Abstract in English:Antivenoms have been widely used for more than a century for treating snakebites and other accidents with poisonous animals. Despite their efficacy, the use of heterologous antivenoms involves the possibility of adverse reactions due to activation of the immune system. In this paper, alternatives for antivenom production already in use were evaluated in light of their ability to minimize the occurrence of adverse reactions. These effects were classified according to their molecular mechanism as: anaphylactic reactions mediated by IgE, anaphylactoid reactions caused by complement system activation, and pyrogenic reactions produced mainly by the presence of endotoxins in the final product. In the future, antivenoms may be replaced by humanized antibodies, specific neutralizing compounds or vaccination. Meanwhile, improvements in antivenom quality will be focused on the obtainment of a more purified and specific product in compliance with good manufacturing practices and at an affordable cost.
Abstract in English:To be granted a product license, a vaccine must present adequate quality, safety and efficacy. Studies on these criteria often utilize target species in a laboratory setting. Vaccines that had been proven effective during laboratory analysis may not present the same features when sold on a large scale, after encountering field conditions, and furthermore, can even produce complications. Measures are already in place to detect adverse reactions as reported by veterinarians to manufacturers, so that vaccines under suspicion of failing can be identified and investigated. The present review article describes the main problems, specifically adverse reactions and lack of efficacy, that have been encountered following release of vaccines for general use.
Abstract in English:Bothrops snake venoms have been proved toxic to a variety of cell types, in both in vivo and in vitro models. Studies on the pharmacological actions of Bothrops venoms from Argentina are relatively scarce and the direct action of the crude venoms has not been assessed using cell culture models. In this work, we investigated the cytotoxicity of crude venoms from B. alternatus and B. diporus in a skeletal muscle (C2C12) cell line, which is commonly used as a model for studying the myotoxic action of snake venom. Both venoms (1.25-50 µg/mL) induced an early and significant decrease in cell viability. The cytotoxic concentration 50 (CC50), determined three hours after exposure, revealed that B. diporus venom was significantly more cytotoxic (CC50: 2 µg/mL) than B. alternatus (CC50: 5.8 µg/mL). To investigate the cell death mechanism involved, myoblast cells were examined by phase contrast microscopy and after acridine orange and ethidium bromide fluorescence staining, respectively. Our data clearly demonstrated that an apoptotic mechanism mediated this cell line destruction. The current study aimed to provide new information on the cytotoxicity mechanisms of Argentine Bothrops snake venoms on a skeletal muscle cell line.
Abstract in English:Courtship and mating behaviors of the scorpion Tityus (Atreus) magnimanus are herein described, consisting of various components that pertain to four distinct behavioral stages. The courtship and mating rituals of Tityus (Atreus) magnimanus are similar to those of other scorpions. Behavioral components are presented in an ethogram to demonstrate their occurrence during mating sequences. The current report is presented as observational data that were acquired during life history studies of this species.
Abstract in English:The present work aimed to determine the oral microbiotic composition of snakes from São José do Rio Preto city, São Paulo State, Brazil. Ten snake species, comprising the families Boidae, Colubridae, Elapidae and Viperidae, were submitted to microbiological examination of their oral cavity, which indicated positivity for all buccal samples. Gram-negative bacilli, gram-negative cocci bacilli, gram-positive bacilli and gram-positive cocci were isolated from the snakes. Among isolated bacterium species, the occurrence of coagulase-negative staphylococci in the buccal cavity of Crotalus durissus (Viperiade), Eunectes murinus (Boidae), Mastigodryas bifossatus (Colubridae) and Bacillus subtilis, common to oral cavity of Bothrops alternatus (Viperidae) and Phalotris mertensi (Colubridae), was detected. It was observed higher diversity of isolated bacteria from the oral cavity of Micrurus frontalis (Elapidae) and Philodryas nattereri (Colubridae), as well as the prevalence of gram-positive baccillus and gram-positive cocci. The composition of the oral microbiota of the studied snakes, with or without inoculating fangs, is diverse and also related to the formation of abscesses at the bite site in the victims of the ophidian accidents, and to pathogenic processes in the snakes that host these microorganisms.
