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Standardization of the first Korean national reference standard for snake (Gloydius brevicaudus) antivenom


In 2017, the second national reference standard (NRS) for Gloydius snake venom was established to replace the first NRS for Gloydius snake venom. In connection with the second venom NRS, a candidate for the first NRS for Gloydius snake antivenom was produced in 2017. In this study, the qualification of the candidate was estimated and the potency was determined by a collaborative study. The potency (anti-lethal titer and anti-hemorrhagic titer) of the candidate was determined by measuring the capability of the antivenom to neutralize the lethal and hemorrhagic effects of the second NRS for Gloydius snake venom, which was calibrated against the regional reference standard for Gloydius snake antivenom established in 2006. Two Korean facilities contributed data from 20 independent assays. Subsequently, one foreign national control research laboratories participated in this collaborative study. The general common potency of the anti-lethal and anti-hemorrhagic titers was obtained from the results of a total of 25 tests performed at three facilities. According to the results of the present study, the candidate preparation showed good quality and is judged to be suitable to serve as the first NRS for Gloydius snake antivenom with the following potency: an anti-lethal titer of 3100 unit (U) (95% confidence interval 2991–3276 U) and anti-hemorrhagic titer of 3000 U (95% confidence interval 2849–3159 U). In conclusion, the first NRS for Gloydius snake antivenom was established in this study. This reference standard will be used routinely for quality control of a snake antivenom product by manufacturer in Korea, which also can be used for national quality control, including a national lot-release test of the snake antivenom product.

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The authors acknowledge Sun Hwa Choi and Young-Jin Lee (Quality control Team, Korea Vaccine Co., Ltd., Korea), Dr. Mayuko Okabe (Department of Immunology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan) for participating the collaborator study.

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Correspondence to Jaeok Kim.

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Conflict of interest

This research was supported by a Grant from the scientific research program (18201MFDS174) and a grant-in-aid (MFDS 4000-4031-301-210-13) at the National Institute of Food Drug Safety Evaluation of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Republic of Korea. None of the authors of this paper has a financial or personal relationship with individuals or organizations that could inappropriately influence and bias the content of the paper.

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Han, K., Song, H., Choi, C.W. et al. Standardization of the first Korean national reference standard for snake (Gloydius brevicaudus) antivenom. Toxicol Res. 36, 407–413 (2020).

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  • National reference standard
  • Collaborative study
  • Gloydius snake antivenom
  • Anti-lethal titer
  • Anti-hemorrhagic titer