Abstract: Medically important cases of snakebite in Europe are predominately caused by European vipers of the genus Vipera. The mainstay of snakebite therapy is polyclonal antibody therapy, referred to as antivenom. Here we investigate the capability of the monospecific V. berus antivenom, ViperaTAb®, to cross-react with, and neutralise lethality induced by, a variety of European vipers. Using ELISA and immunoblotting, we find that ViperaTAb® antibodies recognise and bind to the majority of toxic components found in the venoms of the Vipera species tested at comparably high levels to those observed with V. berus. Using in vivo pre-clinical efficacy studies, we demonstrate that ViperaTAb® effectively neutralises lethality induced by V. berus, V. aspis, V. ammodytes and V. latastei venoms and at much higher levels than those outlined by regulatory pharmacopoeial guidelines. Notably, venom neutralisation was found to be superior to (V. berus, V. aspis and V. latastei), or as equally effective as (V. ammodytes), the monospecific V. ammodytes “Zagreb antivenom”, which has long been successfully used for treating European snake envenomings. This study suggests that ViperaTAb® may be a valuable therapeutic product for treating snakebite by a variety of European vipers found throughout the continent.
Keywords: antivenom; snake; snakebite; Viperidae; European viper; antibodies
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Casewell, N.R.; Al-Abdulla, I.; Smith, D.; Coxon, R.; Landon, J. Immunological Cross-Reactivity and Neutralisation of European Viper Venoms with the Monospecific Vipera berus Antivenom ViperaTAb. Toxins 2014, 6, 2471-2482.
Casewell NR, Al-Abdulla I, Smith D, Coxon R, Landon J. Immunological Cross-Reactivity and Neutralisation of European Viper Venoms with the Monospecific Vipera berus Antivenom ViperaTAb. Toxins. 2014; 6(8):2471-2482.
Casewell, Nicholas R.; Al-Abdulla, Ibrahim; Smith, David; Coxon, Ruth; Landon, John. 2014. "Immunological Cross-Reactivity and Neutralisation of European Viper Venoms with the Monospecific Vipera berus Antivenom ViperaTAb." Toxins 6, no. 8: 2471-2482.