Differential coagulotoxicity of metalloprotease isoforms from Bothrops neuwiedi snake venom and consequent variations in antivenom efficacy

Bothrops (lance-head pit vipers) venoms are rich in weaponised metalloprotease enzymes (SVMP). These toxic enzymes are structurally diverse and functionally versatile. Potent coagulotoxicity is particularly important for prey capture (via stroke-induction) and relevant to human clinical cases (due to consumption of clotting factors including the critical depletion of fibrinogen). In this study, three distinct isoforms of P-III class SVMPs (IC, IIB and IIC), isolated from Bothrops neuwiedi venom, were evaluated for their differential capacities to affect hemostasis of prey and human plasma. Furthermore, we tested the relative antivenom neutralisation of effects upon human plasma. The toxic enzymes displayed differential procoagulant potency between plasma types, and clinically relevant antivenom efficacy variations were observed. Of particular importance was the confirmation the antivenom performed better against prothrombin activating toxins than Factor X activating toxins, which is likely due to the greater prevalence of the former in the immunising venoms used for antivenom production. This is clinically relevant as the enzymes displayed differential potency in this regard, with one (IC) in particular being extremely potent in activating Factor X and thus was correspondingly poorly neutralised. This study broadens the current understanding about the adaptive role of the SVMPs, as well as highlights how the functional diversity of SVMP isoforms can influence clinical outcomes.
Keywords
SVMPs;  Hemorrhage;  Coagulotoxicity;  Envenomation;  Adaptation;  Antivenom;  Venom

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Sousa LF, Bernardoni JL, Zdenek CN., Dobson J, Coimbra F, Gillett A, et al. Differential coagulotoxicity of metalloprotease isoforms from Bothrops neuwiedi snake venom and consequent variations in antivenom efficacy. Toxicol. Lett.. 2020 Oct;333:211-221. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2020.08.009.
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