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Open AccessArticle

Immunological Cross-Reactivity and Neutralisation of European Viper Venoms with the Monospecific Vipera berus Antivenom ViperaTAb

MicroPharm Limited, Station Road Industrial Estate, Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire SA38 9BY, UK
Alistair Reid Venom Research Unit, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2014, 6(8), 2471-2482;
Received: 12 June 2014 / Revised: 13 August 2014 / Accepted: 13 August 2014 / Published: 19 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antivenom and Venom Therapeutics)
PDF [818 KB, uploaded 19 August 2014]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: antivenom; snake; snakebite; Viperidae; European viper; antibodies 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.

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