Effectiveness of Lonomia antivenom in recovery from the coagulopathy induced by Lonomia orientoandensis and Lonomia casanarensis caterpillars in rats

In South America, accidental contact with Lepidoptera larvae can produce a diversity of reactions that vary from dermatological problems to severe hemorrhagic syndromes, such as those caused by contact with caterpillars of the genus Lonomia (Saturniidae). Lonomia venom can alter the hemostatic system and lead to renal failure, internal and brain bleeding, and in severe cases, death. The only specific treatment available for these envenomations is the Lonomia Antivenom (LAV) produced by the Butantan Institute, in Brazil, using an extract of Lonomia obliqua scoli as the antigen. LAV has been used to treat exposure to other Lonomia species across South America. However, no experimental studies have been performed to test the efficacy of LAV in neutralizing the venom of species other than L. obliqua found in Southern Brazil. In this study, we tested the effectiveness of LAV in reversing the hemostatic disturbances induced by injecting Lonomia casanarensis (Lca) and Lonomia orientoandensis (Lor) scolus extracts into rats and compared the effects to the case of L. obliqua (Lob) scolus extract-induced envenomation. Lca and Lor caterpillars were collected in Colombia, and some of them were reared to adults for identification. The Minimum Defibrinating Doses (MDD) of Lca and Lor were estimated. Rats were injected (i.d.) with a dose of 3 MDD per rat of each scolus extract and treated (i.v.) with 1.5 mL of LAV or 1.5 mL of saline. Twenty-four hours after the treatment, the fibrinogen levels and platelet counts had recovered to the hemostatic levels in the groups treated with LAV. The groups treated with the saline solution had fibrinogen levels and platelet counts at non-hemostatic levels. Thromboelastometric analyses confirmed these results. In conclusion, the results showed that LAV is effective at neutralizing the envenomation induced by Lca and Lor spine extracts in rats and restoring hemostasis.

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Sano-Martins IS, González C, Anjos IV, Diaz J, Gonçalves LRC. Effectiveness of Lonomia antivenom in recovery from the coagulopathy induced by Lonomia orientoandensis and Lonomia casanarensis caterpillars in rats. Plos Neglect. Trop. Dis.. 2018 Ago;12(8):e0006721. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0006721.
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