Venom from hornets can cause harm in four main routes:

1.) A allergic, sensitized human can die from anaphylactic shock.

2.) Venom can cause heart arrhythmia (e.g., atrial fibrillation) and death.

3.) Venom can release toxins that may cause tissue destruction, multiple organ failure and death.

4.) Venom or insect contact can cause a bacterial infection which can cause complications, including sepsis, fungal candida from antibiotic treatment,

Hornet venom can contain a variety of chemical compounds that cause pain, destruction, and anaphylaxis.

Some compounds known to be present in Hornet Venom ...

Acetylcholine in high concentration is responsible for pain by stimulation of pain sensors. Acetylcholine is also a neurotransmitter in the human body that acts at the neuromuscular junction to cause muscular contraction from the nerve impulse.

Alarm Pheromones when released by the hornet can be detected by other hornets, which will respond defending the hornet nest or attacking a perceived offender.

Dopamine in small volume.

Histamine, which can cause pain and itching. Histamine may also be released intrinsically by the body in response to foreign compounds in the body.

Hornet Kinin is a peptide that is a large part of the volume of venom, and is not completely mapped out chemically.

Hyaluronidase chemically splits protein-carbohydrate complexes in the body. The chemical breakdown can cause tissue destruction, which allows venom to penetrate tissue more completely.

Noradrenaline causes local constriction of blood vessels, resulting in reduction of local blood flow and general increase in blood pressure by increasing Total Peripheral Vascular Resistance. Noradrenaline also functions as a neurotransmitter and hormone in the human body.

The general normal function of norepinephrine is to mobilize the brain and body for emergency action. Norepinephrine release is lowest during sleep, rises during wakefulness, and reaches much higher levels during situations of stress or danger, in the so-called fight-or-flight response. See more on the sympathetic effects of norepinephrine below.

Phospholipase A is an enzyme that breaks down cell membranes and destroys biological cells, and triggers allergic response. May be functional in immobilizing or paralyzing small prey.

Phospholipase B is an enzyme that acts similar to Phospholipase B.

Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the Central Nervous System and gut, functions as an irritant and pain-causing chemical agent on the loose in peripheral tissue. Serotonin also has several other physiological functions in the body unrelated to hornet stings and unrelated to functioning as a neurotransmitter.

Hornet venom is believed to be missing three compounds that are in bee venom (Apitoxin): Mellitin, Apamin, and MCD Peptide

Mellitin is a peptide that breakup and kill the cell membranes and cells of the victim near the sting site. Mellitin also inhibits well known transport pumps such as the Na+-K+-ATPase and the H+-K+-ATPase. Melittin is a small peptide consisting of 26 amino acids with the sequence GIGAVLKVLTTGLPALISWIKRKRQQ.

Apamin increases cortisol production in the adrenal gland. Apamin is a mild neurotoxin. Apamin is an 18-amino acid peptide neurotoxin. Apamin selectively blocks SK channels, a type of Ca2+-activated K+ channel expressed in the central nervous system  (Small conductance calcium-activated potassium channels). SK channels control action potential discharge frequency (nerve impulses) in a large number of areas of the Central Nervous System.

MCD Peptide (Mast cell degranulating peptide) is a cationic 22-amino acid residue peptide, which is a component of the venom of the bumblebee (Megabombus pennsylvanicus) and the honey bee Apis mellifera. At low concentrations, MCD peptide can stimulate mast cell degranulation. MCD Peptide is also a potent blocker of voltage-sensitive potassium channels.

The stings of the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) are the most venomous known, and are thought to cause 30–50 human deaths annually in Japan. Between July and September 2013, hornet stings caused the death of 42 people in China. The Asian giant hornet's venom, which can be introduced in a larger volume than other hornets, can cause allergic reactions and multiple organ failure leading to death. However the actual lethality of Asian Giant Hornet venom may be less than other venomous insects' venom per volume. Dialysis can be used to remove the toxins from the bloodstream.

People who are allergic to wasp or bee venom are also likely allergic to hornet stings. Allergic reactions are commonly treated with epinephrine (adrenaline) injection using a device such as an epinephrine autoinjector, with prompt follow-up treatment in a hospital.

In severe cases, allergic individuals may go into anaphylactic shock with obstructed airway and die unless treated promptly.

The sympathetic effects of norepinephrine include:

In the eyes, an increase in production of tears, making the eyes more moist., and pupil dilation through contraction of the iris dilator.

In the heart, an increase in the amount of blood pumped.

In brown adipose tissue, an increase in calories burned to generate body heat.

Multiple effects on the immune system. The sympathetic nervous system is the primary path of interaction between the immune system and the brain, and several components receive sympathetic inputs, including the thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes. However the effects are complex, with some immune processes activated while others are inhibited.

In the arteries, constriction of blood vessels, causing an increase in blood pressure.

In the kidneys, release of renin and retention of sodium in the bloodstream.

In the liver, an increase in production of glucose, either by glycogenolysis after a meal or by gluconeogenesis when food has not recently been consumed.

Glucose is the body's main energy source in most conditions.

In the pancreas, increased release of glucagon, a hormone whose main effect is to increase the production of glucose by the liver.

In skeletal muscles, an increase in glucose uptake.

In adipose tissue (i. e., fat cells), an increase in lipolysis, that is, conversion of fat to substances that can be used directly as energy sources by muscles and other tissues.

In the stomach and intestines, a reduction in digestive activity. This results from a generally inhibitory effect of norepinephrine on the enteric nervous system, causing decreases in gastrointestinal mobility, blood flow, and secretion of digestive substances.

SOURCES: The Chemical Composition of Insect Venoms


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