Intraspecific differences in the immunochemical reactivity and neutralization of venom from ArgentineanBothrops(Rhinocerophis)alternatusby specific experimental antivenoms

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Abstract

The venoms of Bothrops (Rhinocerophis) alternatus (B.a.) from different regions of Argentina have shown biochemical, toxicological and immunological variations. Considering these variations, we produced nine experimental antisera (rabbit, IgG) against venoms from snakes of nine different regions and a pool of venom, comprised of equal amounts of venoms from each region. The immunologic studies (ELISA, Westernblot) showed significant cross reactivity among all regional antivenoms with all regional venoms, with no significant differences regarding the specificity of the immunogens used for the production of antivenom. Neutralization of hemorrhage was variable (although all the antivenoms neutralized this activity in all venoms) and the neutralization of coagulant and phospholipase activities were evident in all cases. Some antivenoms neutralized toxic activities that were absent or very low in the venoms used as immunogen, on other non-homologous venoms (e.g. thrombin like activity). Despite the different toxic potencies of regional venoms, antivenoms developed using venoms of snakes from a particular region showed high immunochemical reactivity and cross-neutralizing capacity on snake venoms from different and distant regions, in occasions over those of the homologous antivenoms. These findings could be used to improve the generation of pools of venoms for the production of antivenoms.

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