Cross-Reactivity against Naja sumatrana (Black Spitting Cobra) Envenoming from the Haffkine Antivenom in a Mouse Model

Gregory Cham, Francis Lim, Arul Earnest, Ponnampalam Gopalakrishnakone

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Naja sumatrana is the dominant cobra species in Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, and Sumatra, and it does not have specific antivenom. The Haffkine antivenom has been advocated instead. This study aims to determine the efficacy of this antivenom against Naja sumatrana envenoming using a mouse model. Methods. Male Swiss albino mice were used. Intravenous LD50 was first determined separately for Naja naja and Naja sumatrana venom. ED50 was determined by preincubating antivenom with each venom at 2.5 LD50 before administering the mixture into the tail vein. Validation was carried out using a challenge test. Each mouse received 111 µg of Naja sumatrana venom intramuscularly followed by intraperitoneal administration of dilute Haffkine antivenom. Survival was recorded 24 hours after envenoming. Results. The LD50 of Naja naja venom was 78.13 µg, standard error (SE) 13.3 µg. The ED50 of the Haffkine antivenom against Naja naja venom was 45.9 mg, SE 7.5 mg. The LD50 and ED50 of Naja sumatrana venom were 55.5 µg, SE 12.0 µg; and 73.9 mg, SE 12.0 mg, respectively. The intra-peritoneal ED50 against 111 µg intramuscular Naja sumatrana venom was 136.95 mg, SE 36.74 mg. Conclusion. The Haffkine polyvalent antivenom exhibited cross-neutralisation against Naja sumatrana venom when used at a higher dose.
Original languageEnglish
Article number247645
Number of pages5
JournalISRN Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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