WorldWideScience

Sample records for amphibian venoms

  1. Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the characteristics of amphibians. Contains teaching activities ranging from a "frog sing-along" to lessons on amphibian adaptations, and night hikes to identify frog calls. Includes reproducible handouts to be used with the activities, and a quiz. (TW)

  2. Venomous Frogs Use Heads as Weapons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jared, Carlos; Mailho-Fontana, Pedro Luiz; Antoniazzi, Marta Maria; Mendes, Vanessa Aparecida; Barbaro, Katia Cristina; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Brodie, Edmund D

    2015-08-17

    Venomous animals have toxins associated with delivery mechanisms that can introduce the toxins into another animal. Although most amphibian species produce or sequester noxious or toxic secretions in the granular glands of the skin to use as antipredator mechanisms, amphibians have been considered poisonous rather than venomous because delivery mechanisms are absent. The skin secretions of two Brazilian hylid frogs (Corythomantis greening and Aparasphenodon brunoi) are more toxic than the venoms of deadly venomous Brazilian pitvipers, genus Bothrops; C. greeningi secretion is 2-fold and A. brunoi secretion is 25-fold as lethal as Bothrops venom. Like the venoms of other animals, the skin secretions of these frogs show proteolytic and fibrinolytic activity and have hyaluronidase, which is nontoxic and nonproteolytic but promotes diffusion of toxins. These frogs have well-developed delivery mechanisms, utilizing bony spines on the skull that pierce the skin in areas with concentrations of skin glands. C. greeningi has greater development of head spines and enlarged skin glands producing a greater volume of secretion, while A. brunoi has more lethal venom. C. greeningi and A. brunoi have highly toxic skin secretions and an associated delivery mechanism; they are therefore venomous. Because even tiny amounts of these secretions introduced into a wound caused by the head spines could be dangerous, these frogs are capable of using their skin toxins as venoms against would-be predators. PMID:26255851

  3. Reptiles, Amphibians, and Salmonella

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... What's this? Submit Button Past Emails CDC Features Reptiles, Amphibians, and Salmonella Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend ... live. How do people get Salmonella infections from reptiles and amphibians? Reptiles and amphibians might have Salmonella ...

  4. HYMENOPTERA ALLERGENS: FROM VENOM TO VENOME

    OpenAIRE

    Edzard eSpillner; Simon eBlank; Thilo eJakob

    2014-01-01

    In Western Europe hymenoptera venom allergy primarily relates to venoms of the honeybee and the common yellow jacket. In contrast to other allergen sources, only a few major components of hymenoptera venoms had been characterized until recently. Improved expression systems and proteomic detection strategies have allowed the identification and characterization of a wide range of additional allergens. The field of hymenoptera venom allergy research has moved rapidly from focusing on venom extr...

  5. Allergies to Insect Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... attracts these insects.  Use insect repellents and keep insecticide available. Treatment tips:  Venom immunotherapy (allergy shots to insect venom(s) is highly effective in preventing subsequent sting ...

  6. Endoscopy in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Norin

    2015-09-01

    Despite advances in exotic animal endoscopy, descriptions involving amphibians are scarce. Amphibian endoscopy shares some similarities with reptiles, especially in lizards. Selected procedures are discussed, including stomatoscopy, gastroscopy, coelioscopy, and biopsy of coelomic organs and lesions. This short overview provides the practitioner with pragmatic advice on how to conduct safe and effective endoscopic examinations in amphibians.

  7. Hymenoptera allergens: from venom to "venome".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spillner, Edzard; Blank, Simon; Jakob, Thilo

    2014-01-01

    In Western Europe, Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) primarily relates to venoms of the honeybee and the common yellow jacket. In contrast to other allergen sources, only a few major components of Hymenoptera venoms had been characterized until recently. Improved expression systems and proteomic detection strategies have allowed the identification and characterization of a wide range of additional allergens. The field of HVA research has moved rapidly from focusing on venom extract and single major allergens to a molecular understanding of the entire "venome" as a system of unique and characteristic components. An increasing number of such components has been identified, characterized regarding function, and assessed for allergenic potential. Moreover, advanced expression strategies for recombinant production of venom allergens allow selective modification of molecules and provide insight into different types of immunoglobulin E reactivities and sensitization patterns. The obtained information contributes to an increased diagnostic precision in HVA and may serve for monitoring, re-evaluation, and improvement of current therapeutic strategies. PMID:24616722

  8. HYMENOPTERA ALLERGENS: FROM VENOM TO VENOME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edzard eSpillner

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In Western Europe hymenoptera venom allergy primarily relates to venoms of the honeybee and the common yellow jacket. In contrast to other allergen sources, only a few major components of hymenoptera venoms had been characterized until recently. Improved expression systems and proteomic detection strategies have allowed the identification and characterization of a wide range of additional allergens. The field of hymenoptera venom allergy research has moved rapidly from focusing on venom extract and single major allergens to a molecular understanding of the entire venome as a system of unique and characteristic components. An increasing number of such components has been identified, characterized regarding function and assessed for allergenic potential. Moreover, advanced expression strategies for recombinant production of venom allergens allow selective modification of molecules and provide insight into different types of IgE reactivities and sensitization patterns. The obtained information contributes to an increased diagnostic precision in hymenoptera venom allergy and may serve for monitoring, reevaluation and improvement of current therapeutic strategies.

  9. Surgery in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Norin

    2016-01-01

    Amphibian surgery has been especially described in research. Since the last decade, interest for captive amphibians has increased, so have the indications for surgical intervention. Clinicians should not hesitate to advocate such manipulations. Amphibian surgeries have no overwhelming obstacles. These patients heal well and tolerate blood loss more than higher vertebrates. Most procedures described in reptiles (mostly lizards) can be undertaken in most amphibians if equipment can be matched to the patients' size. In general, the most difficult aspect would be the provision of adequate anesthesia.

  10. Are ticks venomous animals?

    OpenAIRE

    Cabezas-Cruz, Alejandro; James J Valdés

    2014-01-01

    Introduction As an ecological adaptation venoms have evolved independently in several species of Metazoa. As haematophagous arthropods ticks are mainly considered as ectoparasites due to directly feeding on the skin of animal hosts. Ticks are of major importance since they serve as vectors for several diseases affecting humans and livestock animals. Ticks are rarely considered as venomous animals despite that tick saliva contains several protein families present in venomous taxa and that many...

