Volume 55, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The lethal effects of Africanized honey bee venom depend on the absorption of venom delivered during simultaneous sting attacks by large numbers of bees. The hypothesis that antibodies to whole bee venom and bee venom components could neutralize the lethal effect of bee venom was tested. Antibodies from beekeepers and immunized rabbits were incubated with bee venom and neutralization was studied by survival of intravenously injected mice. Beekeeper serum antibodies were found effective in protecting mice challenged with whole venom, and serum from rabbits immunized with phospholipase A (PLA) was effective in protection against lethal effects of PLA. Serum antibodies from rabbits immunized with whole venom or melittin were ineffective in neutralizing whole venom in vivo and had low titers in a venom enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The results suggest the need for development of more effective methods for raising antitoxic antibodies to bee venom components in other animals as a means of developing an antiserum that would be effective for treatment of human victims of multiple bee stings.


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