ant venoms


Summary: Venoms from the superfamily Formicoidea, Ants. They may contain protein factors and toxins, histamine, enzymes, and alkaloids and are often allergenic or immunogenic.

Top Publications

  1. Davies N, Wiese M, Brown S. Characterisation of major peptides in 'jack jumper' ant venom by mass spectrometry. Toxicon. 2004;43:173-83 pubmed
    ..Further IgE-binding studies using these peptides are warranted and a revision of the nomenclature of allergenic components of M. pilosula venom may be required to conform with established IUIS guidelines. ..
  2. Wiese M, Chataway T, Davies N, Milne R, Brown S, Gai W, et al. Proteomic analysis of Myrmecia pilosula (jack jumper) ant venom. Toxicon. 2006;47:208-17 pubmed
    ..A variant of pilosulin 4 here named pilosulin 4.1a, existing as an 8198 Da dimer, was observed and has been characterised. ..
  3. Hoffman D. Ant venoms. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;10:342-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Ants share some common proteins in venoms, but each group appears to have a number of possibly unique components. Further proteomic studies should expand and clarify our knowledge of these fascinating animals. ..
  4. Wiese M, Milne R, Davies N, Chataway T, Brown S, Heddle R. Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper) ant venom: validation of a procedure to standardise an allergy vaccine. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2008;46:58-65 pubmed
    ..Techniques used to determine the content of some of the other minor allergens could be developed, which would further improve the standardisation methodology. ..
  5. Brown S, Heddle R. Prevention of anaphylaxis with ant venom immunotherapy. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003;3:511-6 pubmed
    ..Ant venom immunotherapy is feasible and highly efficacious. However, the limited geographical distribution of each species presents a major challenge to making venom extracts available for clinical use. ..
  6. Brown S, Franks R, Baldo B, Heddle R. Prevalence, severity, and natural history of jack jumper ant venom allergy in Tasmania. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003;111:187-92 pubmed
    ..Prior worst reaction severity (Mueller grade) and age predict reaction severity and might be used to guide management. ..
  7. Brown S, Wiese M, Blackman K, Heddle R. Ant venom immunotherapy: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Lancet. 2003;361:1001-6 pubmed
    ..The risk of systemic reactions during VIT means that treatment should be given where there is immediate access to resuscitation facilities. ..
  8. Wiese M, Brown S, Chataway T, Davies N, Milne R, Aulfrey S, et al. Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper) ant venom: identification of allergens and revised nomenclature. Allergy. 2007;62:437-43 pubmed
    ..There are an additional five IgE-binding proteins that require further characterization before they can be named as allergens. These findings provide a framework for standardizing venom extracts for diagnosis and immunotherapy. ..
  9. Freeman T. Just say formicidae. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005;95:401-2 pubmed

More Information


  1. Söderman S, Schwan A. Stereodivergent access to cis- and trans-3,5-disubstituted 1,4-thiazane 1-oxides by cyclization of homochiral ?-amino sulfoxides and sulfones. The preparation of isomeric ant venom alkaloids. Org Lett. 2013;15:4434-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Selected cis- and trans-3,5-disubstituted 1,4-thiazane dioxides were converted to cis- and trans-2,5-disubstituted pyrrolidines, known ant venom alkaloids. ..
  2. Borer A, Wassmann P, Schmidt M, Hoffman D, Zhou J, Wright C, et al. Crystal structure of Sol I 2: a major allergen from fire ant venom. J Mol Biol. 2012;415:635-48 pubmed publisher
    ..Molecular surface analysis, in combination with sequence alignment, can explain the serological cross-reactivity observed between some ant species. ..
  3. Brown S, van Eeden P, Wiese M, Mullins R, Solley G, Puy R, et al. Causes of ant sting anaphylaxis in Australia: the Australian Ant Venom Allergy Study. Med J Aust. 2011;195:69-73 pubmed
    ..Four main groups of Australian ants cause anaphylaxis. Serum sIgE testing enhances the accuracy of diagnosis and is a prerequisite for administering species-specific venom immunotherapy. ..
