The wasp venom is quite close in composition to the bee venom. In addition, many bitten can not even say unequivocally, the wasp stings them, or the bee - so similar are the effects of poison on the affected tissue.
Today, scientists have had enough time to study the composition of both bee and wasp poisons. In this case, an important distinctive feature was established: the wasp venom is somewhat more allergenic and more often leads to complications in the form of various manifestations of dangerous allergic reactions (eg, Quincke's edema, anaphylactic shock). However, do not think that from this point of view, bee venom is harmless - he, too, is "much", just with a little less probability.
Partly for this reason, "extinction" is not generally known as a method of traditional medicine. While beezhustanie - a fairly common and widely known procedure.
On a note
Among the experts there is an opinion that the notorious apitherapy and the use of bee venom is nothing more than a marketing move by the beekeepers, who need to sell excess of their products. No serious research has confirmed, for example, the benefits of bee-houing, nor are the therapeutic properties of other apitherapy methods proven.
It is very likely that the benefits of propolis, wax moth , royal jelly and bee venom are no more than a placebo effect, and these bee products have been widely spread because of their availability: they can be obtained in apiaries almost in any quantity.
But poison isp is extremely difficult to obtain, because no one specifically breeds them, and the drug needs to climb into the nest of wild wasps. And this is another explanation why, despite the similarity of the compounds, the poisons of these closely related insects differ so widely in popular medicine.
As a result, even physicians and toxicology doctors can not always unequivocally say whether a wasp venom is useful for a person. It really contains excitatory and tonic components, substances that stimulate metabolism, but it is not rational to separate them from the poison - there are many much safer analogues of both natural and synthetic origin on the market today.
But because of the large number of harmful and allergenic components, it is very dangerous to use an unprepared poison for treatment.
The composition of the wasp venom and the effect of its components on the human body
In the overwhelming majority of cases, wasps use their sting primarily for self-defense, and only in rare cases - for killing larger and more aggressive prey. Therefore, as a rule, the main goal of a wasp sting is to cause severe pain in the victim and scare her away.
The composition of aspen poison includes a set of substances that strongly affect the nerve endings and cause a rapid immune response of the body. Among the main components are the following components:
- Acetylcholine - a neurotransmitter, involved in the conduct of nerve impulses. At a high concentration, it disrupts the work of the nervous tissue, blocking the transmission of excitation through nerve fibers.
- Histamine is the main activator of inflammation and allergic reaction. Its effect can lead to a variety of manifestations: there is itching and swelling at the site of the bite, and especially sensitive people develop urticaria, fever, in rare cases - anaphylactic shock, Quincke's edema.
- Phospholipases are special enzymes, the task of which is to destroy the cell walls, which leads to the release of the contents from the cells into the surrounding tissues and provokes an inflammatory process. For the injured, this means pain in the place of the bite, which he will feel while the inflammation lasts. In addition, phospholipases contribute to the destruction of the walls of mast cells, because of which extra amounts of histamine are released into the blood and an allergic reaction is intensified.
- Hyaluronidase - a toxin, whose action is similar to the effect of phospholipases.
- Hyperglycemic factor, which contributes to increase of blood sugar level.
In hornets, poison also contains specific toxins of mastoparans, which have a powerful destructive effect on cells.
"I once had a hornet stung. I'm used to bee stings in an apiary, they do not bother me at all, I catch boldly and force the philanthropists. But the hornet vsandalil so that already in the eyes darkened. Well, I had all the clues closed. I just got to the car and lay down. The pain was infernal, he already took his heart, he only thought that he would apply the cold one to his hand. Spread it cool, to the very shoulder, itched strongly. A neighbor in the apiary offered to take me to the hospital, but everything turned out. The next day only the itching remained, and then gradually the tumor began to subside. "
The consequences of the action of the wasps poison on the human body
Now let's see how the wasp venom works, so to speak, at the macro level, that is, what symptoms are produced in this case.
At the time of stinging, the effect of the poison introduced under the skin causes severe pain, and almost immediately leads to the appearance of a small pale edema at the site of the bite. A few minutes later the bite swells more, it can turn red, it becomes hard, a sensation of severe itching appears on the skin in its area. At this time, the first symptoms of allergy may appear - hives, fever, dyspnea, headache, confusion.
