Evaluation of health status of horses immunized with snake venom and montanide adjuvants, IMS 3012 (nanoparticle), ISA 206 and ISA 35 (emulsion based) during polyvalent snake antivenom production: Hematological and biochemical assessment

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Abstract

Several biochemical and hematological changes in horses are observed during production of snake antivenom. Although conventional adjuvants like Freund's (Complete and Incomplete) are good immunopotentiators, they produce considerable local reactions in animals. Variety of commercial adjuvants, like montanide adjuvants, having high immunopotentiation and showing lesser side effects are available. The prime objective during antivenom production is to strike a balance between safety of immunized horses and efficacy of the product. In our earlier work, efficacy of montanide group of adjuvants in antivenom production has already been established. The aim of the present work was to assess the safety parameters in horses, viz.: biochemical and hematological, during production of snake antivenom. In the present study, 33 new horses were randomly divided into four groups and hyperimmunized using mixture of snake venoms, viz.: Cobra venom, Russell's viper venom, Krait venom and Echis venom along with montanide adjuvants, IMS 3012, ISA 206, ISA 35 and Incomplete Freund's adjuvant as a control adjuvant; through subcutaneous route at intervals of two weeks. During the immunization period, biochemical and hematological parameters were monitored at 0th, 14th, 21st, 30th and 42nd weeks. The mean hemoglobin values dropped slightly during initial immunization but subsequently regained to normal levels. The mean serum total protein values and globulin levels showed an increment in all the four groups, compared to day zero, vice-versa a slight drop was observed in albumin levels. No significant changes were observed in serum creatinine, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase and blood urea nitrogen values. Finally, we conclude that montanide adjuvants could be a safer alternative to the conventional adjuvants for primary phase of immunization in antivenom production.

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