Comparative proteomic profiling and functional characterization of venom pooled from captive Crotalus durissus terrificus specimens and the Brazilian crotalic reference venom
The South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus spp has a wide geographic distribution in Brazil. Although responsible for only a low proportion of ophidian accidents, it is considered one of the most medically important species of venomous snakes due to the high mortality rate (1.87%). Snake venom is a complex phenotype commonly subjected to individual intraspecific, ontogenetic and geographic variability. Compositional differences in pooled venom used in the immunization process may impact the efficacy of the antivenom. In order to assure standardized high-quality antivenom, the potency of each Brazilian crotalic antivenom batch is determined against the ‘Brazilian Crotalic Reference Venom’ (BCRV). BCRV is produced by Instituto Butantan using venom obtained from the first milking of recently wild-caught C. d. terrificus specimens brought to the Institute. The decrease in the number of snake donations experienced in recent years can become a threat to the production of future batches of BCRV. To evaluate the feasibility of using venom from long-term captive animals in the formulation of BCRV, we have compared the proteomic, biochemical and biological profiles of C. d. terrificus venom pooled from captive specimens (CVP- captive venom pool) and BCRV. Electrophoretic and venomics analyses revealed a very similar venom composition profile, but also certain differences in toxins abundance, with some low abundant protein families found only in BCRV. Enzymatic (L-amino acid oxidase, phospholipase A2 and proteolytic) and biological (myotoxic and coagulant) activities showed higher values in CVP than in BCRV. CVP also possessed slightly higher lethal effect, although the Instituto Butantan crotalic antivenom showed equivalent potency neutralizing BCRV and CVP. Our results strongly suggest that venom from long-term captive C. d. terrificus might be a valid alternative to generate an immunization mixture of equivalent quality to the currently in use reference venom.
Crotalus durissus terrificus venom; Snake venomics; Venom of wild caught versus captive snake; Brazilian crotalic reference venom
Tasima LJ, Hatakeyama DM, Silva CS, Fabri C, Lima EOV, Sant'anna SS, et al. Comparative proteomic profiling and functional characterization of venom pooled from captive Crotalus durissus terrificus specimens and the Brazilian crotalic reference venom. Toxicon. 2020 Oct;185:26-35. doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2020.07.001.
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