Functional and proteomic comparison of Bothrops jararaca venom from captive specimens and the Brazilian Bothropic Reference Venom.J Proteomics. 2018 03 01; 174:36-46.JP
Snake venom is a variable phenotypic trait, whose plasticity and evolution are critical for effective antivenom production. A significant reduction of the number of snake donations to Butantan Institute (São Paulo, Brazil) occurred in recent years, and this fact may impair the production of the Brazilian Bothropic Reference Venom (BBRV). Nevertheless, in the last decades a high number of Bothrops jararaca specimens have been raised in captivity in the Laboratory of Herpetology of Butantan Institute. Considering these facts, we compared the biochemical and biological profiles of B. jararaca venom from captive specimens and BBRV in order to understand the potential effects of snake captivity upon the venom composition. Electrophoretic analysis and proteomic profiling revealed few differences in venom protein bands and some differentially abundant toxins. Comparison of enzymatic activities showed minor differences between the two venoms. Similar cross-reactivity recognition pattern of both venoms by the antibothropic antivenom produced by Butantan Institute was observed. Lethality and neutralization of lethality for B. jararaca venom from captive specimens and BBRV showed similar values. Considering these results we suggest that the inclusion of B. jararaca venom from captive specimens in the composition of BBRV would not interfere with the quality of this reference venom.
Snakebite envenomation is a neglected tropical pathology whose treatment is based on the use of specific antivenoms. Bothrops jararaca is responsible for the majority of snakebites in South and Southeastern Brazil. Its venom shows individual, sexual, and ontogenetic variability, however, the effect of animal captivity upon venom composition is unknown. Considering the reduced number of wild-caught snakes donated to Butantan Institute in the last decades, and the increased life expectancy of the snakes raised in captivity in the Laboratory of Herpetology, this work focused on the comparative profiling of B. jararaca venom from captive snakes and the Brazilian Bothropic Reference Venom (BBRV). BBRV is composed of venom obtained upon the first milking of wild-caught B. jararaca specimens, and used to assess the potency of all bothropic antivenoms produced by Brazilian suppliers. The use of proteomic strategies, added to biochemical and neutralization tests, allowed to conclude that, despite some subtle differences detected between these two venoms, venom from captive specimens could be used in the BBRV composition without affecting its quality in antivenom potency assays.