Elemental analysis of scorpion venoms

Research Report

J Venom Res 
(2016), Vol 7, 16-20

Published online: 06 September 2016

Full Text (PDF ~340kb)

Elemental analysis of scorpion venoms

AbdulRahman K. Al-Asmari *1, Faisal Kunnathodi 1, Khalid Al Saadon 2, Mohammed M Idris 1

1 Research Center, PSMMC, Riyadh, KSA, 11159

Department of Urology, PSMMC, Riyadh, KSA, 11159

*Correspondence to: AbdulRahman K Al-Asmari, Email: abdulrahman.alasmari@gmail.com

Received:  27 April 2016; Revised: 01 September 2016; Accepted: 04 September 2016

© Copyright The Author(s). First Published by Library Publishing Media. This is an open access article, published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0). This license permits non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction of the article, provided the original work is appropriately acknowledged with correct citation details.


Scorpion venom is a rich source of biomolecules, which can perturb physiological activity of the host on envenomation and may also have a therapeutic potential. Scorpion venoms produced by the columnar cells of venom gland are complex mixture of mucopolysaccharides, neurotoxic peptides and other components. This study was aimed at cataloguing the elemental composition of venoms obtained from medically important scorpions found in the Arabian peninsula. The global elemental composition of the crude venom obtained from Androctonus bicolor, Androctonus crassicauda and Leiurus quinquestriatus scorpions were estimated using ICP-MS analyzer. The study catalogued  several chemical elements present in the scorpion venom using ICP-MS total quant analysis and quantitation of nine elements exclusively using appropriate standards. Fifteen chemical elements including sodium, potassium and calcium were found abundantly in the scorpion venom at PPM concentrations. Thirty six chemical elements of different mass ranges were detected in the venom at PPB level. Quantitative analysis of the venoms revealed copper to be the most abundant element in Androctonus sp. venom but at lower level in Leiurus quinquestriatus venom; whereas zinc and manganese was found at higher levels in Leiurus sp. venom but at lower level in Androctonus sp. venom. These data and the concentrations of other different elements present in the various venoms are likely to increase our understanding of the mechanisms of venom activity and their pharmacological potentials.

KEYWORDS: Scorpion, Venom, Elements, ICP-MS, Androctonus bicolor, Androctonus crassicauda and Leiurus quinquestriatus