The Role of Venom as a Therapeutic Agent

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Venom is a complex toxic mixture produced by various animals including scorpions, bees, spiders, and snakes; essentially, the composition of venom depends on the species producing them, which are often of peptide and protein origin. According to studies, single venom can contain hundreds of different components, each producing varying physiological effect. In addition, venom has cytotoxic, lectins, nerve growth factor, and neurotoxic among other enzymes. As such, stings and bites bring about severe envenomations, and consequently death in some cases. The only known treatment of bites is application of antivenoms. However, recent studies have found out that snake venom exhibit affinity and selectivity for a variety of targets in a mammalian system. Additionally, some components in the snake venom are said to have the potential to act as therapeutic tools. Therefore, this type of venom, although greatly feared is now being considered a natural biological resource (King 1472). For instance, there are some components identified in snake venom from that lessens inflammation; also, these components block ion channel activation, and modified neurotransmitter levels.  

Essentially, the components on venom have the ability to halt neuro-degeneration; moreover, it can be used for treatment of arthritis, cancer, and thrombosis among other diseases. Various research studies have concluded that venom can be used as a starting material for designing drugs; consequently, most of these drugs can be used to combat patho-physiological issues. However, there is still need for extensive research in efforts to clinically establish such treatments that will help combat death and human suffering in the world. Although venom peptides are not obtained easily, and the amount sourced naturally is not sufficient, technological improvements will help produce enough quantities for research and development (Koh, and R. Manjunatha 502). In essence, venom, which is considered a toxin, can be transformed to become a therapeutic agent.    


Work Cited

King, Glenn F. "Venoms as a platform for human drugs: translating toxins into therapeutics."

            Expert opinion on biological therapy 11.11 (2011): 1469-1484.

Koh, Cho Yeow, and R. Manjunatha Kini. "From snake venom toxins to therapeutics–

            cardiovascular examples." Toxicon 59.4 (2012): 497-506.

August 04, 2023


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