Kuniyoshi, AK., et al. Experimental antivenom against serine proteases from the Bothrops jararaca venom obtained in mice, and its comparison with the antibothropic serum from the …, Toxicon. Volume 169, 59-67
In Brazil, snakes from the Bothrops genus are responsible for thousands of accidents, and their venoms are mainly made up of proteolytic enzymes. Although the antibothropic serum produced by the Butantan Institute is remarkable in saving lives, studies show that some symptoms observed in cases of envenoming are not efficiently neutralized. Moreover, our group has shown that the commercial antivenom does not fully neutralize in vitro some serine proteases present in the Bothrops jararaca venom. Therefore, this study focuses on a new method in the production of specific immunoglobulins capable of neutralizing the activities of these enzymes in vitro. For this, a pool of serine proteases that was not inhibited by the commercial antivenom, made up of four enzymes (KN-BJ2, BjSP, HS112 and BPA) from the B. jararaca venom was obtained through two chromatographic steps (DEAE-HPLC and C8-RP-HPLC). The identities of these proteases were confirmed by SDS-PAGE, followed by tryptic digestion and mass spectrometry analysis. This pool was inoculated into BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, using SBA-15 as adjuvant, and the produced IgGs were purified by affinity chromatography. The sera were characterized by ELISA, avidity and proteolytic neutralization assays. Both animal models responded to the immunization, producing higher IgGs titers when compared to the commercial antivenom. The experimental serum from BALB/c mice presented a better hydrolysis inhibition of the selective fluorescent substrate for serine proteases (~80%) when compared to C57BL/6 (~25%) and the commercial antivenom (<1%) at the dose of 500:1 (weight of antivenom:weight of venom). These results show that a different immunization method using isolated serine proteases improves the toxins neutralizing efficacy and could lead to a better end product to be used as a supplemental medicine to the currently used immunotherapy.