  11. Climate change and amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corn, P. S.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines in Central America to climate relies solely on correlations, and the mechanisms underlying the declines are not understood. Connections between embryo mortality and declines in abundance have not been demonstrated. Analyses of existing data have generally failed to find a link between climate and amphibian declines. It is likely, however, that future climate change will cause further declines of some amphibian species. Reduced soil moisture could reduce prey species and eliminate habitat. Reduced snowfall and increased summer evaporation could have dramatic effects on the duration or occurrence of seasonal wetlands, which are primary habitat for many species of amphibians. Climate change may be a relatively minor cause of current amphibian declines, but it may be the biggest future challenge to the persistence of many species

  12. Antiviral immunity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guangchun; Robert, Jacques

    2011-11-01

    Although a variety of virus species can infect amphibians, diseases caused by ranaviruses ([RVs]; Iridoviridae) have become prominent, and are a major concern for biodiversity, agriculture and international trade. The relatively recent and rapid increase in prevalence of RV infections, the wide range of host species infected by RVs, the variability in host resistance among population of the same species and among different developmental stages, all suggest an important involvement of the amphibian immune system. Nevertheless, the roles of the immune system in the etiology of viral diseases in amphibians are still poorly investigated. We review here the current knowledge of antiviral immunity in amphibians, focusing on model species such as the frog Xenopus and the salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), and on recent progress in generating tools to better understand how host immune defenses control RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission.

  13. AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DYNAMICS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agriculture has contributed to loss of vertebrate biodiversity in many regions, including the U.S. Corn Belt. Amphibian populations, in particular, have experienced widespread and often inexplicable declines, range reductions, and extinctions. However, few attempts have been made...

  14. Quo Vadis Venomics? A Roadmap to Neglected Venomous Invertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjoern Marcus von Reumont

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms.

  15. Adaptive colouration in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudh, Andreas; Qvarnström, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, i.e. salamanders, frogs and caecilians show a wide range of bright colours in combination with contrasting patterns. There is variation among species, populations and also within species and populations. Furthermore, individuals often change colours during developmental stages or in response to environmental factors. This extraordinary variation means that there are excellent opportunities to test hypotheses of the adaptive significance of colours using amphibian species as models. We review the present view of functions of colouration in amphibians with the main focus on relatively unexplored topics. Variation in colouration has been found to play a role in thermoregulation, UV protection, predator avoidance and sexual signalling. However, many proposed cases of adaptive functions of colouration in amphibians remain virtually scientifically unexplored and surprisingly few genes influencing pigmentation or patterning have been detected. We would like to especially encourage more studies that take advantage of recent developments in measurement of visual properties of several possible signalling receivers (e.g. predators, competitors or mates). Future investigations on interactions between behaviour, ecology and vision have the potential to challenge our current view of the adaptive function of colouration in amphibians.

  16. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

    Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color…

  17. Responding to Amphibian Loss

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.R. Mendelson III; K.R. Lips; R.W. Gagliardo; G.B. Rabb; J.P. Collins; J.E. Diffendorfer; P. Daszak; R. Ibáñez D.; K.C. Zippel; D.P. Lawson; K.M. Wright; S.N. Stuart; C. Gascon; H.R. da Silva; P.A. Burrowes; R.L. Joglar; E. La Marca; S. Lötters; L.H. du Preez; C. Weldon; A. Hyatt; J.V. Rodriguez-Mahecha; S. Hunt; H. Robertson; B. Lock; C.J. Raxworthy; D.R. Frost; R.C. Lacy; R.A. Alford; J.A. Campbell; G. Parra-Olea; F. Bolaños; J.J. Calvo Domingo; T. Halliday; J.B. Murphy; M.H. Wake; L.A. Coloma; S.L. Kuzmin; M.S. Price; K.M. Howell; M. Lau; R. Pethiyagoda; M. Boone; M.J. Lannoo; A.R. Blaustein; A. Dobson; R.A. Griffiths; M.L. Crump; D.B. Wake; E.D. Brodie Jr

    2006-01-01

    In their Policy Forum "Confronting amphibian declines and extinctions" (7 July, p. 48), J. R. Mendelson III and colleagues offer a strategy for "stopping" the widespread losses of frogs, toads, and salamanders. Disease research and captive breeding figure prominently in their call for action.

  18. [Venoms and medical research].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducancel, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are complex chemical cocktails, comprising a wide range of biologically active reticulated peptides that target with high selectivity and efficacy a variety of enzymes, membrane receptors, ion channels...Venoms can therefore be seen as large natural libraries of biologically active molecules that are continuously selected and highly refined by the evolution process, up to the point where every molecule is endowed with pharmacological properties that are highly valuable in the context of human use and drug development. Therefore, venom exploration constitutes a prerequisite to drug discovery. However, mass spectrometry and transcriptomics via NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) studies have shown the presence of up to 1000 peptides in the venom of single species of cone snails and spiders. Therefore the global animal venom resource can be seen as a collection of more than 50 to 100 000 000 peptides and proteins of which only ~5000 are known. That extraordinary "Eldorado" of bio-optimized compounds justifies the development of more global and cutting-edge strategies and technologies to explore this resource more efficiently than actually. De novo developed approaches and recently obtained results will be described. PMID:27687600

  19. Tempo and Mode of the Evolution of Venom and Poison in Tetrapods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard J. Harris

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Toxic weaponry in the form of venom and poison has evolved in most groups of animals, including all four major lineages of tetrapods. Moreover, the evolution of such traits has been linked to several key aspects of the biology of toxic animals including life-history and diversification. Despite this, attempts to investigate the macroevolutionary patterns underlying such weaponry are lacking. In this study we analyse patterns of venom and poison evolution across reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds using a suite of phylogenetic comparative methods. We find that each major lineage has a characteristic pattern of trait evolution, but mammals and reptiles evolve under a surprisingly similar regime, whilst that of amphibians appears to be particularly distinct and highly contrasting compared to other groups. Our results also suggest that the mechanism of toxin acquisition may be an important distinction in such evolutionary patterns; the evolution of biosynthesis is far less dynamic than that of sequestration of toxins from the diet. Finally, contrary to the situation in amphibians, other tetrapod groups show an association between the evolution of toxic weaponry and higher diversification rates. Taken together, our study provides the first broad-scale analysis of macroevolutionary patterns of venom and poison throughout tetrapods.

