Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type : Review Article


1 Research Center for Health Sciences, Institute of Health, Department of Medical Entomology and Vector Control, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Li Ka Shing Center for Health Research and Innovation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

3 Stem Cell Technology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran



Venomous arthropods such as scorpions and bees form one of the important groups with an essential role in medical entomology. Their venom possesses a mixture of diverse compounds, such as peptides, some of which have toxic effects, and enzymatic peptide Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) with a pharmacological potential in the treatment of a wide range of diseases. Bee and scorpion venom PLA2 group III has been used in immunotherapy, the treatment of neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases. They were assessed for antinociceptive, wound healing, anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-angiogenesis effects. PLA2 has been identified in different species of scorpions and bees. The anti-leishmania, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-malarial activities of scorpion PLA2 still need further investigation. Many pieces of research have been stopped in the laboratory stage, and several studies need vast investigation in the clinical phase to show the pharmacological potential of PLA2. In this review, the medical significance of PLA2 from the venom of two arthropods, namely bees and scorpions, is discussed.