Ant Stings Can Disrupt Neural Processes: Study
Canberra, 7 Jun (ONA) --- Ant stings can be just as destructive to the nervous system as snake or scorpion venom, Australian researchers revealed.
According to a study by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia, some of the world's most painful ant stings act like venom from other insects when stung.
Led by scientists at the university's Institute for Molecular Bioscience, the Australian green ant and the South American bullet ant were the center of this peer-reviewed study because their stings have long-lasting pain.
“We have shown that these ant venoms target our nerve cells that send pain signals,” said Dr. Sam Robinson, leader of the study. “Normally, the sodium channels in these sensory neurons open only briefly in response to a stimulus. We discovered that the ant toxins bind to the sodium channels and cause them to open more easily and stay open and active, which translates to a long-lasting pain signal."
In discussing the impact of the ants and their long-lasting stings - often up to 12 hours of intense bone pain in addition to fever, is not unlike the impact of a bee sting - just longer and more intense.