Venomics, lethality and neutralization of Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) venoms from three different geographical regions of Southeast Asia.J Proteomics. 2015 Apr 29; 120:105-25.JP
Previous studies showed that venoms of the monocled cobra, Naja kaouthia from Thailand and Malaysia are substantially different in their median lethal doses. The intraspecific venom variations of N. kaouthia, however, have not been fully elucidated. Here we investigated the venom proteomes of N. kaouthia from Malaysia (NK-M), Thailand (NK-T) and Vietnam (NK-V) through reverse-phase HPLC, SDS-PAGE and tandem mass spectrometry. The venom proteins comprise 13 toxin families, with three-finger toxins being the most abundant (63-77%) and the most varied (11-18 isoforms) among the three populations. NK-T has the highest content of neurotoxins (50%, predominantly long neurotoxins), followed by NK-V (29%, predominantly weak neurotoxins and some short neurotoxins), while NK-M has the least (18%, some weak neurotoxins but less short and long neurotoxins). On the other hand, cytotoxins constitute the main bulk of toxins in NK-M and NK-V venoms (up to 45% each), but less in NK-T venom (27%). The three venoms show different lethal potencies that generally reflect the proteomic findings. Despite the proteomic variations, the use of Thai monovalent and Neuro polyvalent antivenoms for N. kaouthia envenomation in the three regions is appropriate as the different venoms were neutralized by the antivenoms albeit at different degrees of effectiveness.
Biogeographical variations were observed in the venom proteome of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Thai N. kaouthia venom is particularly rich in long neurotoxins, while the Malaysian and Vietnamese specimens were predominated with cytotoxins. The differentially expressed toxin profile accounts for the discrepancy in the lethal dose of the venom from different populations. Commercially available Thai antivenoms (monovalent and polyvalent) were able to neutralize the three venoms at different effective doses, hence supporting their uses in the three regions. While dose adjustment according to geographical region seems possible, changes to standard recommended dosage should only be made if further study validates that the monocled cobras within a population do not exhibit remarkable inter-individual venom variation.