Wilderness: Scorpion Sting (cont.)
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What causes the symptoms associated with a scorpion sting?
The cause of the scorpion's sting symptoms is a barb or stinger that contains a protein toxin (also termed venom). The toxin is responsible for the symptoms listed above. The toxin is not pure; it contains a mixture of proteins (neurotoxin, protein inhibitors, and other substances). The types differ from species to species and likely have evolved to target the specific prey and predators of the particular scorpion species. Depending on the literature source, only about 25 to 40 of the approximate 2000 species of scorpions have toxins or venoms that are dangerous to humans. Chlorotoxin and Maurotoxin are two scorpion toxins that have been isolated and are currently being studied as potential treatments for diseases such as cancer.
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