The effects of a partially purified fraction of an ant venom in rheumatoid arthritis

Roy D. Altman, Duane R. Schultz, Barbara Collins‐Yudiskas, Jose Aldrich, Patricia I. Arnold, Patricia I. Arnold, Harvey E. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


A partially purified extract of an ant venom from the South American tree ant Pseudomyrmex sp. was tested in a double-blind, controlled study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Venom treated patients demonstrated an improvement in global efficacy and a decrease in the number of tender/painful joints and swollen joints. Swollen joint index improved in 60% of venom treated patients. Other parameters did not demonstrate significant change. Reduction of joint swelling was followed by symptomatic improvement that was sometimes delayed by weeks. Reactions were limited to erythema at the injection site (all patients), local pruritis (two-thirds of the patients), and fever with malaise (one-third of the patients). Further study of this venom in rheumatoid arthritis appears warranted in view of its apparent favorable efficacy-to-toxicity ratio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalArthritis & Rheumatism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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