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Neurotoxicity of Micrurus altirostris (Uruguayan coral snake) venom and its neutralization by commercial coral snake antivenom and specific antiserum raised in rabbits

Neurotoxicity of Micrurus altirostris (Uruguayan coral snake) venom and its neutralization by commercial coral snake antivenom and specific antiserum raised in rabbits

Clinical Toxicology 46(6): 519-527

ISSN/ISBN: 1556-3650

PMID: 18584364

DOI: 10.1080/15563650701647405

In this work, we studied the neuromuscular blockade caused by Micrurus altirostris venom (0.1-10 microg/mL) in indirect stimulated chick biventer cervicis and mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations and the ability of commercial antivenom (Instituto Butantan) and antiserum raised in rabbits to neutralize neurotoxicity and lethality in chicks and mice (LD(50) 0.042 and 0.255 mg/kg), injected i.m. and i.p., respectively, with venom (5 LD(50)):antivenom or antiserum mixtures (n = 6) of 1:1-1:2.5-1:5-1:10-1:20. The venom caused a complete and irreversible neuromuscular blockade in both preparations, inhibited the acetylcholine and carbachol contractures, without interfering on KCl response. The neuromuscular blockade was not Ca(2+) or temperature-dependent and did not affect the response to direct stimulation. Only a venom:antivenom or antiserum ratio of 1:20 neutralized the neuromuscular blockade in vitro and protected chicks and mice against 5 LD(50) of venom. Our results indicated that Micrurus altirostris venom interferes with postsynaptic neurotransmission and that commercial antivenom and rabbit antiserum have low efficacy in neutralizing the neurotoxicity and lethality of this venom.

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Accession: 023112924

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