Antimicrobial effects of wasp (Vespa orientalis) venom

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Authors: Rasha Farag and Shimaa Swaby
Date: September-December 2018
From: Egyptian Pharmaceutical Journal(Vol. 17, Issue 3)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 2,717 words
Lexile Measure: 1470L

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Byline: Rasha. Farag, Shimaa. Swaby

Background and objective The discovery of novel naturally occurring antimicrobial agents is one of the most promising approaches for overcoming the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Venomous animals from different ecological niches and taxonomic groups have recently gained attention in the search for new antimicrobials to treat infectious diseases. Therefore, the main aim of the present study was to investigate the antimicrobial activity of Orient hornet venom. Materials and methods Different concentrations of wasp venom were tested for their antimicrobial effect against two gram-negative bacteria (Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli), two gram-positive bacteria (Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus), and one yeast like fungi (Candida albicans). The antimicrobial activity was analyzed using the well diffusion method, where zones of inhibition were used as indicators of antimicrobial activity. Results and conclusion The venom exhibited notable antimicrobial activity against all tested pathogens. Gram-positive bacterial strains were found to be more sensitive than both gram-negative bacterial strains and fungal strain. The highest inhibition zones were determined to be 24.3[+ or -]1.9, 29.3[+ or -]1.5, 17.3[+ or -]1.8, 14.0[+ or -]1.7, and 15.7[+ or -]1.5 mm for S. aureus, B. cereus, S. typhimurium, E. coli, and C. albicans, respectively. The corresponding minimum inhibitory concentration values were determined to be 0.32, 0.16, 0.625, 1.25, and 0.625 mg/ml, respectively. These results offer insights into the antimicrobial potency of wasp venom and provide a basis for further pharmacological research.


Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest challenges in today’s world. It threatens the efficient protection against infections caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. This problem is progressively becoming more and more intense in terms of frequency and severity especially regarding antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Because of the overuse and/or misuse of antibiotics through the past decades, many pathogens have evolved resistance to them via natural selection [1]. Nowadays, resistance is seen to nearly all antibiotics that have been developed [2]. The antibiotic resistance crisis − in which common infections and minor injuries can kill − is a very real possibility in the 21st century rather being a faraway fantasy.

Although there are some potential alternatives to antibiotic treatment such as phage therapy [3] and passive immunization [4], the mainstream approach relies on developing new antimicrobial medicines to replace those that are becoming less effective. The bioactive natural products represent an important source of new antimicrobial agents with novel mechanisms of action that are broadly effective and less likely to induce antimicrobial resistance. These bioactive natural substances have shown reduced instances of adverse effects and good therapeutic potential. It is anticipated that the search for antimicrobial leads from natural sources will yield better results than from combinatorial chemistry and other synthetic procedures. Although a wide variety of organisms produces such bioactive compounds, the research to obtain these natural substances has been focused mainly on medicinal plants, algae, and fungi.

In recent years, venoms of a large number of animal species such as snakes, scorpions, spiders, wasps, and honeybees have shown activity against viruses, fungi, and most...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A565920921