  4. La Shell M, Calabria C, Quinn J. Imported fire ant field reaction and immunotherapy safety characteristics: the IFACS study. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;125:1294-9 pubmed publisher
    ..IFA SCIT is safe; however, having an SR to skin testing or the presence of large local reactions increases the odds of having an SR to IFA SCIT. The majority of SRs to IFA field stings resulted from 1 sting. ..
  5. Padavattan S, Schmidt M, Hoffman D, Markovic Housley Z. Crystal structure of the major allergen from fire ant venom, Sol i 3. J Mol Biol. 2008;383:178-85 pubmed publisher
    ..Indeed, the molecular area in Sol i 3 covered by non-conserved residues is large enough to accommodate four unique Sol i 3 epitopes. ..
  6. Hoffman D, Sakell R, Schmidt M. Sol i 1, the phospholipase allergen of imported fire ant venom. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005;115:611-6 pubmed publisher
  7. Dejean A, Lachaud J. The hunting behavior of the African ponerine ant Pachycondyla pachyderma. Behav Processes. 2011;86:169-73 pubmed publisher
    ..Workers retrieve small prey solitarily while, for large geophilomorphs and scolopendromorphs, nestmates can be recruited at short range or even at long range through tandem running. ..
  8. Leitão A, Miranda P, Simionato A. Simple and rapid CE-UV method for the assessment of trail pheromone compounds of leaf-cutting ants' venom glands. Electrophoresis. 2011;32:1074-9 pubmed publisher
  9. Orivel J, Redeker V, Le Caer J, Krier F, Revol Junelles A, Longeon A, et al. Ponericins, new antibacterial and insecticidal peptides from the venom of the ant Pachycondyla goeldii. J Biol Chem. 2001;276:17823-9 pubmed
    ..This suggests that in the ant colony, the peptides exhibit a defensive role against microbial pathogens arising from prey introduction and/or ingestion. ..
  10. Orivel J, Dejean A. Comparative effect of the venoms of ants of the genus Pachycondyla (Hymenoptera: Ponerinae). Toxicon. 2001;39:195-201 pubmed
    ..Such a tendency may be considered as an adaptation to arboreal life as the possibilities of escape for the prey are more numerous than on the ground or in the leaf litter. ..
  11. Sharma K, Fadamiro H. Fire ant alarm pheromone and venom alkaloids act in concert to attract parasitic phorid flies, Pseudacteon spp. J Insect Physiol. 2013;59:1119-24 pubmed publisher
  12. Inagaki H, Akagi M, Imai H, Taylor R, Wiese M, Davies N, et al. Pilosulin 5, a novel histamine-releasing peptide of the Australian ant, Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper Ant). Arch Biochem Biophys. 2008;477:411-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Synthetic pilosulin 5 peptide caused a significant histamine release in a dose-dependent manner, and the mastoparan homologous region of pilosulin 5 was responsible for the activity. ..
  13. Schmidt M, McConnell T, Hoffman D. Immunologic characterization of the recombinant fire ant venom allergen Sol i 3. Allergy. 2003;58:342-9 pubmed
    ..A three-dimensional reconstruction of Sol i 3 was compared with the experimentally determined structure of the related allergen Ves v 5. This model is supported by results of circular dichroism spectroscopy...
  14. Chen L, Fadamiro H. Re-investigation of venom chemistry of Solenopsis fire ants. II. Identification of novel alkaloids in S. invicta. Toxicon. 2009;53:479-86 pubmed publisher
    ..invicta venom. The results are discussed in relation to the evolutionary significance of these piperideines and their possible biosynthetic pathways in Solenopsis fire ants. ..
  15. Jones T, Zottig V, Robertson H, Snelling R. The venom alkaloids from some African Monomorium species. J Chem Ecol. 2003;29:2721-7 pubmed
    ..notulum. This compound and others like it may serve as biosynthetic precursors for the formation of the 2,5-dialkylpyrrolidines found in many Myrmicine ant species. ..
