Multielemental analyses of Lonomia obliqua (Lepidoptera, Saturniidae) caterpillar using EDXRF and INAA techniques

In this study, multielemental analysis of Lonomia obliqua (Lepidoptera, Saturniidae) caterpillar was performed using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence and instrumental neutron activation analysis techniques. This caterpillar is poisonous and has the ability to cause fatal hemorrhagic effects in humans after contact. The need of this study is related to morphological changes (mainly size and color) observed in some caterpillars used for preparation of antilonomic serum (antivenom). The samples were classified as healthy (caterpillars of control) and unhealthy (caterpillars visibly modified). The XRF measurements were performed in an energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and the instrumental neutron activation analysis using the IEA-R1 nuclear reactor at IPEN. The results show significant differences for several elements (mainly, P, Cl, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Ni, and Zn) in unhealthy caterpillars that can affect the development of this species as well as the quality and yield of the antivenom. Furthermore, its elemental characterization contributes for the understanding the potential pharmacological (procoagulant and antithrombotic) in the prevention of life-threatening blood clots

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Zamboni C.B., Giovanni D.N.S., Salvador V.L.R., Sato I.M., Mendonça RZ, Fan HW, et al. Multielemental analyses of Lonomia obliqua (Lepidoptera, Saturniidae) caterpillar using EDXRF and INAA techniques. Xray Spectrom.. 2019 Jul;48:465-475. doi:10.1002/xrs.3076.
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