Effect of Indian Polyvalent Antivenom in the Prevention and Reversal of Local Myotoxicity Induced by Common Cobra (Naja naja) Venom from Sri Lanka In Vitro

Umesha Madhushani, Prabhani Thakshila, Wayne C. Hodgson, Geoffrey K. Isbister, Anjana Silva

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Bites by many Asiatic and African cobras (Genus: Naja) cause severe local dermonecrosis and myonecrosis, resulting in permanent disabilities. We studied the time scale in which two Indian polyvalent antivenoms, VINS and Bharat, remain capable of preventing or reversing in vitro myotoxicity induced by common cobra (Naja naja) venom from Sri Lanka using the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. VINS fully prevented while Bharat partially prevented (both in manufacturer recommended concentrations) the myotoxicity induced by Naja naja venom (10 µg/mL) when added to the organ baths before the venom. However, both antivenoms were unable to reverse the myotoxicity when added to organ baths 5 and 20 min post-venom. In contrast, physical removal of the venom from the organ baths by washing the preparation 5 and 20 min after the venom resulted in full and partial prevention of the myotoxicity, respectively, indicating the lag period for irreversible cellular injury. This suggests that, although the antivenoms contain antibodies against cytotoxins of the Sri Lankan Naja naja venom, they are either unable to reach the target sites as efficiently as the cytotoxins, unable to bind efficiently with the toxins at the target sites, or the binding with the toxins simply fails to prevent the toxin-target interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number308
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Antivenom
  • Cobra bite
  • Envenoming
  • Local necrosis
  • Myotoxicity
  • Reversal

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