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J Vet Sci. 2016 Dec 30;17(4):467-477. doi: 10.4142/jvs.2016.17.4.467.

Toxicity of crude and detoxified Tityus serrulatus venom in anti-venom-producing sheep.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG 31275-013, Brazil.
  • 2Department of Biochemistry and Immunology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG 31270-901, Brazil.
  • 3Department of Veterinary Medicine, State University of Santa Cruz (UESC), Ilhéus, BA 45662-900, Brazil.


Specific anti-venom used to treat scorpion envenomation is usually obtained from horses after hyperimmunization with crude scorpion venom. However, immunized animals often become ill because of the toxic effects of the immunogens used. This study was conducted to evaluate the toxic and immunogenic activities of crude and detoxified Tityus serrulatus (Ts) venom in sheep during the production of anti-scorpionic anti-venom. Sheep were categorized into three groups: G1, control, immunized with buffer only; G2, immunized with crude Ts venom; and G3, immunized with glutaraldehyde-detoxified Ts venom. All animals were subjected to clinical exams and supplementary tests. G2 sheep showed mild clinical changes, but the other groups tolerated the immunization program well. Specific antibodies generated in animals immunized with either Ts crude venom or glutaraldehyde-detoxified Ts venom recognized the crude Ts venom in both assays. To evaluate the lethality neutralization potential of the produced sera, individual serum samples were pre-incubated with Ts crude venom, then subcutaneously injected into mice. Efficient immune protection of 56.3% and 43.8% against Ts crude venom was observed in G2 and G3, respectively. Overall, the results of this study support the use of sheep and glutaraldehyde-detoxified Ts venom for alternative production of specific anti-venom.


Tityus serrulatus; anti-venom; glutaraldehyde detoxification; scorpion; sheep

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