  16. McCubbin K, Weiner J. Fire ants in Australia: a new medical and ecological hazard. Med J Aust. 2002;176:518-9 pubmed
  17. Butcher B, Reed M. Crossed immunoelectrophoretic studies of whole body extracts and venom from the imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1988;81:33-40 pubmed
    ..The results suggest that IFAV may be a more appropriate reagent than IFAWBE for laboratory testing and for clinical diagnosis and immunotherapy of IFA-sensitive individuals. ..
  18. Chen J, Cantrell C, Shang H, Rojas M. Piperideine alkaloids from the poison gland of the red imported fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J Agric Food Chem. 2009;57:3128-33 pubmed publisher
    ..To our knowledge, this is the first time that these piperideine alkaloids have been reported in red imported fire ant poison glands. ..
  19. Arias Cruz A, Monsiváis Toscano G, Gallardo Martínez G, González Díaz S, Galindo Rodríguez G. [Prevalence of hymenoptera sting allergy in veterinary medicine students from Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico]. Rev Alerg Mex. 2007;54:77-81 pubmed
    ..The prevalence of large local reactions and hymenoptera sensitization found in this group was similar to that found in other epidemiologic studies. ..
  20. Santos P, Games P, Azevedo D, Barros E, de Oliveira L, de Oliveira Ramos H, et al. Proteomic analysis of the venom of the predatory ant Pachycondyla striata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2017;96: pubmed publisher
    ..The venom of these insects is rich in peptides and proteins, and compared with other animal venoms, ant venoms remain poorly explored...
  21. King T, Spangfort M. Structure and biology of stinging insect venom allergens. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2000;123:99-106 pubmed
    ..The common venom allergens with < 70% sequence identity have barely detectable levels of antigenic cross-reactivity. Possible uses of modified allergens for immunotherapy are described. ..
  22. Zelezetsky I, Pag U, Antcheva N, Sahl H, Tossi A. Identification and optimization of an antimicrobial peptide from the ant venom toxin pilosulin. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2005;434:358-64 pubmed
    ..A rational redesign approach resulting in four amino acid substitutions yielded a variant with improved antibacterial and significantly reduced hemolytic activity. ..
  23. Solley G, Vanderwoude C, Knight G. Anaphylaxis due to Red Imported Fire Ant sting. Med J Aust. 2002;176:521-3 pubmed
    ..invicta will be greater than for native ants because of its unusual venom, its habit of forming supercolonies in grassy areas, and its aggressive group territorial defence, which can result in multiple stings. ..
  24. Hendrich A, Mozrzymas J, Konopińska D, Scuka M. The effect of poneratoxin on neuromuscular transmission in the rat diaphragm. Cell Mol Biol Lett. 2002;7:195-202 pubmed
    ..We conclude that PoTX affects neuromuscular transmission in rat tissue, and suggest that PoTX could exert both pre- and postsynaptic effects. ..
  25. Cho Y, Lee Y, Lee C, Yoo B, Park H, Moon H. Prevalence of pachycondyla chinensis venom allergy in an ant-infested area in Korea. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002;110:54-7 pubmed
    ..In conclusion, we report a 2.1% prevalence of systemic allergic reactions after P chinensis stings, based on self-reported symptoms, in an ant-infested area in Korea. ..
  26. Warrell D. Taking the sting out of ant stings: venom immunotherapy to prevent anaphylaxis. Lancet. 2003;361:979-80 pubmed
  27. Wong S, Yuen K. Red imported fire ants in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Med J. 2005;11:131-2 pubmed
  28. Howard R, Baker J. Morphology and chemistry of Dufour glands in four ectoparasitoids: Cephalonomia tarsalis, C. waterstoni (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae), Anisopteromalus calandrae, and Pteromalus cerealellae (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2003;135:153-67 pubmed
    ..The two aldehydes detected in glands from P. cerealellae are n-tetracosanal (C(23)CHO) and n-hexacosanal (C(25)CHO). ..
  29. Hink W, Romstedt K, Burke J, Doskotch R, Feller D. Inhibition of human platelet aggregation and secretion by ant venom and a compound isolated from venom. Inflammation. 1989;13:175-84 pubmed
    ..Factor F was identified as adenosine, which is known to stimulate platelet adenylate cyclase and has not been previously reported to be a component of insect venom. ..
