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Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(4), 1122-1152; doi:10.3390/md8041122
Review

Mediterranean Jellyfish Venoms: A Review on Scyphomedusae

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Received: 10 February 2010 / Revised: 15 March 2010 / Accepted: 30 March 2010 / Published: 4 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biotoxins: Novel Issues about Old Compounds)
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Abstract

The production of natural toxins is an interesting aspect, which characterizes the physiology and the ecology of a number of marine species that use them for defence/offence purposes. Cnidarians are of particular concern from this point of view; their venoms are contained in specialized structures–the nematocysts–which, after mechanical or chemical stimulation, inject the venom in the prey or in the attacker. Cnidarian stinging is a serious health problem for humans in the zones where extremely venomous jellyfish or anemones are common, such as in temperate and tropical oceanic waters and particularly along several Pacific coasts, and severe cases of envenomation, including also lethal cases mainly induced by cubomedusae, were reported. On the contrary, in the Mediterranean region the problem of jellyfish stings is quite modest, even though they can have anyhow an impact on public health and be of importance from the ecological and economic point of view owing to the implications on ecosystems and on some human activities such as tourism, bathing and fishing. This paper reviews the knowledge about the various aspects related to the occurrence and the stinging of the Mediterranean scyphozoan jellyfish as well as the activity of their venoms.
Keywords: jellyfish; venom; Mediterranean Sea; Scyphomedusae jellyfish; venom; Mediterranean Sea; Scyphomedusae
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Mariottini, G.L.; Pane, L. Mediterranean Jellyfish Venoms: A Review on Scyphomedusae. Mar. Drugs 2010, 8, 1122-1152.

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