pain, violent vomiting, feelings of "impending doom," hair that stands on end, strokes, heart failure and death within minutes.
So far they have only tested the sting from the larger, more deadly species.
"We know the drug will stop the necrosis, skin scarring and the pain completely when applied to the skin," said Associate Professor Neely.
"We don't know yet if it will stop a heart attack. That will need more research, and we are applying for funding to continue this work."
The team hopes that eventually a topical cream or spray can be developed to prevent stings that are thought to kill dozens of people each year and hospitalize thousands more.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.