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Exploring the Utility of Recombinant Snake Venom Serine Protease Toxins as Immunogens for Generating Experimental Snakebite Antivenoms.

Alomran, Nessrin ORCID:, Blundell, Pat ORCID:, Alsolaiss, Jaffar, Crittenden, Edouard, Ainsworth, Stuart ORCID:, Dawson, Charlotte, Edge, Becky, Hall, Steven, Harrison, Robert, Wilkinson, Mark ORCID:, Menzies, Stefanie ORCID: and Casewell, Nicholas ORCID: (2022) 'Exploring the Utility of Recombinant Snake Venom Serine Protease Toxins as Immunogens for Generating Experimental Snakebite Antivenoms.'. Toxins, Vol 14, Issue 7, p. 443.

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Snakebite is a neglected tropical disease that causes high rates of global mortality and morbidity. Although snakebite can cause a variety of pathologies in victims, haemotoxic effects are particularly common and are typically characterised by haemorrhage and/or venom-induced consumption coagulopathy. Despite polyclonal antibody-based antivenoms being the mainstay life-saving therapy for snakebite, they are associated with limited cross-snake species efficacy, as there is often extensive toxin variation between snake venoms, including those used as immunogens for antivenom production. This restricts the therapeutic utility of any antivenom to certain geographical regions. In this study, we explored the feasibility of using recombinantly expressed toxins as immunogens to stimulate focused, pathology-specific, antibodies in order to broadly counteract specific toxins associated with snakebite envenoming. Three snake venom serine proteases (SVSP) toxins, sourced from geographically diverse and medically important viper snake venoms, were successfully expressed in HEK293F mammalian cells and used for murine immunisation. Analyses of the resulting antibody responses revealed that ancrod and RVV-V stimulated the strongest immune responses, and that experimental antivenoms directed against these recombinant SVSP toxins, and a mixture of the three different immunogens, extensively recognised and exhibited immunological binding towards a variety of native snake venoms. While the experimental antivenoms showed some reduction in abnormal clotting parameters stimulated by the toxin immunogens and crude venom, specifically reducing the depletion of fibrinogen levels and prolongation of prothrombin times, fibrinogen degradation experiments revealed that they broadly protected against venom- and toxin-induced fibrinogenolytic functional activities. Overall, our findings further strengthen the case for the use of recombinant venom toxins as supplemental immunogens to stimulate focused and desirable antibody responses capable of neutralising venom-induced pathological effects, and therefore potentially circumventing some of the limitations associated with current snakebite therapies.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QV Pharmacology > Toxicology > General Toxicology > QV 600 General works
WD Disorders of Systemic, Metabolic or Environmental Origin, etc > Animal Poisons > WD 410 Reptiles
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2022 10:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2023 10:08


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