The most severe consequence of a wasp stings is anaphylactic shock - an extreme degree of allergic reaction. It occurs rarely and only in people who are highly sensitive to the poisons of Hymenoptera. But it is because of anaphylactic shock that so many deaths from bites of wasps and hornets. Such a reaction develops very quickly, literally within a few minutes after the bite, and sometimes the injured do not even have time to take them to the hospital.
By and large, the benefits of wasp venom, even if it is, completely overlap with the risk of a dangerous allergic reaction (especially when you consider that with each next bite, the sensitivity of the organism to the poison can increase).
"People regularly come to our hospital who are attacked by huge hornets. In the district there are a lot of beekeeping farms, and hornets actively inhabit all the surrounding forests, because they constantly fight with bees. Usually, after a bite, the patient develops a severe allergy, limited by swelling and rashes on the skin, the temperature may rise and a pain in the head may appear. But sometimes there are also severe cases, with hemorrhages, swelling of the larynx and anaphylaxis. Last year, for example, there were two deaths, one of which killed a 12-year-old girl. "
Naomi Kurosaki, Saito
But after special treatment in the laboratory, the wasp venom can become much more safe and useful.
Application of poisonous wasps in medicine
It is for allergy sufferers who bite os lead to severe consequences, on the basis of aspen poison, special vaccines are prepared. They reduce the titre of histamine and some toxins, but the original number of specific components for which the human immune system can identify the poison remains.
Before the warm season of the year, when there is a chance of being stung, the patient is vaccinated to develop a normal immune response to the bite. As a result, after an accidental encounter with a special reaction to stinging, a person will be much less pronounced and not so dangerous for life.
Aspen toxin can be useful and due to the toxins actually included in its composition. So, for example, in Barcelona, the development of a method for combating cancerous tumors, based on the defeat of cancer cells precisely by the biological components of aspenic poison, has already been developed for a long time.
Scientists are trying to connect toxin molecules with transport protein molecules that will carry the poison right up to the cancer cells, without affecting the healthy ones. In mice, such a drug has already proved its effectiveness, and now work is under way to study its effect on human tissue.
The most poisonous wasps in the world
Although all wasps are poisonous, however, the strength of the action of the poison and the effects of bites vary from one kind of wasps to another. In different representatives of the suborder the ratio of the components of the poison can vary greatly, and many of them in the poison have unique components that have a specific effect on the victim.
So, for example, the most painful bite of the road race is Pepsis. Most representatives of this genus specialize in the extraction of tarantulas for their larvae. Their bite is considered one of the most painful insects in the world, and in its strength is second only to the bite of the South American ant Paraponera clavata.
The bite of a huge hornet (Vespa Mandarinia) , inhabiting Southeast Asia and Japan, according to statistics is the most dangerous among the representatives of wasps. Annually from the attacks of these insects, only about 40 people are killed in Japan, and the number of victims in the whole range of these hornets is over a hundred.
The composition of the poison of the huge hornet is not much different from the composition of the European horn, but for one bite the insect introduces a significantly higher dose of toxins into the human body. In addition, when attacking, the hornet can make several stings with a small interval, which often leads to bleeding and extensive swelling in the future. It can be said that the huge hornet is the most poisonous wasp in the world.
But the wasps, despite their truly giant size, are sting quite weakly. Their poison is meant to paralyze prey, and not to scare off the enemy, and so entomologists boldly catch these big blacks with their bare hands.
It's very painful to sting wasps-lashes and wasps-Germans. The latter can easily be confused with ants because they have no wings. These insects are parasites in the nests of other wasps, and it is thanks to a strong poison that they can be protected even from hornets, penetrating into their nest.
And in conclusion, once again, we note: to expect that the wasp venom will be useful for the body, still not worth it. In case of accidental stinging, this, of course, could be a small consolation, but it is not necessary to catch os and attach to the body, because even the possible positive effects of the bite will be blocked by severe pain, unpleasant edema and the risk of developing a dangerous allergic reaction.