  20. Tempo and Mode of the Evolution of Venom and Poison in Tetrapods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Richard J.; Arbuckle, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Toxic weaponry in the form of venom and poison has evolved in most groups of animals, including all four major lineages of tetrapods. Moreover, the evolution of such traits has been linked to several key aspects of the biology of toxic animals including life-history and diversification. Despite this, attempts to investigate the macroevolutionary patterns underlying such weaponry are lacking. In this study we analyse patterns of venom and poison evolution across reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds using a suite of phylogenetic comparative methods. We find that each major lineage has a characteristic pattern of trait evolution, but mammals and reptiles evolve under a surprisingly similar regime, whilst that of amphibians appears to be particularly distinct and highly contrasting compared to other groups. Our results also suggest that the mechanism of toxin acquisition may be an important distinction in such evolutionary patterns; the evolution of biosynthesis is far less dynamic than that of sequestration of toxins from the diet. Finally, contrary to the situation in amphibians, other tetrapod groups show an association between the evolution of toxic weaponry and higher diversification rates. Taken together, our study provides the first broad-scale analysis of macroevolutionary patterns of venom and poison throughout tetrapods. PMID:27348001

  1. Tempo and Mode of the Evolution of Venom and Poison in Tetrapods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Richard J; Arbuckle, Kevin

    2016-01-01

    Toxic weaponry in the form of venom and poison has evolved in most groups of animals, including all four major lineages of tetrapods. Moreover, the evolution of such traits has been linked to several key aspects of the biology of toxic animals including life-history and diversification. Despite this, attempts to investigate the macroevolutionary patterns underlying such weaponry are lacking. In this study we analyse patterns of venom and poison evolution across reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds using a suite of phylogenetic comparative methods. We find that each major lineage has a characteristic pattern of trait evolution, but mammals and reptiles evolve under a surprisingly similar regime, whilst that of amphibians appears to be particularly distinct and highly contrasting compared to other groups. Our results also suggest that the mechanism of toxin acquisition may be an important distinction in such evolutionary patterns; the evolution of biosynthesis is far less dynamic than that of sequestration of toxins from the diet. Finally, contrary to the situation in amphibians, other tetrapod groups show an association between the evolution of toxic weaponry and higher diversification rates. Taken together, our study provides the first broad-scale analysis of macroevolutionary patterns of venom and poison throughout tetrapods. PMID:27348001

  2. Amphibians of Peninsular India

    OpenAIRE

    Gururaja, KV

    2005-01-01

    Frogs and toads have always fascinated man through the ages, dating back to Mandukya Upanishad of the Vedic ages to the cent discoveries in the Western Ghats. More technically known as ‘amphibians’ (Greek equivalent for their biphasic life stages as tadpoles and adults), these include caecilians, salamanders, newts, and sirens. Amphibians are in serious scientific contention over the last decade for at least two main reasons. One being far more crucial, pertaining to their viable existence as...

  3. Field Surveys of Amphibian Populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodman, Robert

    2000-01-01

    Describes a course on amphibian research for environmental science majors. Involves students in field studies and introduces them to investigative research. Evaluates the course. (Contains 19 references.) (YDS)

  4. Unusual stability of messenger RNA in snake venom reveals gene expression dynamics of venom replenishment.

    OpenAIRE

    Currier, Rachel B.; Calvete, Juan J.; Sanz, Libia; Harrison, Robert A.; Rowley, Paul D.; Wagstaff, Simon C

    2012-01-01

    Venom is a critical evolutionary innovation enabling venomous snakes to become successful limbless predators; it is therefore vital that venomous snakes possess a highly efficient venom production and delivery system to maintain their predatory arsenal. Here, we exploit the unusual stability of messenger RNA in venom to conduct, for the first time, quantitative PCR to characterise the dynamics of gene expression of newly synthesised venom proteins following venom depletion. Quantitative PCR d...

  5. Anaphylaxis to Insect Venom Allergens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ollert, Markus; Blank, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Anaphylaxis due to Hymenoptera stings is one of the most severe consequences of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions. Although allergic reactions to Hymenoptera stings are often considered as a general model for the underlying principles of allergic disease, diagnostic tests are still hampered...... by a lack of specificity and venom immunotherapy by severe side effects and incomplete protection. In recent years, the knowledge about the molecular composition of Hymenoptera venoms has significantly increased and more and more recombinant venom allergens with advanced characteristics have become...... available for diagnostic measurement of specific IgE in venom-allergic patients. These recombinant venom allergens offer several promising possibilities for an improved diagnostic algorithm. Reviewed here are the current status, recent developments, and future perspectives of molecular diagnostics of venom...

  6. Toxin synergism in snake venoms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    2016-01-01

    Synergism between venom toxins exists for a range of snake species. Synergism can be derived from both intermolecular interactions and supramolecular interactions between venom components, and can be the result of toxins targeting the same protein, biochemical pathway or physiological process. Few...... simple systematic tools and methods for determining the presence of synergism exist, but include co-administration of venom components and assessment of Accumulated Toxicity Scores. A better understanding of how to investigate synergism in snake venoms may help unravel strategies for developing novel...

  7. Sex determination in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Masahisa

    2009-05-01

    The heterogametic sex is male in all mammals, whereas it is female in almost all birds. By contrast, there are two heterogametic types (XX/XY and ZZ/ZW) for genetic sex determination in amphibians. Though the original heterogametic sex was female in amphibians, the two heterogametic types were probably interchangeable, suggesting that sex chromosomes evolved several times in this lineage. Indeed, the frog Rana rugosa has the XX/XY and ZZ/ZW sex-determining systems within a single species, depending on the local population in Japan. The XY and ZW geographic forms with differentiated sex chromosomes probably have a common origin as undifferentiated sex chromosomes resulted from the hybridization between the primary populations of West Japan and Kanto forms. It is clear that the sex chromosomes are still undergoing evolution in this species group. Regardless of the presence of a sex-determining gene in amphibians, the gonadal sex of some species can be changed by sex steroids. Namely, sex steroids can induce the sex reversal, with estrogens inducing the male-to-female sex reversal, whereas androgens have the opposite effect. In R. rugosa, gonadal activity of CYP19 (P450 aromatase) is correlated with the feminization of gonads. Of particular interest is that high levels of CYP19 expression are observed in indifferent gonads at time before sex determination. Increases in the expression of CYP19 in female gonads and CYP17 (P450 17alpha-hydroxylase/C17-20 lyase) in male gonads suggest that the former plays an important role in phenotypic female determination, whereas the latter is needed for male determination. Thus, steroids could be the key factor for sex determination in R. rugosa. In addition to the role of sex steroids in gonadal sex determination in this species, Foxl2 and Sox3 are capable of promoting CYP19 expression. Since both the genes are autosomal, another factor up-regulating CYP19 expression must be recruited. The factor, which may be located on the X or W

  8. DNA barcoding amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vences, Miguel; Nagy, Zoltán T; Sonet, Gontran; Verheyen, Erik

    2012-01-01

    Only a few major research programs are currently targeting COI barcoding of amphibians and reptiles (including chelonians and crocodiles), two major groups of tetrapods. Amphibian and reptile species are typically old, strongly divergent, and contain deep conspecific lineages which might lead to problems in species assignment with incomplete reference databases. As far as known, there is no single pair of COI primers that will guarantee a sufficient rate of success across all amphibian and reptile taxa, or within major subclades of amphibians and reptiles, which means that the PCR amplification strategy needs to be adjusted depending on the specific research question. In general, many more amphibian and reptile taxa have been sequenced for 16S rDNA, which for some purposes may be a suitable complementary marker, at least until a more comprehensive COI reference database becomes available. DNA barcoding has successfully been used to identify amphibian larval stages (tadpoles) in species-rich tropical assemblages. Tissue sampling, DNA extraction, and amplification of COI is straightforward in amphibians and reptiles. Single primer pairs are likely to have a failure rate between 5 and 50% if taxa of a wide taxonomic range are targeted; in such cases the use of primer cocktails or subsequent hierarchical usage of different primer pairs is necessary. If the target group is taxonomically limited, many studies have followed a strategy of designing specific primers which then allow an easy and reliable amplification of all samples.

