Bee Venom—A Potential Complementary Medicine Candidate for SARS-CoV-2 Infections

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Frontiers in Public Health


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is characterized by severe cytokine storm syndrome following inflammation. SARS-CoV-2 directly interacts with angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptors in the human body. Complementary therapies that impact on expression of IgE and IgG antibodies, including administration of bee venom (BV), have efficacy in the management of arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease. A recent epidemiological study in China showed that local beekeepers have a level of immunity against SARS-CoV-2 with and without previous exposure to virus. BV anti-inflammatory properties are associated with melittin and phospholipase A2 (PLA2), both of which show activity against enveloped and non-enveloped viruses, including H1N1 and HIV, with activity mediated through antagonist activity against interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, interferon-g (IFN-g), and tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a). Melittin is associated with the underexpression of proinflammatory cytokines, including nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2), and protein kinase Akt. BV therapy also involves group III secretory phospholipase A2 in the management of respiratory and neurological diseases. BV activation of the cellular and humoral immune systems should be explored for the application of complementary medicine for the management of SARS-CoV-2 infections. BV “vaccination” is used to immunize against cytomegalovirus and can suppress metastases through the PLA2 and phosphatidylinositol-(3,4)-bisphosphate pathways. That BV shows efficacy for HIV and H1NI offers opportunity as a candidate for complementary therapy for protection against SARS-CoV-2.



bee venom, complementary medicine and alternative medicine, SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV), pharmokinetics of bee poison, COVID-19 and complementary medicine, bee venom in clinical trials


Kasozi KI, Niedbała G, Alqarni M, Zirintunda G, Ssempijja F, Musinguzi SP, Usman IM, Matama K, Hetta HF, Mbiydzenyuy NE, Batiha GE-S, Beshbishy AM and Welburn SC (2020) Bee Venom—A Potential Complementary Medicine Candidate for SARS-CoV-2 Infections. Front. Public Health 8:594458. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.594458