PEICHOTO Maria elisa
Unraveling the distinctive venomous features of the saturniid Hylesia sp.: An integrative approach of a public health concern in Argentina
CASAFÚS, MILENA G.; GRITTI, MICAELA A.; GONZÁLEZ, KAREN Y.; SÁNCHEZ, MATÍAS N.; SCIANI, JULIANA M.; MARTÍNEZ, MARÍA M.; TEIBLER, GLADYS P.; PEICHOTO, MARÍA E.
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Año: 2022 vol. 231
The saturniid genus Hylesia is well known for the cutaneous lepidopterism induced by airborne setae on contact with the skin. Although several cases of such dermatitis have been reported in Argentina, no information about their venoms and toxicological implications on human health is available yet. Thus, we conducted a morphological analysis of the setae/spines and a toxinological characterization (through biological assays and proteomic techniques) of the bristle extract from caterpillars and moths of Hylesia sp. from Misiones, Argentina. By scanning electron microscopy, we revealed the various and distinctive types of urticating structures: harpoon-shaped or spiny setae in caterpillars, and setae with barb-like structures in female moths. Their venom electrophoretic profiles were substantially different, presenting proteins related to toxicity, such as serpins and serine peptidases. The female moth venom exhibited higher caseinolytic activity than the caterpillar venom, and coincidentally only the former noticeably hydrolyzed fibrinogen and gelatin. In addition, the female venom displayed a dose-dependent procoagulant effect. The injection of this venom into mouse skin led to the rapid detection of an increased number of intact and degranulated mast cells in the dermis; few areas of focal subcutaneous hemorrhage were also observed after 5 h of injection. Altogether, this study provides relevant information about the pathophysiological mechanisms whereby Hylesia sp. from northeastern Argentina can induce toxicity on human beings, and paves the way for treatment strategies of accidents caused by this saturniid lepidopteran.