  9. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis in nature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garner, Trenton W. J.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Martel, An; Pasmans, Frank; Muths, Erin L.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Weldon, Che; Fisher, Matthew C.; Bosch, Jaime

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians across the planet face the threat of population decline and extirpation caused by the disease chytridiomycosis. Despite consensus that the fungal pathogens responsible for the disease are conservation issues, strategies to mitigate their impacts in the natural world are, at best, nascent. Reducing risk associated with the movement of amphibians, non-amphibian vectors and other sources of infection remains the first line of defence and a primary objective when mitigating the threat of disease in wildlife. Amphibian-associated chytridiomycete fungi and chytridiomycosis are already widespread, though, and we therefore focus on discussing options for mitigating the threats once disease emergence has occurred in wild amphibian populations. All strategies have shortcomings that need to be overcome before implementation, including stronger efforts towards understanding and addressing ethical and legal considerations. Even if these issues can be dealt with, all currently available approaches, or those under discussion, are unlikely to yield the desired conservation outcome of disease mitigation. The decision process for establishing mitigation strategies requires integrated thinking that assesses disease mitigation options critically and embeds them within more comprehensive strategies for the conservation of amphibian populations, communities and ecosystems.

  10. Structural and functional analogs of the novel mammalian neuropeptide, neuromedin S (NmS), in the dermal venoms of Eurasian bombinid toads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tianbao; Zhou, Mei; Walker, Brian; Harriot, Pat; Mori, Kenji; Miyazato, Mikiya; Kangawa, Kenji; Shaw, Chris

    2006-06-23

    We report the isolation and structural characterization of two neuromedin S (NmS) analogs, (NmS-17 and NmS-33), from the dermal venoms of Eurasian bombinid toads. NmS is a novel neuromedin U (NmU)-related peptide with potent anorexigenic and circadian rhythm-modulating properties recently discovered in mammals. Cloning of NmS precursor-encoding cDNAs from skin venom-derived libraries revealed the presence of a high degree of transcript splice variation comparable to that found previously for NmU in both amphibian skin and mammalian brain. Synthetic replicates of both amphibian NmS peptides evoked robust and dose-dependent transient increases in intracellular calcium ion concentrations in CHO cells that had been stably transfected with either FM-3/GPR66 or FM-4/TGR-1 human NmU receptors. The potency and efficacy of these amphibian skin peptides at such receptors were comparable to those observed with human NmS and rat NmS. These data show that NmS and NmU genes had already diverged at the level of the Amphibia and that differential splicing of their transcribed mRNAs has been highly conserved throughout tetrapod vertebrate evolution indicative of fundamental biological function. NmS is additionally a novel neuropeptide homolog that can be added to the biologically active peptide arsenal of amphibian venom/defensive skin secretions.

  11. Bioactive components in fish venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegman, Rebekah; Alewood, Paul

    2015-05-01

    Animal venoms are widely recognized excellent resources for the discovery of novel drug leads and physiological tools. Most are comprised of a large number of components, of which the enzymes, small peptides, and proteins are studied for their important bioactivities. However, in spite of there being over 2000 venomous fish species, piscine venoms have been relatively underrepresented in the literature thus far. Most studies have explored whole or partially fractioned venom, revealing broad pharmacology, which includes cardiovascular, neuromuscular, cytotoxic, inflammatory, and nociceptive activities. Several large proteinaceous toxins, such as stonustoxin, verrucotoxin, and Sp-CTx, have been isolated from scorpaenoid fish. These form pores in cell membranes, resulting in cell death and creating a cascade of reactions that result in many, but not all, of the physiological symptoms observed from envenomation. Additionally, Natterins, a novel family of toxins possessing kininogenase activity have been found in toadfish venom. A variety of smaller protein toxins, as well as a small number of peptides, enzymes, and non-proteinaceous molecules have also been isolated from a range of fish venoms, but most remain poorly characterized. Many other bioactive fish venom components remain to be discovered and investigated. These represent an untapped treasure of potentially useful molecules. PMID:25941767

  12. North American amphibians: distribution and diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    : Green, David M.; Weir, Linda A.; Casper, Gary S.; Lannoo, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Some 300 species of amphibians inhabit North America. The past two decades have seen an enormous growth in interest about amphibians and an increased intensity of scientific research into their fascinating biology and continent-wide distribution. This atlas presents the spectacular diversity of North American amphibians in a geographic context. It covers all formally recognized amphibian species found in the United States and Canada, many of which are endangered or threatened with extinction. Illustrated with maps and photos, the species accounts provide current information about distribution, habitat, and conservation. Researchers, professional herpetologists, and anyone intrigued by amphibians will value North American Amphibians as a guide and reference.

  13. Understanding Amphibian Declines Through Geographic Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Alisa

    2006-01-01

    Growing concern over worldwide amphibian declines warrants serious examination. Amphibians are important to the proper functioning of ecosystems and provide many direct benefits to humans in the form of pest and disease control, pharmaceutical compounds, and even food. Amphibians have permeable skin and rely on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems during different seasons and stages of their lives. Their association with these ecosystems renders them likely to serve as sensitive indicators of environmental change. While much research on amphibian declines has centered on mysterious causes, or on causes that directly affect humans (global warming, chemical pollution, ultraviolet-B radiation), most declines are the result of habitat loss and habitat alteration. Improving our ability to characterize, model, and monitor the interactions between environmental variables and amphibian habitats is key to addressing amphibian conservation. In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) to address issues surrounding amphibian declines.

  14. Louisiana ESI: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for reptiles and amphibians in coastal Louisiana. Vector polygons represent reptile and amphibian...

  15. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their enviro...

