Coagulant effects of black snake (Pseudechis spp.) venoms and in vitro efficacy of commercial antivenom

J. Lane, Margaret A O'Leary, G. K. Isbister

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The coagulant effects of Australasian black snakes (Pseudechis spp.) are poorly understood and differ to the procoagulant venoms of most dangerous snakes in Australia. This study aimed to investigate in vitro coagulant effects of Pseudechis venoms and the efficacy of commercial black snake antivenom (BlSAV), tiger snake antivenom (TSAV) and specific rabbit anti-snake IgG to neutralise these effects. Using a turbidimetric assay, all six Pseudechis venoms had anticoagulant activity, as well as phospholipase A 2 (PLA 2) activity. Inhibition of PLA 2 activity removed anticoagulant effects of the venoms. Pseudechis porphyriacus was unique and had procoagulant activity independent of PLA2 activity. Both BlSAV and TSAV completely inhibited the coagulant and PLA2 activity of all Pseudechis venoms. PLA2 activity was also inhibited completely by p-Bromophenacyl bromide (pBPB) and partially by specific anti-N. scutatus IgG antibodies. Anti-N. scutatus IgG also completely inhibited anticoagulant activity of Pseudechis venom. All Pseudechis venoms showed immunological cross reactivity with specific anti-snake IgG antibodies to P. porphyriacus, Pseudechis australis and Notechis scutatus. Pseudechis venoms have in vitro anticoagulant activity that appears to be attributable to PLA 2 activity. Both antivenoms inhibited anticoagulant and PLA 2 activity at concentrations below those occurring in patients treated with one vial of antivenom. There was cross-neutralisation of Pseudechis venoms and N. scutatus antibodies that might be attributable to immunological similarities between the venoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticoagulation
  • Coagulopathy
  • Phospholipase A2
  • Pseudechis
  • Venom

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