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Toxins 2017, 9(5), 163; doi:10.3390/toxins9050163

Preclinical Evaluation of the Efficacy of Antivenoms for Snakebite Envenoming: State-of-the-Art and Challenges Ahead

1
Instituto Clodomiro Picado, Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José 11501-2060, Costa Rica
2
Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia, CSIC, Valencia 46010, Spain
3
Sección de Química Analítica, Escuela de Química, Universidad de Costa Rica, San José 11501-2060, Costa Rica
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andreimar M. Soares
Received: 22 March 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 13 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Antibodies/Antivenom Against Envenoming)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1494 KB, uploaded 13 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

Animal-derived antivenoms constitute the mainstay in the therapy of snakebite envenoming. The efficacy of antivenoms to neutralize toxicity of medically-relevant snake venoms has to be demonstrated through meticulous preclinical testing before their introduction into the clinical setting. The gold standard in the preclinical assessment and quality control of antivenoms is the neutralization of venom-induced lethality. In addition, depending on the pathophysiological profile of snake venoms, the neutralization of other toxic activities has to be evaluated, such as hemorrhagic, myotoxic, edema-forming, dermonecrotic, in vitro coagulant, and defibrinogenating effects. There is a need to develop laboratory assays to evaluate neutralization of other relevant venom activities. The concept of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) in Toxinology is of utmost importance, and some advances have been performed in their implementation. A significant leap forward in the study of the immunological reactivity of antivenoms against venoms has been the development of “antivenomics”, which brings the analytical power of mass spectrometry to the evaluation of antivenoms. International partnerships are required to assess the preclinical efficacy of antivenoms against snake venoms in different regions of the world in order to have a detailed knowledge on the neutralizing profile of these immunotherapeutics. View Full-Text
Keywords: antivenoms; snake venoms; neutralization tests; preclinical efficacy; antivenomics; the 3Rs antivenoms; snake venoms; neutralization tests; preclinical efficacy; antivenomics; the 3Rs
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gutiérrez, J.M.; Solano, G.; Pla, D.; Herrera, M.; Segura, Á.; Vargas, M.; Villalta, M.; Sánchez, A.; Sanz, L.; Lomonte, B.; León, G.; Calvete, J.J. Preclinical Evaluation of the Efficacy of Antivenoms for Snakebite Envenoming: State-of-the-Art and Challenges Ahead. Toxins 2017, 9, 163.

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