  16. Catalogue of the Type Specimens of Amphibians and Reptiles in the Herpetological Museum of the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences:V. Viperidae (Reptilia, Serpentes)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Peng GUO; Qin LIU; Jiatang LI; Yan CAO; Yuezhao WANG

    2016-01-01

    In China, there are about 37 species of vipers belonging to 12 genera in the family Viperidae. In the Herpetological Museum of the Chengdu Institute of Biology (CIB), Chinese Academy of Sciences, the type specimens of snakes represent seven species in four genera. As a series of reports on the type specimens of Amphibians and Reptilies deposited in the Herpetological Museum of CIB, this paper focuses on the venomous snake family Viperidae in the collections at this Museum.

  17. Agricultural ponds support amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, M.G.; Richardson, W.B.; Reineke, D.M.; Gray, B.R.; Parmelee, J.R.; Weick, S.E.

    2004-01-01

    In some agricultural regions, natural wetlands are scarce, and constructed agricultural ponds may represent important alternative breeding habitats for amphibians. Properly managed, these agricultural ponds may effectively increase the total amount of breeding habitat and help to sustain populations. We studied small, constructed agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota to assess their value as amphibian breeding sites. Our study examined habitat factors associated with amphibian reproduction at two spatial scales: the pond and the landscape surrounding the pond. We found that small agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota provided breeding habitat for at least 10 species of amphibians. Species richness and multispecies reproductive success were more closely associated with characteristics of the pond (water quality, vegetation, and predators) compared with characteristics of the surrounding landscape, but individual species were associated with both pond and landscape variables. Ponds surrounded by row crops had similar species richness and reproductive success compared with natural wetlands and ponds surrounded by nongrazed pasture. Ponds used for watering livestock had elevated concentrations of phosphorus, higher turbidity, and a trend toward reduced amphibian reproductive success. Species richness was highest in small ponds, ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) present, and lacking fish. Multispecies reproductive success was best in ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, less emergent vegetation, and lacking fish. Habitat factors associated with higher reproductive success varied among individual species. We conclude that small, constructed farm ponds, properly managed, may help sustain amphibian populations in landscapes where natural wetland habitat is rare. We recommend management actions such as limiting livestock access to the pond to improve water quality, reducing nitrogen input, and

  18. Extraction of Venom and Venom Gland Microdissections from Spiders for Proteomic and Transcriptomic Analyses

    OpenAIRE

    Garb, Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    Venoms are chemically complex secretions typically comprising numerous proteins and peptides with varied physiological activities. Functional characterization of venom proteins has important biomedical applications, including the identification of drug leads or probes for cellular receptors. Spiders are the most species rich clade of venomous organisms, but the venoms of only a few species are well-understood, in part due to the difficulty associated with collecting minute quantities of venom...

  19. Conus venom peptide pharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Richard J; Dutertre, Sébastien; Vetter, Irina; Christie, MacDonald J

    2012-04-01

    Conopeptides are a diverse group of recently evolved venom peptides used for prey capture and/or defense. Each species of cone snails produces in excess of 1000 conopeptides, with those pharmacologically characterized (≈ 0.1%) targeting a diverse range of membrane proteins typically with high potency and specificity. The majority of conopeptides inhibit voltage- or ligand-gated ion channels, providing valuable research tools for the dissection of the role played by specific ion channels in excitable cells. It is noteworthy that many of these targets are found to be expressed in pain pathways, with several conopeptides having entered the clinic as potential treatments for pain [e.g., pyroglutamate1-MrIA (Xen2174)] and one now marketed for intrathecal treatment of severe pain [ziconotide (Prialt)]. This review discusses the diversity, pharmacology, structure-activity relationships, and therapeutic potential of cone snail venom peptide families acting at voltage-gated ion channels (ω-, μ-, μO-, δ-, ι-, and κ-conotoxins), ligand-gated ion channels (α-conotoxins, σ-conotoxin, ikot-ikot, and conantokins), G-protein-coupled receptors (ρ-conopeptides, conopressins, and contulakins), and neurotransmitter transporters (χ-conopeptides), with expanded discussion on the clinical potential of sodium and calcium channel inhibitors and α-conotoxins. Expanding the discovery of new bioactives using proteomic/transcriptomic approaches combined with high-throughput platforms and better defining conopeptide structure-activity relationships using relevant membrane protein crystal structures are expected to grow the already significant impact conopeptides have had as both research probes and leads to new therapies. PMID:22407615

  20. Spider-Venom Peptides as Therapeutics

    OpenAIRE

    Glenn F King; Volker Herzig; Rash, Lachlan D; Jensen, Jonas E.; Sing Yan Er; Sebastian Senff; Saez, Natalie J.

    2010-01-01

    Spiders are the most successful venomous animals and the most abundant terrestrial predators. Their remarkable success is due in large part to their ingenious exploitation of silk and the evolution of pharmacologically complex venoms that ensure rapid subjugation of prey. Most spider venoms are dominated by disulfide-rich peptides that typically have high affinity and specificity for particular subtypes of ion channels and receptors. Spider venoms are conservatively predicted to contain more ...

  1. Extraction of venom and venom gland microdissections from spiders for proteomic and transcriptomic analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garb, Jessica E

    2014-11-03

    Venoms are chemically complex secretions typically comprising numerous proteins and peptides with varied physiological activities. Functional characterization of venom proteins has important biomedical applications, including the identification of drug leads or probes for cellular receptors. Spiders are the most species rich clade of venomous organisms, but the venoms of only a few species are well-understood, in part due to the difficulty associated with collecting minute quantities of venom from small animals. This paper presents a protocol for the collection of venom from spiders using electrical stimulation, demonstrating the procedure on the Western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus). The collected venom is useful for varied downstream analyses including direct protein identification via mass spectrometry, functional assays, and stimulation of venom gene expression for transcriptomic studies. This technique has the advantage over protocols that isolate venom from whole gland homogenates, which do not separate genuine venom components from cellular proteins that are not secreted as part of the venom. Representative results demonstrate the detection of known venom peptides from the collected sample using mass spectrometry. The venom collection procedure is followed by a protocol for dissecting spider venom glands, with results demonstrating that this leads to the characterization of venom-expressed proteins and peptides at the sequence level.

