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A comparative analysis of Bothrops jararaca venom from snakes born in Laboratorio de Herpetologia of Instituto Butantan and venom from snakes born in nature (Bothropic Reference Venom)

Farias IB, Morais-Zani K, Sant´Anna SS, Rocha MMT, Grego KF, Tanaka-Azevedo AM

Laboratório de Herpetologia, Instituto Butantan, Brasil

Introduction: Snake venoms comprise a mixture of bioactive components involved in envenomation pathophysiology. Amongst the factors that can contribute to the composition of snake venoms are diet, ontogeny, gender, season, and geographical distribution. The National Institute of Quality Control in Health in Brazil (INCQS) established the national Bothropic Reference Venom (BRV) in 1987. This venom is composed exclusively by the first extraction of Bothrops jararaca snakes received by Instituto Butantan (São Paulo, Brazil) from the nature. The use of reference venoms for biological and biochemical assays allows measuring the quality of antibothropic serum produced in Brazil. 
  Objectives: The aim of this work is to compare the bothropic reference venom (BRV) and the captivity born Bothrops jararaca venom (BCV) from Laboratorio de Herpetologia of the Instituto Butantan, in order to verify the possibility of incorporating the latter in composition of the BRV.
  Methods: The venoms used were: BRV was produced in 2003 by Instituto Butantan (BRA/BOT/05) and BCV was milked from seventy-one snakes born in captivity. The following tests were performed: protein concentration measurement; 12% SDS-PAGE; Western Blotting; Minimum coagulant dose (MCD) using plasma and fibrinogen; Median lethal dose and Venom phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity.
  Results and Discussion: Among the biochemical and enzymatic parameters evaluated, protein quantification, SDS-PAGE, western blotting, MCD and PLA2 activity showed no significant differences between these two venoms. In contrast, the median lethal dose of BRV was lower than that of venoms from snakes born in captivity (35 µg/animal and 46 µg/animal, respectively). Nevertheless, it is important to consider that in vivo tests may be subject to large variations in the results.
The results obtained until now indicate that the venom of captive born Bothrops jararaca snake may be included in the BRV. The following steps are to analyse these venoms by HPLC and mass spectrometry in order to better elucidate and compare the composition of these venoms.

Supported by Capes, FAPESP
CEUAIB 01008/13

1 - VENOMS AND ENVENOMATION 21th Annual Scientific Meeting of Instituto Butantan.