What abrin is. Abrin is a natural poison that is found in the seeds of a plant called the rosary pea or jequirity pea. These seeds are red with a black spot covering. Abrin works by penetrating the cells of the body and inhibiting cell The severity of the effects of abrin poisoning vary on the means of. At the cellular level, abrin inhibits protein synthesis, thereby causing cell death. Many of the features observed in abrin poisoning can be.

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The seeds of Abrus precatorius contain the highly ooisoning plant protein abrin. There is no antidote for abrin poisoning. Management, largely supportive, may consist of administering intravenous fluids, poisoninng, and activated charcoal depending on the time of exposure. We report the presentation of a single case of unintentional abrin poisoning confirmed by the quantitation of l -abrine biomarker.

A previously healthy month-old, Her primary manifestations were episodes of forceful emesis that included food particles progressing to clear gastric fluid.

This is the first case of human abrin toxin poisoning confirmed by the quantitation of l -abrine as polsoning biomarker. Quantifying the levels of abrin toxin in the body after exposure can help clinicians make informed decisions when managing patients with symptomatic exposures to seeds of A. The seeds of Abrus precatorius also known as rosary peas are often incorporated into costume jewelry.

These peas, however, contain the highly toxic plant protein abrin, which has a reported fatal dose of 0. When masticated rosary peas are ingested, abrin is released into the digestive fluids and absorbed abriin the body. The abrin-rRNA attachment inhibits mRNA decoding, leading to extreme reduction in protein synthesis and subsequent cell death. Children with access to rosary pea jewelry can accidentally ingest the peas, exposing them to the abrin toxin which can lead to life-threatening conditions such as gastrointestinal bleeding, dehydration, seizures, and organ failure.

We report the presentation poisoniing a month-old patient poisoned by abrin after unintentional ingestion of rosary peas and describe briefly the method of confirmatory diagnosis through the quantitation of the urinary biomarker l -abrine N -methyl- l -tryptophan using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Poosoning is the first confirmed case of abrin poisoning in humans where the level of toxin exposure is quantified by the l -abrine biomarker.

This case report provides useful information for management poisonung future abrin exposures. When the parents noticed the child coughing, only one intact pea remained. The child spit out several chewed pea fragments; however, it is unknown how posoning peas were swallowed intact and how many were chewed. The child appeared to have a normal appetite and activity level through the remainder of the afternoon. The parents reported five episodes of forceful emesis that included food particles progressing to clear gastric fluid, and ultimately to retching without emesis.


No rosary peas, pea fragments or blood were noted in the vomitus, which was the xbrin prominent feature. Upon arrival, the patient was lethargic but awake and smiling. Urine analysis was poiosning except for elevated specific gravity 1. Urine and serum toxicology screens were negative for amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine metabolites, opiates, THC, PCP, methadone, propoxyphen, tricyclic antidepressants, acetaminophen, ASA, and ethanol.

In addition, a lead EKG test was normal. Rosary pea bracelet; courtesy of Cornwell Council [ 1 ]. She was admitted to a monitored bed in the Intermediate Care Unit for observation.

She remained awake and alert with normal vital signs. She was given clear liquids and advanced to a regular diet when emesis ceased. By the following morning, she continued to look well; laboratory results were improved: During follow-up, no further episodes of emesis were reported after discharge. The l -abrine toxin was extracted from the urine mixture by solid phase extraction techniques, and quantitated by high performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry analysis.

In contrast, we measured the urine creatinine level as Using the urine sample creatinine concentration 0. One of the most toxic plants found in nature is jequirity Abrus precatourius [ 45 ]. The plant produces seeds known as rosary peas which, because of their attractive appearance, are often made into inexpensive costume jewelry [ 67 ].

Occasionally, children with access to rosary pea jewelry accidentally swallow masticated peas abri are exposed to the toxin abrin. Because there is no antidote for abrin poisoning, it should be removed from the body as quickly as possible. Patient management can consist of resuscitation with intravenous fluids, medications to treat emerging symptoms, and activated charcoal for early presentations if poieoning.

We have described the first application of a previously developed clinical assay for the quantitative detection ppisoning l -abrine [ 4 ] to a month-old patient unintentionally poisoned by the toxin abrin while chewing rosary peas found in a bracelet.

We present a useful detection method for l -abrine, developed for public health emergency response purposes. This method is based on a similar approach for detecting exposure to castor bean product. A previous analysis of individual urine samples showed trace levels of l -abrine in people with no known exposure to the toxin abrin.

The origin of the l -abrine in the unexposed population is unknown, but may derive from diet because l -abrine is a tryptophan derivative. Background levels of l -abrine in the individual samples ranged from 0. Several other diagnostic tests have been previously used to confirm abrin poisoning.

Abrin: Boy, 16, sentenced after ordering deadly toxin online – BBC News

Ribosome-inactivation tests can accurately determine if clinical samples test positive for the toxin abrin [ 38 ]; however, the test cannot provide a measure of the concentration of abrin in the body which may help in patient management. Abrin antibody detection and radioimmunoassay tests have also been used to detect abrin exposure in clinical samples [ 2 — 9 ].


While these tests are sensitive and can provide quantitative results, they require large sample volume, overnight incubation in the case of radioimmunoassay testand agrin invasive procedures to obtain patient samples [ 211 ]. This case illustrates the successful clinical application of this specific analytic method for confirmation of abrin exposure. In addition to its use in confirming ingestion of rosary pea-containing products, this method is ideally suited for rapid screening of suspected poisining individuals in the event of a mass abrin exposure and public health emergency.

National Center for Biotechnology InformationU. Journal List J Med Toxicol v. Published online Poisonin Joe Valentine WootenChristopher T. PittmanThomas A. BlakeJerry D. ThomasJohn J. DevlinRenee Ahrin. Higgersonand Rudolph C.

Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Joe Valentine Wooten, Email: This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.

Abrin: Boy, 16, sentenced after ordering deadly toxin online

Abstract Introduction The seeds of Abrus precatorius contain the highly toxic plant protein abrin. Case Report A previously healthy month-old, Discussion This is the first case of human abrin toxin poisoning confirmed by the quantitation of l -abrine as ppoisoning biomarker.

Abrin, Mechanisms of toxicity, Poisoning, Ribosome-inactivating proteins. Introduction The seeds of Abrus precatorius also known as rosary peas are often incorporated into costume jewelry. Open in a separate window. Discussion One of the most toxic plants found in nature is jequirity Abrus precatourius [ 45 ]. Acknowledgments We would like to thank Mr. Stephen Stanfill for technical editing of this manuscript.

Web March 23, Dickers K J et al Abrin poisoning. Refsnes K et al On the toxic proteins abrin and ricin. J Biol Chem Johnson RC, et al. Quantification of l -abrine in human and rat urine: Yu-Huei L, et al. Involvement of prohibitin upregulation in abrin-triggered apoptosis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. Patocka J, et al. Abin and ricin—two dangerous poisonous proteins. Reedman L, et al.

Survival after an intentional ingestion of crushed abrus seeds. West J Emerg Med. Goldman ER, et al. LIama-derived single domain plisoning specific for abrus agglutinin. Gao S, et al. Colloidal gold-based immunochromatographic test strip for rapid detection of abrin in food samples.

Xiao-Bing L, et al. Preperation and identification of monoclonal antibody against abrin-a. J Agric Food Chem. Godal A, et poisonint. Radioimmunoassays of arbrin and ricin in blood. J Toxicol Environ Health. Articles from Journal of Medical Toxicology are provided here courtesy of Springer.

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