  2. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    For many years, ecological research on amphibians and reptiles has lagged behind that of other vertebrates such as fishes, birds, and mammals, despite the known importance of these animals in their environments. The lack of study has been particularly acute in the he area of ecotoxicology where the number of published scientific papers is a fraction of that found for the other vertebrate classes. Recently, scientists have become aware of severe crises among amphibian populations, including unexplained and sudden extinctions, worldwide declines, and hideous malformations. In many of these instances, contaminants have been listed as probable contributors. Data on the effects of contaminants on reptiles are so depauperate that even the most elementary interpretations are difficult. This state-of-the-science review and synthesis of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicology demonstrates the inter-relationships among distribution, ecology, physiology, and contaminant exposure, and interprets these topics as they pertain to comparative toxicity, population declines, malformations, and risk assessment . In this way, the book identifies and serves as a basis for the most pressing research needs in the coming years. The editors have invited 27 other internationally respected experts to examine the state of existing data in specific areas, interpret it in light of current problems, and identify research gaps and needs. Through its emphasis on recent research, extensive reviews and synthesis, Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles will remain a definitive reference work well into the new century.

  3. The metamorphosis of amphibian toxicogenomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caren eHelbing

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians are important vertebrates in toxicology often representing both aquatic and terrestrial forms within the life history of the same species. Of the thousands of species, only two have substantial genomics resources: the recently published genome of the Pipid, Xenopus (Silurana tropicalis, and transcript information (and ongoing genome sequencing project of Xenopus laevis. However, many more species representative of regional ecological niches and life strategies are used in toxicology worldwide. Since Xenopus species diverged from the most populous frog family, the Ranidae, ~200 million years ago, there are notable differences between them and the even more distant Caudates (salamanders and Caecilians. These differences include genome size, gene composition, and extent of polyploidization. Application of toxicogenomics to amphibians requires the mobilization of resources and expertise to develop de novo sequence assemblies and analysis strategies for a broader range of amphibian species. The present mini-review will present the advances in toxicogenomics as pertains to amphibians with particular emphasis upon the development and use of genomic techniques (inclusive of transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics and the challenges inherent therein.

  4. Ecopathology of ranaviruses infecting amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Debra; Gray, Matthew; Storfer, Andrew

    2011-11-01

    Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry) contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease) than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs.

  5. Ecopathology of Ranaviruses Infecting Amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Storfer

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs.

  6. METAPOPULATION DYNAMICS AND AMPHIBIAN CONSERVATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    In many respects, amphibian spatial dynamics resemble classical metapopulation models, where subpopulations in breeding ponds blink in and out of existance and where extinction and colonization rates are functions of pond spatial arrangement. This "ponds-as-patches" view of amphi...

  7. Diagnostic uses of snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, N A

    2001-01-01

    Snake venom toxins are invaluable for the assay of coagulation factors and for the study of haemostasis generally. Thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen and fibrinogen breakdown product assays as well as detecting dysfibrinogenaemias. Since SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for assaying antithrombin III in samples containing heparin. Snake venom prothrombin activators are utilised in prothrombin assays, whilst Russell's viper venom (RVV) can be used to assay clotting factors V, VII, X and lupus anticoagulants (LA). Activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have also been used to assay LA. Protein C (PC) and activated PC (APC) resistance can be measured by means of RVV, Protac (from Southern copperhead snake venom) and STA-Staclot (from Crotalus viridis helleri) whilst von Willebrand factor can be studied with Botrocetin (Bothrops jararaca). Finally, snake venom C-type lectins and metalloproteinase disintegrins are being used to study platelet glycoprotein receptors and show great potential for use in the routine coagulation laboratory. PMID:11910187

  8. Venomic and pharmacological activity of Acanthoscurria paulensis (Theraphosidae) spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mourão, Caroline Barbosa F; Oliveira, Fagner Neves; e Carvalho, Andréa C; Arenas, Claudia J; Duque, Harry Morales; Gonçalves, Jacqueline C; Macêdo, Jéssica K A; Galante, Priscilla; Schwartz, Carlos A; Mortari, Márcia R; Almeida Santos, Maria de Fátima M; Schwartz, Elisabeth F

    2013-01-01

    In the present study we conducted proteomic and pharmacological characterizations of the venom extracted from the Brazilian tarantula Acanthoscurria paulensis, and evaluated the cardiotoxicity of its two main fractions. The molecular masses of the venom components were identified by mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) after chromatographic separation (HPLC). The lethal dose (LD(50)) was determined in mice. Nociceptive behavior was evaluated by intradermal injection in mice and the edematogenic activity by the rat hind-paw assay. Cardiotoxic activity was evaluated on in situ frog heart and on isolated frog ventricle strip. From 60 chromatographic fractions, 97 distinct components were identified, with molecular masses between 601.4 and 21,932.3 Da. A trimodal molecular mass distribution was observed: 30% of the components within 500-1999 Da, 38% within 3500-5999 Da and 21% within 6500-7999 Da. The LD(50) in mice was 25.4 ± 2.4 μg/g and the effects observed were hypoactivity, anuria, constipation, dyspnea and prostration until death, which occurred at higher doses. Despite presenting a dose-dependent edematogenic activity in the rat hind-paw assay, the venom had no nociceptive activity in mice. Additionally, the venom induced a rapid blockage of electrical activity and subsequent diastolic arrest on in situ frog heart preparation, which was inhibited by pretreatment with atropine. In the electrically driven frog ventricle strip, the whole venom and its low molecular mass fraction, but not the proteic one, induced a negative inotropic effect that was also inhibited by atropine. These results suggest that despite low toxicity, A. paulensis venom can induce severe physiological disturbances in mice.

  9. Venom gland transcriptomics for identifying, cataloging, and characterizing venom proteins in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brahma, Rajeev Kungur; McCleary, Ryan J R; Kini, R Manjunatha; Doley, Robin

    2015-01-01

    Snake venoms are cocktails of protein toxins that play important roles in capture and digestion of prey. Significant qualitative and quantitative variation in snake venom composition has been observed among and within species. Understanding these variations in protein components is instrumental in interpreting clinical symptoms during human envenomation and in searching for novel venom proteins with potential therapeutic applications. In the last decade, transcriptomic analyses of venom glands have helped in understanding the composition of various snake venoms in great detail. Here we review transcriptomic analysis as a powerful tool for understanding venom profile, variation and evolution.

  10. Amphibians as models for studying environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, William A

    2007-01-01

    The use of amphibians as models in ecological research has a rich history. From an early foundation in studies of amphibian natural history sprang generations of scientists who used amphibians as models to address fundamental questions in population and community ecology. More recently, in the wake of an environment that human disturbances rapidly altered, ecologists have adopted amphibians as models for studying applied ecological issues such as habitat loss, pollution, disease, and global climate change. Some of the characteristics of amphibians that make them useful models for studying these environmental problems are highlighted, including their trophic importance, environmental sensitivity, research tractability, and impending extinction. The article provides specific examples from the recent literature to illustrate how studies on amphibians have been instrumental in guiding scientific thought on a broad scale. Included are examples of how amphibian research has transformed scientific disciplines, generated new theories about global health, called into question widely accepted scientific paradigms, and raised awareness in the general public that our daily actions may have widespread repercussions. In addition, studies on amphibian declines have provided insight into the complexity in which multiple independent factors may interact with one another to produce catastrophic and sometimes unpredictable effects. Because of the complexity of these problems, amphibian ecologists have been among the strongest advocates for interdisciplinary research. Future studies of amphibians will be important not only for their conservation but also for the conservation of other species, critical habitats, and entire ecosystems.

