Therapeutic Antibodies to Snake Venoms



Studies on immunization against snake venoms began over 100 years ago when Sewall (1887) demonstrated that pigeons could be immunized against the venom of the pygmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus) after treating the animals with gradually increasing amounts of the venom. These studies were followed closely by those of Calmette (1894a, 1895, 1898) and Phisalix and Bertrand (1894) who immunized horses against snake venoms. Calmette (1894a) recommended mixtures of hypochlorite and venom, and Phisalix and Bertrand (1894) used heat-treated venom in order to reduce the toxicity and retain the antigenicity of the immunogens. Subsequently, Fraser (1895), working in Scotland, produced a specific immune serum against cobra venom. Calmette’s work resulted in the publication of a book on venoms which contained the first basic information on techniques for animal immunization against venoms. Later, Pasteur Institutes throughout the world started to produce and supply antivenoms on a commercial basis. Further detailed studies on antivenoms were made by Brazil (1911) in Sao Paulo; the Instituto Butantan subsequently initiated large-scale antivenom production, which has continued almost unchanged to the present day.


Snake Venom Therapeutic Antibody Snake Bite Venom Component Antivenom Therapy 
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