Abstract in English:Venom of the South American rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus terrificus (Cdt), presents myotoxic and neurotoxic outcomes, but reports on its effects on the liver are scarce. This study examined the hepatotoxicity resulting from Cdt venom administration (100, 200 and 300 µg/kg) in male Wistar rats. Animals were studies at 3, 6, 9 and 12 hours after venom injection. The hepatotoxicity was assessed through serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (AP), gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), bilirrubin and also by histopathological evaluation. All the different concentrations of Cdt venom resulted in increased levels of hepatic enzymes, when compared with the control group, except for the 100 µg/kg dose, which presented normal levels at 9 and 12 hours after venom administration. Bilirrubin levels remained unchanged by Cdt venom. Histological analysis revealed endothelial damage, inflammatory cell infiltration, as well as sinusoidal and portal congestion. Based on these observations, we may conclude that Cdt venom causes dose- and time-dependent hepatic damage in rats, characterized by elevated hepatic enzyme levels and histological alterations.
Abstract in English:The wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis is a large and venomous spider distributed throughout northwestern China. Like other spider venoms, the wolf spider venom is a chemical cocktail. Its protein content is 0.659 mg protein/mg crude venom as determined by the Lowry method. MALDI-TOF analysis revealed that the venom peptides are highly diverse and may be divided into three groups characterized by three independent molecular ranges: 2,000 to 2,500 Da, 4,800 to 5,500 Da and 7,000 to 8,000 Da, respectively. This molecular distribution differs substantially from those of most spider venoms studied so far. This wolf spider venom has low neurotoxic action on mice, but it can induce hemolysis of human erythrocytes. Furthermore, the venom shows antimicrobial activity against prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
Abstract in English:Propolis is one of the hive products that has been used extensively in folk medicine, due to its several biological and pharmacological properties. Besides, propolis-containing products have been intensely marketed by the pharmaceutical industry and health-food stores. This work was carried out in order to investigate whether propolis treatment could revert the metabolic alterations of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Animals were kept in metabolic cages and diabetes was induced by a single dose of streptozotocin (35 mg/kg, IV). After a week, rats with glycemia higher than 230 mg/dL were divided into two groups and treated with ethanolic extract of propolis (10 and 90 mg/kg, PO) for seven days. Glycemia and free fatty acids were determined, as well as food and water intake, body weight and urine volume were registered weekly. Data showed no significant differences in the analyzed variables. Based on these results, one may conclude that propolis had no effects after diabetes establishment, in our conditions assays. Further assays with different concentrations of propolis and periods of administration should be carried out in order to evaluate its therapeutic potential in this disease.
Abstract in English:Hepatitis C is transmitted primarily parenterally by contaminated blood and is often associated with: intravenous drug abuse, invasive procedures, blood transfusions, acupuncture, tattooing, and alcohol and tobacco use. This study aimed to quantify and evaluate the risk factors among blood donors, volunteer blood donors and replacement individuals, infected or not by the C virus. The main transmission routes of C virus were identified in 55 men and 25 women (GI) monitored by the Ambulatory Unit of the Department of Tropical Diseases, Botucatu Medical School, and in 24 men and 26 women (GII), all active blood donors at the Bauru State Hospital Transfusional Agency. Both groups were similar in: tobacco and alcohol consumption, sexual behavior, tattooing and illicit drug use. The duration of alcohol and tobacco consumption and blood transfusions in GI were longer, whereas the option for steady partners, condom use, disposable materials and piercings were predominant in GII. In conclusion, the risk factors for hepatitis C demonstrate the necessity of health policies that act on the primary and secondary prevention levels (respectively, reduction of infection incidence and hepatopathy risk).
Abstract in English:Thalassophryne nattereri (niquim) is a venomous fish responsible for numerous accidents involving fishermen in northern and northeastern Brazil. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the action of antivenom on renal effects caused by Thalassophryne nattereri venom. Isolated kidneys of Wistar rats were perfused with a previously dialyzed Krebs-Henseleit solution containing 6 g% bovine serum albumin. The antivenom action was studied through perfusion pressure (PP), renal vascular resistance (RVR), urinary flow (UF) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The niquim venom (1 µg/mL), the antivenom alone (1 µg/mL) or the venom incubated with antivenom were added to the system 30 minutes after the beginning of each perfusion. Previous works have shown venom induced-alterations of renal function parameters. In the isolated rat kidney, T. nattereri venom (1 µg/mL) increased the perfusion pressure and renal vascular resistance at 60, 90 and 120 minutes. UF and GFR also increased at 60, 90 and 120 minutes when compared with the control group; however, no effects were observed on the percent of sodium (%TNa+control = 81.1 ±0.86; %TNa+60 = 78.04 ±1.18; %TNa+90 = 76.16 ±3.34; %TNa+120 = 79.49 ±0.87) and potassium (%TK+control = 72.29 ±1.12; %TK+60 = 75.41 ±0.65; %TK+90 = 71.23 ±2.55; %TK+120 = 76.62 ±1.04) tubular transport. The administration of the antivenom (1 µg/mL) incubated with venom (1 µg/mL) reduced the changes in PP, RVR, UF and GFR provoked by Thalassophryne nattereri venom. The group perfused with venom alone showed a moderate deposit of a proteinaceous material in the tubules and urinary space. The group perfused with the antivenom presented similar results to the control group. In conclusion, the antivenom was able to decrease the effects induced by T. nattereri venom in isolated rat kidney.