  11. [Study on the venoms of the principal venomous snakes from French Guiana and the neutralization].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estévez, J; Magaña, P; Chippaux, J P; Vidal, N; Mancilla, R; Paniagua, J F; de Roodt, A R

    2008-10-01

    We studied some biochemical, toxic and immunological characteristics of the venoms of Bothrops atrox, Bothrops brazili and Lachesis muta, Viperidae responsible for most of the bites of venomous snakes in French Guiana. Chromatographic (HPLC) and electrophoretical profiles (SDS-PAGE), lethal, hemorrhagic, defibrinogenating, coagulant, thrombin like, proteolytic, fibrino(geno)lytic and phospholipase activities were studied. In addition, the neutralization of some toxic activities conferred by four antivenins was compared. The chromatographic and electrophoretic profiles were different for the three venoms, showing differences between Bothrops and L. muta venoms. In general, bothropic venoms showed the highest toxic and enzymatic activities, while the venom of L. muta showed the lowest lethal, hemorrhagic and coagulant activities. The enzymes of bothropic venoms responsible for gelatinolytic activity were around 50-90 kDa. All the venoms were able to hydrolyze a and beta chains of the fibrinogen, showing different patterns of degradation. Although all the antivenoms tested were effective to various degrees in neutralizing the venom of B. brazili and B. atrox, neutralization of L. muta venom was significantly better achieved using the antivenom including this venom in its immunogenic mixture. For the neutralization of L. muta venom, homologous or polyvalent antivenoms that include the "bushmaster" venom in their immunogenic mixture should be preferred. PMID:18956820

  12. Colubrid Venom Composition: An -Omics Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L. M.; Campos, Pollyanna F.; Ching, Ana T. C.; Mackessy, Stephen P.

    2016-01-01

    Snake venoms have been subjected to increasingly sensitive analyses for well over 100 years, but most research has been restricted to front-fanged snakes, which actually represent a relatively small proportion of extant species of advanced snakes. Because rear-fanged snakes are a diverse and distinct radiation of the advanced snakes, understanding venom composition among “colubrids” is critical to understanding the evolution of venom among snakes. Here we review the state of knowledge concerning rear-fanged snake venom composition, emphasizing those toxins for which protein or transcript sequences are available. We have also added new transcriptome-based data on venoms of three species of rear-fanged snakes. Based on this compilation, it is apparent that several components, including cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRiSPs), C-type lectins (CTLs), CTLs-like proteins and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs), are broadly distributed among “colubrid” venoms, while others, notably three-finger toxins (3FTxs), appear nearly restricted to the Colubridae (sensu stricto). Some putative new toxins, such as snake venom matrix metalloproteinases, are in fact present in several colubrid venoms, while others are only transcribed, at lower levels. This work provides insights into the evolution of these toxin classes, but because only a small number of species have been explored, generalizations are still rather limited. It is likely that new venom protein families await discovery, particularly among those species with highly specialized diets. PMID:27455326

  13. Endoparasites in some Swedish Amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cedhagen, Tomas

    1988-01-01

    A study was made of the endoparasites in specimens of Rana arvalis and R. temporaria collected on two occasions from a locality of southern Sweden. Some frogs were investigated directly after capture while other frogs were kept hibernating and the composition of the parasites as well as the behav...... not previously been reported from Sweden. The late Prof. O. Nybelin's unpublished records of parasites found in Swedish amphibians are also given....

  14. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bilo, BM; Rueff, F; Mosbech, H; Bonifazi, F; Oude-Elberink, JNG

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of diagnostic procedure is to classify a sting reaction by history, identify the underlying pathogenetic mechanism, and identify the offending insect. Diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy thus forms the basis for the treatment. In the central and northern Europe vespid (mainly Vespula

  15. Survey for the amphibian chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Hong Kong in native amphibians and in the international amphibian trade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowley, Jodi J L; Chan, Simon Kin Fung; Tang, Wing Sze; Speare, Richard; Skerratt, Lee F; Alford, Ross A; Cheung, Ka Shing; Ho, Ching Yee; Campbell, Ruth

    2007-12-13

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is responsible for many amphibian declines and has been identified in wild amphibian populations on all continents where they exist, except for Asia. In order to assess whether B. dendrobatidis is present on the native amphibians of Hong Kong, we sampled wild populations of Amolops hongkongensis, Paa exilispinosa, P. spinosa and Rana chloronota during 2005-2006. Amphibians infected with B. dendrobatidis have been found in the international trade, so we also examined the extent and nature of the amphibian trade in Hong Kong during 2005-2006, and assessed whether B. dendrobatidis was present in imported amphibians. All 274 individuals of 4 native amphibian species sampled tested negative for B. dendrobatidis, giving an upper 95% confidence limit for prevalence of 1.3%. Approximately 4.3 million amphibians of 45 species from 11 countries were imported into Hong Kong via air over 12 mo; we did not detect B. dendrobatidis on any of 137 imported amphibians sampled. As B. dendrobatidis generally occurs at greater than 5% prevalence in infected populations during favorable environmental conditions, native amphibians in Hong Kong appear free of B. dendrobatidis, and may be at severe risk of impact if it is introduced. Until it is established that the pathogen is present in Hong Kong, management strategies should focus on preventing it from being imported and decreasing the risk of it escaping into the wild amphibian populations if imported. Further research is needed to determine the status of B. dendrobatidis in Hong Kong with greater certainty.

  16. Amphibian haematology: Metamorphosis-related changes in blood cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenkilde, Per; Sørensen, Inger; Ussing, Anne Phaff

    1995-01-01

    Zoofysiologi, Amphibian metamorphosis, Haematology, Immunosuppression, Immunological Tolerance, Protozoan Infection, metamorfose, springpadder, ontogenese, halepadder.......Zoofysiologi, Amphibian metamorphosis, Haematology, Immunosuppression, Immunological Tolerance, Protozoan Infection, metamorfose, springpadder, ontogenese, halepadder....

