The in vitro neuromuscular activity of Indo-Pacific sea-snake venoms: efficacy of two commercially available antivenoms.Toxicon. 2004 Aug; 44(2):193-200.T
We examined the neurotoxicity of the following sea snake venoms: Enhydrina schistosa (geographical variants from Weipa and Malaysia), Lapemis curtus (Weipa and Malaysia), Laticauda colubrina, Aipysurus laevis, Aipysurus fuscus and Aipysurus foliosquamatus. Venom from a terrestrial snake, Notechis scutatus (tiger snake), was used as a reference. All venoms (1 and 3 microg/ml) abolished indirect twitches of the chick biventer cervicis muscle and significantly inhibited responses to ACh (1 mM) and CCh (20 microM), but not KCl (40 mM), indicating the presence of post-synaptic toxins. Prior administration (10 min) of CSL sea snake antivenom (1 unit/ml) attenuated the twitch blockade produced by N. scutatus venom and all sea snake venoms (1 microg/ml). Prior administration (10 min) of CSL tiger snake antivenom (1 unit/ml) attenuated the twitch blockade of all venoms except those produced by E. schistosa (Malaysia and Weipa) and A. foliosquamatus. Administration of CSL sea snake antivenom (1 unit/ml) at t90 (i.e. time at which 90% inhibition of initial twitch height occurred) reversed the inhibition of twitches (20-50%) produced by the sea snake venoms (1 microg/ml) but not by N. scutatus venom (1 microg/ml). CSL tiger snake antivenom (1 unit/ml) administered at t90 produced only minor reversal (i.e. 15-25%) of the twitch blockade caused by L. curtus (Weipa), A. foliosquamatus, L. colubrina and A. laevis venoms (1 microg/ml). Differences in the rate of reversal of the neurotoxicity produced by the two geographical variants of E. schistosa venom, after addition of CSL sea snake antivenom, indicate possible differences in venom components. This study shows that sea snake venoms contain potent post-synaptic activity that, despite the significant genetic distances between the lineages, can be neutralised with CSL sea snake antivenom. However, the effects of CSL tiger snake antivenom are more variable.