  30. Touchard A, Aili S, Fox E, Escoubas P, Orivel J, Nicholson G, et al. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms. Toxins (Basel). 2016;8: pubmed publisher
    ..While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic ..
  31. Deslippe R, Guo Y. Venom alkaloids of fire ants in relation to worker size and age. Toxicon. 2000;38:223-32 pubmed
    ..The differences in venom composition correspond to the size- and age-based functional roles of workers. ..
  32. Lai L, Kuo T, Huang R, Wu W. The insecticidal activities of fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) venoms against Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) larvae. J Econ Entomol. 2012;105:1591-6 pubmed
    ..To evaluate the potential effect of fire ant venoms on agricultural pests, the compositions of the venoms and their insecticidal activities against Plutella ..
  33. Moreau S. "It stings a bit but it cleans well": venoms of Hymenoptera and their antimicrobial potential. J Insect Physiol. 2013;59:186-204 pubmed publisher
    ..The present paper reviews for the first time the venom antimicrobial potential of solitary and social Hymenoptera in molecular, ecological, and evolutionary perspectives...
  34. Chen L, Lu Y, Hu Q, Fadamiro H. Similarity in venom alkaloid chemistry of alate queens of imported fire ants: implication for hybridization between Solenopsis richteri and S. invicta in the Southern United States. Chem Biodivers. 2012;9:702-13 pubmed publisher
    ..richteri and S. invicta, and their hybrid may indicate their reproductive compatibility in the hybrid zone in southern United States, where all three species occur sympatrically. ..
  35. Morgan E, Jungnickel H, Keegans S, do Nascimento R, Billen J, Gobin B, et al. Comparative survey of abdominal gland secretions of the ant subfamily Ponerinae. J Chem Ecol. 2003;29:95-114 pubmed
    ..Volatile compounds have been found in the venom glands of some species of the tribe Ponerini only. The information on pygidial glands is still too fragmentary for any conclusions. ..
  36. Wiese M, Davies N, Chataway T, Milne R, Brown S, Heddle R. Stability of Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper) Ant venom for use in immunotherapy. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2011;54:303-10 pubmed publisher
    ..Concentrated Jack Jumper Ant venom can be stored in 22% sucrose for 12 months, and after dilution to 100 ?g/mL for clinical use, it should be discarded after 7 days. ..
  37. Müller U, Golden D, Demarco P, Lockey R. Immunotherapy for hymenoptera venom and biting insect hypersensitivity. Clin Allergy Immunol. 2004;18:541-59 pubmed
  38. Lai L, Hua K, Yang C, Huang R, Wu W. Secretion profiles of venom alkaloids in Solenopsis geminata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Taiwan. Environ Entomol. 2009;38:879-84 pubmed
    ..geminata. The venom volumes of these two castes were positively correlated with their body sizes. ..
  39. Pluzhnikov K, Bocharov D, Kononova N, Sukhanov S, Balashova T, Arsen ev A, et al. [Identification and structural analysis of a glycophospholipid component from the venom of ant Paraponera clavata]. Bioorg Khim. 2006;32:530-7 pubmed
    ..A full structure, 3-myristoyl-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-alpha-D-glucopyranosyl phosphate, was elucidated for one of the compounds by the use of 1H, 13C, and 31P NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. ..
  40. Judd C, Parker A, Meier E, Tankersley M. Successful administration of a 1-day imported fire ant rush immunotherapy protocol. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008;101:311-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Further studies with larger numbers of patients are needed to confirm the findings. ..
  41. Szolajska E, Poznanski J, Ferber M, Michalik J, Gout E, Fender P, et al. Poneratoxin, a neurotoxin from ant venom. Structure and expression in insect cells and construction of a bio-insecticide. Eur J Biochem. 2004;271:2127-36 pubmed
    ..The potential use of poneratoxin for the construction of biological insecticide is discussed. ..
