Send to

Choose Destination
Toxicon. 2003 Jun;41(7):851-60.

Preclinical assessment of the ability of polyvalent (Crotalinae) and anticoral (Elapidae) antivenoms produced in Costa Rica to neutralize the venoms of North American snakes.

Author information

Instituto Clodomiro Picado, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica.


Polyvalent (Crotalinae) and anticoral (Elapidae) antivenoms produced by Instituto Clodomiro Picado, Costa Rica, were assessed for their ability to neutralize various toxic activities of the venoms of North American snakes of the genera Crotalus, Agkistrodon and Micrurus, in assays involving preincubation of venom and antivenom. When the intraperitoneal route of injection was utilized, polyvalent (Crotalinae) antivenom was effective in the neutralization of the venoms of Crotalus atrox, Crotalus adamanteus, Crotalus viridis viridis, Crotalus horridus atricaudatus, Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix and Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus, whereas the venom of Crotalus scutulatus was not neutralized. When the intravenous route was used, results differed depending on the "challenge dose" of venom employed. Polyvalent antivenom neutralized all venoms when mice were challenged with 2 LD(50)s of venom. When 5 LD(50)s were used, antivenom neutralized the venoms of C. atrox, C. adamanteus, C. v. viridis and C. h. atricaudatus, being ineffective in the neutralization of C. scutulatus, A. c. contortrix and A. p. piscivorus. Polyvalent antivenom was effective in the neutralization of hemorrhagic and myotoxic activities of all venoms studied. It also neutralized coagulant activity of C. adamanteus venom, whereas most of the venoms were devoid of clotting activity on plasma in vitro. Moreover, it neutralized defibrinating activity of the only three venoms that induced this effect (i.e. C. adamanteus, A. c. contortrix and A. p. piscivorus). Anticoral (Elapidae) antivenom neutralized lethality induced by the venom of Micrurus fulvius, using either the intravenous or the intraperitoneal routes of injection. Moreover, it neutralized myotoxic effect of this venom as well. It is concluded that polyvalent antivenom neutralizes lethality and other activities of most of the crotaline venoms tested. However, since it is ineffective in neutralizing the lethal effect of C. scutulatus venom, it is suggested that a venom containing presynaptically-active neurotoxic phospholipases A(2) related to "mojave toxin" needs to be introduced in the immunizing mixture in order to increase the neutralizing scope of this product in North America. Anticoral antivenom is highly effective in the neutralization of the venom of M. fulvius.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center