Functional variability of Bothrops atrox venoms from three distinct areas across the Brazilian Amazon and consequences for human envenomings

Variability in the composition of snake venoms occurs in different taxa and is usually correlated to snake fitness. Here, we compared B. atrox venoms from three different geographic regions across the Brazilian Amazon and found remarkable functional differences particularly between venoms from two populations separated by the Amazon River, in specimens born, raised and maintained under the same conditions at Instituto Butantan serpentary. Venom from Presidente Figueiredo snakes induced stronger dermonecrosis, but was less procoagulant and lethal to mice; these activities were correlated to the presence of a PI-class SVMP and absence of a SVSP in the venom, respectively. Venom from São Bento snakes was more hemorrhagic, killed mice more efficiently, but induced lower signs of dermonecrosis, which was correlated to the higher proportion of SVMPs and the absence of a PI-class SVMP isoform. Belterra snakes, a reference of wild snakes, presented venoms with intermediate phenotypes. Commercial Bothrops antivenom was effective in neutralizing all biological activities evaluated in this study, including dermonecrosis and pro-coagulant, which are relevant for human snakebite accidents by B. atrox. Functional differences correlated to snake fitness may also imply in different symptomatology for B. atrox snakebite patients and deserve special attention from clinical toxicologists.
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Bothrops atrox;  Snake;  Venom;  Antivenom;  Snakebite;  Amazon

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Del Rei THM, Sousa LF, Freitas-de-Sousa LA, Moura-da-Silva AM, Rocha MMT, Grego KF, et al. Functional variability of Bothrops atrox venoms from three distinct areas across the Brazilian Amazon and consequences for human envenomings. Toxicon. 2019 Jun;164:61-70. doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2019.04.001.
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