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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Because no antidote exists for abrin, the most important factor is avoiding abrin exposure in the first place. If exposure cannot be avoided, the most important factor is getting the abrin off or out anrin the body as quickly as possible. In the hospital, abrin poisoning is treated by giving victims supportive medical care to minimize the effects of the poisoning.

The types of supportive medical care depend on several factors, such as the route by which victims were poisoned that is, whether poisoning was by breathing in, swallowing, or skin or eye exposure. Care could include helping victims breathe, giving them intravenous fluids fluids given through a needle inserted into a veingiving them medications to treat conditions such as seizure and low blood pressure, administering activated charcoal if the abrin was very recently swallowedor washing out their poisonung with water if their eyes are irritated.

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Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir. 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 one end.

Abrus precatorius poisoning: A retrospective study of patients Karthikeyan A, Amalnath S D

Abrin is similar to ricin, a toxin that also is found in the seeds of a plant the castor bean plant. Abrin is used in medical research because of its potential as a treatment to kill cancer cells. Abrin can be made in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water. Powdered abrin is yellowish-white in color. Abrin is a stable substance, meaning that it can last for a long time in the environment despite extreme conditions such as very hot or very cold temperatures.

Where abrin is found and how it is used Abrin is not known to have been used in any wars or terrorist attacks. The rosary pea, which is the source of abrin, is common to many tropical areas throughout the world and is sometimes used as an herbal remedy. The seeds of the rosary pea have been used to make beaded jewelry, which can lead to abrin poisoning if the seeds are swallowed.


Abrin has some potential medical uses, such as in treatment to kill cancer cells. How you could be exposed to abrin It would take a deliberate act to obtain abrin from rosary pea seeds and use it to poison people.

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

Accidental exposure to abrin is not likely. You could breathe in inhale abrin poisonibg it is in the form of a mist or a powder. You could be exposed if you touch surfaces on which abrin particles or droplets pkisoning landed, or if particles or droplets of abrin land on your skin or in your eyes. You could swallow ingest abrin if it is in food or water.

Abrin poisoning is not contagious. It cannot be spread from person to person through casual contact. Without the proteins, cells die. Eventually this harms the whole body, and death may occur. Effects of abrin poisoning depend on whether abrin was breathed in, swallowed, or injected. Signs and symptoms of abrin exposure The major signs poisonnig symptoms of abrin poisoning depend on how someone was exposed route of exposure how much they were exposed to dose. Severe cases may affect many organs.

Initial signs and symptoms of abrin poisoning by breathing in or swallowing are likely to occur within 8 hours of exposure.

However, symptoms may also be delayed for 1 to 3 days. Within a few hours of breathing in significant amounts of abrin, the likely signs and symptoms would be difficulty breathing respiratory distressfever, cough, nausea, and tightness in the chest. Heavy sweating may follow as well as fluid building up in the lungs pulmonary edema.

This would make breathing even more difficult, and the skin might turn blue. Excess fluid in the lungs would be diagnosed by x-ray or by listening to the chest with a stethoscope.

Finally, low blood pressure and respiratory failure may occur, leading to death. Someone who swallows a significant amount of abrin would develop vomiting and diarrhea that may become bloody. Severe dehydration may result, followed by low blood pressure. Other signs or symptoms may include hallucinations, seizures, and blood in the urine. Skin and eye exposure: Abrin in the powder or mist form can cause redness and pain of the skin and the eyes.

Death from abrin poisoning could take place within 36 to 72 hours of exposure, depending on the route of exposure inhalation, ingestion, ;oisoning injection and the dose received.

Showing these signs and symptoms does not necessarily poisoninng that a person has been exposed to abrin. How abrin poisoning is treated Because no antidote exists for abrin, the most important factor is avoiding abrin exposure in the first place.

How you can know whether you have been exposed to abrin If there is a suspicion that people have inhaled abrin, a potential clue would be that a large number of people who had been close to each other suddenly pisoning fever, cough, and excess fluid in their lungs.


These symptoms could be followed by severe breathing problems and possibly death. No widely available, reliable test exists to confirm that a person has been exposed to abrin. How you can protect yourself, and what to do if you are exposed to abrin First, get fresh air by leaving the poisoinng where the abrin was released.

Moving to an area with fresh air is a good way poizoning reduce the possibility of death from exposure to abrin. If the abrin release was outside, move away from the area where the abrin was released.

If the abrin release was indoors, get out of the building. Quickly take off clothing that may have abrin on it.

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

Any clothing that has to be pulled over the head should be cut off the body instead of pulled over the head. If you are helping other people remove their clothing, try to avoid touching any contaminated areas, and remove the clothing as quickly as possible. As quickly as possible, wash any abrin from your skin with large amounts of soap and water. Washing with soap and water will help protect people from any chemicals on their bodies.

If your eyes are burning or your vision is blurred, rinse your eyes with plain water for 10 to 15 minutes. If you wear contacts, remove them and put them with the contaminated clothing. Do not put the contacts back in your eyes even if they are not disposable contacts. If you wear eyeglasses, wash them with soap and water.

You can put your eyeglasses back on after you wash them. Disposing of your clothes: After you have washed yourself, place your clothing inside a plastic bag.

Avoid touching contaminated areas of the clothing. Anything that touches the contaminated clothing should also be placed in the bag. If you wear contacts, put them in the plastic bag, too. Seal the bag, and then seal that bag inside another plastic bag. Disposing of your clothing in this way will help protect you and other people from any chemicals that might be on your clothes.

When the local or state health department or emergency personnel arrive, tell them what you did with your clothes. The health department or emergency personnel will arrange for further disposal. Do not handle the plastic bags yourself.

Seek medical attention right away. How you can get more information about abrin You can contact one of the following: Regional poison control center: Get Email Updates To receive email updates about this page, enter your email address: April 4, Page last updated: November 18, Content source: