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Molecules. 2020 Jan 10;25(2). pii: E293. doi: 10.3390/molecules25020293.

Antimicrobial Activity of Protein Fraction from Naja ashei Venom Against Staphylococcus epidermidis.

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Faculty of Chemistry, Rzeszow University of Technology, 35-959 Rzeszów, Poland.
Maria Sklodowska-Curie Institute-Oncology Center, Gliwice Branch, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland.
Department of Anatomy, Histology and Physiology, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Komenského 73, 041 81 Kosice, Slovakia.
Zoological Department, Zoological Garden Košice, Široká 31, 040 06 Košice-Kavečany, Slovakia.
Department of General Education Subjects, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Komenského 73, 041 81 Kosice, Slovakia.
Department of Occupational Medicine and Clinical Toxicology, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University Faculty of Medicine and Louis Pasteur University Hospital, Rastislavova 43, 041 90 Košice, Slovakia.
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, Komenského 73, 041 81 Kosice, Slovakia.


One of the key problems of modern infectious disease medicine is the growing number of drug-resistant and multi-drug-resistant bacterial strains. For this reason, many studies are devoted to the search for highly active antimicrobial substances that could be used in therapy against bacterial infections. As it turns out, snake venoms are a rich source of proteins that exert a strong antibacterial effect, and therefore they have become an interesting research material. We analyzed Naja ashei venom for such antibacterial properties, and we found that a specific composition of proteins can act to eliminate individual bacterial cells, as well as the entire biofilm of Staphylococcus epidermidis. In general, we used ion exchange chromatography (IEX) to obtain 10 protein fractions with different levels of complexity, which were then tested against certified and clinical strains of S. epidermidis. One of the fractions (F2) showed exceptional antimicrobial effects both alone and in combination with antibiotics. The protein composition of the obtained fractions was determined using mass spectrometry techniques, indicating a high proportion of phospholipases A2, three-finger toxins, and L-amino acids oxidases in F2 fraction, which are most likely responsible for the unique properties of this fraction. Moreover, we were able to identify a new group of low abundant proteins containing the Ig-like domain that have not been previously described in snake venoms.


MIC; Naja ashei; antimicrobial properties; biofilm; venom proteins

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