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Table 4 Some examples of therapeutically used invertebrates, for whom bio-active substances are known

From: Therapeutic arthropods and other, largely terrestrial, folk-medicinally important invertebrates: a comparative survey and review

Species and/or component Efficacy and properties Source
Beeswax, honey & royal jelly Bio-active, oestrogenic and immunosuppressive compounds [43, 91, 147]
Bee venom Anti-malignant, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic peptides, e.g. melittin [85, 88, 178, 179]
Lice salivary glands Medically effective toxins [182]
Fly maggots Anti-microbial secretions [26, 184]
Stinging ants Antimicrobial, haemolytic, cytolytic, insecticidal compounds, e.g., peptides [185, 186]
Meloid beetles, e.g., Mylabris phalerata Cytotoxic effect on human mononuclear leukaemic U937 cells and anti-cancer and anti-leismanial activities; apoptosis inducer [35, 159, 190, 231]
Centipede Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans Peptides with strong antimicrobial and moderate haemolytic activity against human and rabbit red cells [34, 48, 136, 233, 234]
Chelicerates (e.g., Heterometrus bengalensis scorpion) Apoptogenic, anti-proliferative, anti-osteoporosis substance, e.g., bengalin [140,142,, 143145]
Ticks (e.g., Ixodes sp.) and leeches Cell proliferation inhibitors and Anti-coagulants, e.g., hirudin [32,199,, 160, 198200]
Earthworms, e.g. Eisenia foetida and Lumbricus rubelus Anti-pyretic, anti-spasmodic, diuretic, anti-asthmatic, anti-hypertensive, anti-allergic, anti-neoplastic properties [156, 158]