Biochemical and immunochemical characterization of venoms from snakes of the genus Agkistrodon.Toxicon X. 2019 Oct; 4:100013.TX
In the present work, venoms from five species of the genus Agkistrodon were evaluated in terms of their enzymatic (Phospholipase A2 and caseinolytic) and biological (edema forming, hemorrhagic, procoagulant and lethal) effects. Horses were used to produce monovalent hyperimmune sera against each of three venoms (A. bilineatus, A. contortrix and A. piscivorus) and their neutralizing potency, expressed as Median Effective Dose (ED50), was determined against the venoms of all five species. In terms of PLA2 and caseinolytic activities, all venoms are extremely homogeneous. PLA2 activity is high, while caseinolytic activity is low when in contrast with that of the rattlesnake Crotalus simus. On the other hand, biological activities showed marked interspecific differences, particularly between the species from Mexico and those from the United States. Mexican species displayed higher edema-forming, hemorrhagic and lethal effects than US species, while none of the species studied presented procoagulant activity. All three monovalent hyperimmune sera showed good neutralizing potency against the analyzed venoms. Nonetheless, we observed relevant immunochemical differences among the venoms using ELISA and Western Blot assays. We conclude that the venoms of A. piscivorus (USA) and A. bilineatus would be ideal to use as immunogens for the production of a polyvalent antivenom with good neutralizing potency against the venoms of all the species of the genus.