Ant venoms

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The review summarizes knowledge about ants that are known to sting humans and their venoms.

Recent findings

Fire ants and Chinese needle ants are showing additional spread of range. Fire ants are now important in much of Asia. Venom allergens have been characterized and studied for fire ants and jack jumper ants. The first studies of Pachycondyla venoms have been reported, and a major allergen is Pac c 3, related to Sol i 3 from fire ants. There are very limited data available for other ant groups.

Summary

Ants share some common proteins in venoms, but each group appears to have a number of possibly unique components. Further proteomic studies should expand and clarify our knowledge of these fascinating animals.

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