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J Venom Res. 2010 Sep 30;1:8-17.

Antivenomics of Atropoides mexicanus and Atropoides picadoi snake venoms: Relationship to the neutralization of toxic and enzymatic activities.


Viperid snakes of the genus Atropoides are distributed in Mexico and Central America and, owing to their size and venom yield, are capable of provoking severe envenomings in humans. This study evaluated, using an 'antivenomics' approach, the ability of a polyspecific (polyvalent) antivenom manufactured in Costa Rica to recognize the proteins of Atropoides mexicanus and A. picadoi venoms, which are not included in the immunization mixture. In addition, the neutralization of lethal, hemorrhagic, myotoxic, coagulant, proteinase and phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) activities of these venoms by the antivenom was assessed. The antivenom was highly-effective in immunodepleting many venom components, particularly high molecular mass P-III metalloproteinases (SVMPs), L-amino acid oxidases, and some serine proteinases and P-I SVMPs. In contrast, PLA(2)s, certain serine proteinases and P-I SVMPs, and a C type lectin-like protein were only partially immunodepleted, and two PLA(2) molecules were not depleted at all. The antivenom was able to neutralize all toxic and enzymatic activities tested, although neutralization of lethality by A. nummifer venom was achieved when a challenge dose of 3 LD(50)s of venom was used, but was iffective when 4 LD(50)s were used. These results, and previously obtained evidence on the immunoreactivity of this antivenom towards homologous and heterologous venoms, revealed the low immunogenicity of a number of venom components (PLA(2)s, CRISPs, P-I SVMPs, and some serine proteinases), underscoring the need to search for innovative immunization protocols to improve the immune response to these antigens.


Atropoides mexicanus; Atropoides picadoi; antivenom; antivenomics; immunodepletion; neutralization; snake venom; toxicity

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