Posted

Researcher has warned the stinging pine tree in Australia may be as deadly as poisonous venom in Australian scorpions and bats — prompting more questions about why it had not been reported to the World Health Organisation.

The treatment consists of injecting the parts of the tree vein that was exposed to a parasite called Sabirum awksoroithi (SAWO) into the bloodstream.

The substance is contained in water, which is why it is not considered highly toxic in water.

However, Dr Anna Chlack, a research fellow at the University of Adelaide, said while SAWO was too potent a venom to be fatal, it was far more deadly to blood vessels than stingrays, which are much less toxic.

She said SAWO could actually be worse than lethal in sharks, and also had the potential to cause death, though she was doubtful if this was the case.

“As soon as you take in the snake venom, you’ve got the chance to actually damage the surface of the skin,” Dr Chlack said.

“The venom that comes out of the skin is less toxic than that that came out of the stingray, the leading candidate for significant toxicity is the venom of the fish species like the water-borne Western states species, like the Lariam.”

Black Swan expert Dr Aaron Peacock said while the poison was lethal, it could still have adverse effects.

“We know of a few instances where people became very sick, in very tiny amounts, and some of the people that had the drug took off permanently,” Dr Peacock said.

Dr Peacock said it had raised concerns about what had been happening at Gold Coast University and the Queensland Government had expressed its concerns.

He added that while the university had contracted pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline to make a pill for its students — something revealed in a University of Adelaide experiment — Dr Peacock stressed that the majority of patients who would be taking the pill did not fall ill.

“It was actually aimed at stopping the venom leaking into the bloodstream,” he said.

Dr Peacock was asked about the work Dr Chlack was doing in Australia, which measured the surface area of the body of a dead Pine Stinger who was introduced to a tree where it had been stung.

Dr Chlack said the process would need to be tested.

The Pine Stinger is a tree species that produces a large digestive enzyme called granulocyte colony growth factor, which produces sperm.

Sawo is not listed by the WHO as a leading candidate to produce strong zoonotic-virus toxins.

Topics: infectious-diseases-other, diseases-and-disorders, health, health-policy, australia