Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development

Andreas Hougaard Laustsen, Mireia Solà, Emma Christine Jappe, Saioa Oscoz Cob, Line P. Lauridsen, Mikael Engmark

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Spiders and scorpions are notorious for their fearful dispositions and their ability to inject venom into prey and predators, causing symptoms such as necrosis, paralysis, and excruciating pain. Information on venom composition and the toxins present in these species is growing due to an interest in using bioactive toxins from spiders and scorpions for drug discovery purposes and for solving crystal structures of membrane-embedded receptors. Additionally, the identification and isolation of a myriad of spider and scorpion toxins has allowed research within next generation antivenoms to progress at an increasingly faster pace. In this review, the current knowledge of spider and scorpion venoms is presented, followed by a discussion of all published biotechnological efforts within development of spider and scorpion antitoxins based on small molecules, antibodies and fragments thereof, and next generation immunization strategies. The increasing number of discovery and development efforts within this field may point towards an upcoming transition from serum-based antivenoms towards therapeutic solutions based on modern biotechnology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number226
Issue number8
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Antivenom
  • Spider Venoms
  • Scorpion Venoms
  • Antibodies
  • Venomics
  • Antivenom Design
  • Venom Neutralization
  • Antitoxins


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