Production of potent polyvalent antivenom against three elapid venoms using a low dose, low volume, multi-site immunization protocol.Toxicon. 2001 Oct; 39(10):1487-94.T
The purpose of this study was to prepare a potent polyvalent antivenom against three elapids namely, the Thai cobra (Naja kaouthia, NK), the King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah, OH) and the banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus, BF). Two groups of horses were immunized. Group 1, comprising five horses, was immunized twice with a mixture of postsynaptic neurotoxins followed by an additional six immunizations with a mixture of crude venoms of the three elapids. Group 2, comprising four horses, was immunized with a mixture of crude venoms throughout the course. For the first immunization, the immunogens were emulsified in Complete Freund's adjuvant and injected using a low dose, low volume multi-site immunization protocol previously developed in this laboratory (Pratanaphon, R., Akesowan, S., Khow, O., Sriprapat, S. and Ratanabanangkoon, K. (1997) Production of highly potent horse antivenom against the Thai cobra (Naja kaouthia). Vaccine 15, 1523-1528). The second immunization was carried out with the immunogens in Incomplete Freund's adjuvant. Blood was drawn to assay the antibody titer by ELISA. Sera at the peak of ELISA titers were pooled and assayed for the median effective dose (ED(50)). The ED(50)'s of antivenom from Group 1 horses against NK, OH and BF venoms were 1.44, 0.22 and 0.23 ml serum/mg venom, respectively, while those from Group 2 horse sera were 0.88, 0.20 and 0.49 ml serum/mg venom, respectively. The potency of sera from Group 2 against BF venom was significantly higher, while the potencies against NK and OH venoms were comparable to those of the corresponding monovalent antivenoms produced under the same protocol. This potent, truly polyvalent antivenom should be useful in saving lives of victims envenomed by these elapids and the immunization protocol should be useful in the production of potent polyvalent antivenoms against other medically important elapids.