  42. Howell G, Butler J, Deshazo R, Farley J, Liu H, Nanayakkara N, et al. Cardiodepressant and neurologic actions of Solenopsis invicta (imported fire ant) venom alkaloids. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005;94:380-6 pubmed
    ..Such effects identify these alkaloids as toxic compounds in biological systems and may explain the cardiorespiratory failure noted in some individuals who experience massive fire ant stings. ..
  43. Ciszowski K, Mietka Ciszowska A. [Hymenoptera stings]. Przegl Lek. 2007;64:282-9 pubmed
    ..In the present review types of reaction after hymenoptera stings were described with special interest of anaphylactic and toxic reactions as well as therapeutic management after stings. ..
  44. Knight D, Bangs M. Cutaneous allergic vasculitis due to Solenopsis geminata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) envenomation in Indonesia. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2007;38:808-13 pubmed
    ..Recognizing the characteristic skin lesions caused by the bite of S. geminata, treated with prompt administration of appropriate chemotherapy will speed recuperation of the patient and reduce possible secondary complications. ..
  45. Jones T, Clark D, Edwards A, Davidson D, Spande T, Snelling R. The chemistry of exploding ants, Camponotus spp. (cylindricus complex). J Chem Ecol. 2004;30:1479-92 pubmed
    ..These compounds were characterized from their spectral data, and confirmed by comparison with synthetic samples. The allomonal role of these compounds is based on numerous field observations, and their chemotaxonomic value is presented. ..
  46. Inagaki H, Akagi M, Imai H, Taylor R, Kubo T. Molecular cloning and biological characterization of novel antimicrobial peptides, pilosulin 3 and pilosulin 4, from a species of the Australian ant genus Myrmecia. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004;428:170-8 pubmed
    ..Synthetic pilosulin 3 and pilosulin 4 peptides displayed antimicrobial activity with histamine-releasing and low hemolytic activities. ..
  47. Meier E, Whisman B, Rathkopf M. Effect of imported fire ant extract on the degradation of mountain cedar pollen allergen. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2006;96:30-2 pubmed
    ..Loss of potency of allergens has been reported in mixtures containing cockroach and fungal extracts. Fire ant venoms consist of 90% to 95% n-alkyl and n-alkenyl piperidine alkaloids, which are not allergenic...
  48. Rodriguez Acosta A, Sanchez E, Navarrete L. [Intense allergic reaction in a patient stung by the black ant (Odontomachus bauri)]. Rev Cubana Med Trop. 2010;62:77-80 pubmed
  49. Rifflet A, Gavalda S, Tene N, Orivel J, Leprince J, Guilhaudis L, et al. Identification and characterization of a novel antimicrobial peptide from the venom of the ant Tetramorium bicarinatum. Peptides. 2012;38:363-70 pubmed publisher
    ..Moreover, this antimicrobial peptide has a weak hemolytic activity compared to Melittin on erythrocytes, suggesting potential for development into an anti-infective agent for use against emerging antibiotic-resistant pathogens. ..
  50. Ownby D, Partridge M, Wegienka G, Woodcroft K, Peterson E, Joseph C, et al. Influence of dose and frequency of antigen injection on IgE development in young children: a comparison of fire ant stings and tetanus immunizations. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2009;103:337-41 pubmed publisher
  51. Badr G, Garraud O, Daghestani M, Al Khalifa M, Richard Y. Human breast carcinoma cells are induced to apoptosis by samsum ant venom through an IGF-1-dependant pathway, PI3K/AKT and ERK signaling. Cell Immunol. 2012;273:10-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Our data reveal unique anti-tumor effects of samsum ant venom. ..
  52. Wedi B, Kapp A. [Specific immunotherapy. Hyposensitization with allergens]. Hautarzt. 2004;55:399-407; quiz 408-9 pubmed ..
  53. Lin G, Huang P. A concise and fully selective synthesis of the ant venom alkaloid (3S,5R,8S,9S)-3-butyl-5-propyl-8-hydroxyindolizidine. Org Biomol Chem. 2009;7:4491-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Remarkably, all the reaction steps proceeded with excellent chemo-, regio- and/or diastereoselectivities. ..