Venom was obtained from mature A. crasssicauda scorpions by electrical stimulation of their telsons. The venom was mixed with sterile double distilled water and centrifuged at 15,000 rpm for 15min at 4°C. Supernatant was immediately lyophilized and stored at -20°C until use. Dry venom was dissolved in physiologic saline solution (PSS; 0.9% chloride solution) to 200µg/ml.
Scorpion sting is the most important arachnidan envenomation that causes adult morbidity and child mortality. It remains a real health problem in many countries from tropical and subtropical regions (4, 13, 14, 15, 17, 20, 27).
Scorpion venom contains small neurotoxin polypeptides consisting of low-molecular-weight simple proteins with lethal and paralytic effects (1, 3, 15, 28). Several studies on scorpion stings emphasized that clinical pictures ranged from local to severe autonomic and central nervous system symptoms and also death due to cardio and respiratory failure, especially in children (5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 21, 22). Lethal scorpions are mostly of the Buthidae family (16, 18, 27).
In Turkey, scorpion envenomations are mostly caused by the genera Androctonus, Leiurus and Mesobuthus (18, 19). In the same country, A. crassicauda venom, obtained by maceration of telsons, is utilized as antigen for antivenom. This antigen has also been used against other scorpion species (23, 24). Therefore, the aim of this study was to verify the relationship between A. crassicauda venom toxicity and its telson size, weight, and storing condition.