Abstract in English:Rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease that causes acute encephalitis in mammals, and it is still a significant public health problem in numerous countries. Infected dogs represent the main vectors involved in human rabies. Additionally, cattle rearing close to geographic areas where vampire bats are found presents an important connection with rural epidemiology. We applied two "in-house" enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methodologies, considered alternatives to measure antibodies from vaccinated dogs and cattle, without employing the gold standard approach. The ELISA assays were performed on individual serum samples taken from domestic adult dogs and cows compulsory vaccinated against rabies (147 urban dogs and 64 cows; n = 211). The sandwich and liquid-phase competitive ELISA (scELISA and lpcELISA), considered "in-house" assays, were performed according to previous works. The only statistical methodology that allows this study is the Bayesian approach, developed to replace the conventional Hui-Walter paradigm. For conditional independent Bayesian model (one population, two tests and no gold standard) the prior information for sensitivity and specificity of each test, mode, prevalence and transformed (á, â) were submitted to Bayesian inference. The "in-house" lpcELISA revealed 16 - out of 261 serum samples - negative results, whereas in scELISA all results were positive. The Bayesian approach showed that prior information was specified for all parameters; posterior medians were Se scELISA 89%, Sp scELISA 88%, Sp lpcELISA 95% Se lpcELISA 98%, and prevalence (pi) of 99%, without the use of gold standard analysis to measure specific anti-rabies antibodies.
Abstract in English:The wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis (Laxmann, 1770) (Lycosidae: Araneae) is distributed throughout central and eastern Europe, including Russia, Kazakhistan and Turkey. This study describes the venom apparatus morphology of L. singoriensis through scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Its structure follows the general architecture observed in other spiders. Generally, a venom apparatus is composed by a pair of venom glands and chelicerae. L. singoriensis chelicerae are robust and consist of a stout basis and a movable apical segment (fang). The fang rests in a groove on the basal segment that is covered by different types of hair. L. singoriensis venom glands present equal size and measure about 4 mm in length. Each gland is enclosed by irregular muscular layers.
Abstract in English:The frequency of spermatophore production and the amount of time between matings for laboratory-reared males of Tityus (Atreus) magnimanus to regenerate spermatophores were examined. Males attain sexual maturity at the fifth or sixth instar (after a period of 137 to 155 days) and can produce initial spermatophores shortly after maturation. After mating, males can regenerate spermatophores within a single 24-hour period and remate. The present contribution represents the first report on an aspect of reproductive biology in this species and is part of a continuing study of the life history and post-embryonic development of Tityus (Atreus) magnimanus.
Abstract in English:Viper venoms act mainly on blood and blood vessels. Reports of ophthalmic manifestations after snakebite include ptosis and ophthalmoplegia. In the current study, we describe a case that developed bilateral retinal and subretinal hemorrhage following snakebite. Bilateral retinal hemorrhage is a rare ocular complication of snake envenomation and has not been reported with fundus photographs in the literature so far.
Abstract in English:Administration of antivenom is currently the standard treatment for snake envenomation. However, it can sometimes cause anaphylactic reactions including urticaria, bronchospasm and hypotension. Furthermore, it may also provoke life-threatening complications, even though the mortality rate is less than 1%. In this study, we present a new treatment - immediate radical fang mark ablation - that was successfully performed on five victims of Japanese viper bites without antivenom use. In these five victims of venomous snakebites, surgical debridement was immediately performed. Two patients received a free-skin graft to resurface their wounds while three of them healed conservatively (i.e. by ointment treatment without surgery). After treatment, all patients could return to work. Immediate radical ablation is a recommended procedure that can reduce the amount of venom in tissues, which consequently decreases inflammatory reactions and reduces the necessity for antivenom.