  17. Neuroendocrine-immune system interactions in amphibians: implications for understanding global amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, L A

    2001-01-01

    Amphibians are ancient creatures valued by biologists and naturalists around the world. They share with all other vertebrates a complex neuroendocrine system that enables them to flourish in a variety of aquatic and semiaquatic environments. Studies from a number of laboratories have demonstrated that the immune system of amphibian species is nearly as complex as that of mammals. Yet for reasons that are not well understood, amphibian species are facing greater survival challenges than in the recent past. This article will review our current understanding of the neuroendocrine immune system interactions in amphibians and address the question of whether environmental stressors may contribute to immunosuppression and amphibian declines.

  18. The biochemical toxin arsenal from ant venoms

    OpenAIRE

    Aili, Samira R.; Fox, Eduardo Goncalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M.; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralyt...

  19. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    OpenAIRE

    Axel Touchard; Aili, Samira R.; Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson Fox; Pierre Escoubas; Jérôme Orivel; Nicholson, Graham M; Alain Dejean

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralyt...

  20. Neuronal calcium channel antagonists. Discrimination between calcium channel subtypes using omega-conotoxin from Conus magus venom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The omega-conotoxins from the venom of fish-hunting cone snails are probably the most useful of presently available ligands for neuronal Ca channels from vertebrates. Two of these peptide toxins, omega-conotoxins MVIIA and MVIIB from the venom of Conus magus, were purified. The amino acid sequences show significant differences from omega-conotoxins from Conus geographus. Total synthesis of omega-conotoxin MVIIA was achieved, and biologically active radiolabeled toxin was produced by iodination. Although omega-conotoxins from C. geographus (GVIA) and C. magus (MVIIA) appear to compete for the same sites in mammalian brain, in amphibian brain the high-affinity binding of omega-conotoxin MVIIA has narrower specificity. In this system, it is demonstrated that a combination of two omega-conotoxins can be used for biochemically defining receptor subtypes and suggested that these correspond to subtypes of neutronal Ca2+ channels

  1. Amphibians at risk? Susceptibility of terrestrial amphibian life stages to pesticides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brühl, Carsten A; Pieper, Silvia; Weber, Brigitte

    2011-11-01

    Current pesticide risk assessment does not specifically consider amphibians. Amphibians in the aquatic environment (aquatic life stages or postmetamorphic aquatic amphibians) and terrestrial living juvenile or adult amphibians are assumed to be covered by the risk assessment for aquatic invertebrates and fish, or mammals and birds, respectively. This procedure has been evaluated as being sufficiently protective regarding the acute risk posed by a number of pesticides to aquatic amphibian life stages (eggs, larvae). However, it is unknown whether the exposure and sensitivity of terrestrial living amphibians are comparable to mammalian and avian exposure and sensitivity. We reviewed the literature on dermal pesticide absorption and toxicity studies for terrestrial life stages of amphibians, focusing on the dermal exposure pathway, that is, through treated soil or direct overspray. In vitro studies demonstrated that cutaneous absorption of chemicals is significant and that chemical percutaneous passage, P (cm/h), is higher in amphibians than in mammals. In vivo, the rapid and substantial uptake of the herbicide atrazine from treated soil by toads (Bufo americanus) has been described. Severe toxic effects on various amphibian species have been reported for field-relevant application rates of different pesticides. In general, exposure and toxicity studies for terrestrial amphibian life stages are scarce, and the reported data indicate the need for further research, especially in light of the global amphibian decline.

  2. The complexity of amphibian population declines: understanding the role of cofactors in driving amphibian losses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Han, Barbara A; Relyea, Rick A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Buck, Julia C; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Kats, Lee B

    2011-03-01

    Population losses and extinctions of species are occurring at unprecedented rates, as exemplified by declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. However, studies of amphibian population declines generally do not address the complexity of the phenomenon or its implications for ecological communities, focusing instead on single factors affecting particular amphibian species. We argue that the causes for amphibian population declines are complex; may differ among species, populations, and life stages within a population; and are context dependent with multiple stressors interacting to drive declines. Because amphibians are key components of communities, we emphasize the importance of investigating amphibian declines at the community level. Selection pressures over evolutionary time have molded amphibian life history characteristics, such that they may remain static even in the face of strong, recent human-induced selection pressures.

  3. A new approach for investigating venom function applied to venom calreticulin in a parasitoid wasp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siebert, Aisha L; Wheeler, David; Werren, John H

    2015-12-01

    A new method is developed to investigate functions of venom components, using venom gene RNA interference knockdown in the venomous animal coupled with RNA sequencing in the envenomated host animal. The vRNAi/eRNA-Seq approach is applied to the venom calreticulin component (v-crc) of the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Parasitoids are common, venomous animals that inject venom proteins into host insects, where they modulate physiology and metabolism to produce a better food resource for the parasitoid larvae. vRNAi/eRNA-Seq indicates that v-crc acts to suppress expression of innate immune cell response, enhance expression of clotting genes in the host, and up-regulate cuticle genes. V-crc KD also results in an increased melanization reaction immediately following envenomation. We propose that v-crc inhibits innate immune response to parasitoid venom and reduces host bleeding during adult and larval parasitoid feeding. Experiments do not support the hypothesis that v-crc is required for the developmental arrest phenotype observed in envenomated hosts. We propose that an important role for some venom components is to reduce (modulate) the exaggerated effects of other venom components on target host gene expression, physiology, and survival, and term this venom mitigation. A model is developed that uses vRNAi/eRNA-Seq to quantify the contribution of individual venom components to total venom phenotypes, and to define different categories of mitigation by individual venoms on host gene expression. Mitigating functions likely contribute to the diversity of venom proteins in parasitoids and other venomous organisms. PMID:26359852

  4. Peptide Toxins in Solitary Wasp Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konno, Katsuhiro; Kazuma, Kohei; Nihei, Ken-ichi

    2016-01-01

    Solitary wasps paralyze insects or spiders with stinging venom and feed the paralyzed preys to their larva. Accordingly, the venoms should contain a variety of constituents acting on nervous systems. However, only a few solitary wasp venoms have been chemically studied despite thousands of species inhabiting the planet. We have surveyed bioactive substances in solitary wasp venoms found in Japan and discovered a variety of novel bioactive peptides. Pompilidotoxins (PMTXs), in the venoms of the pompilid wasps Anoplius samariensis and Batozonellus maculifrons, are small peptides consisting of 13 amino acids without a disulfide bond. PMTXs slowed Na+ channel inactivation, in particular against neuronal type Na+ channels, and were rather selective to the Nav1.6 channel. Mastoparan-like cytolytic and antimicrobial peptides are the major components of eumenine wasp venoms. They are rich in hydrophobic and basic amino acids, adopting a α-helical secondary structure, and showing mast cell degranulating, antimicrobial and hemolytic activities. The venom of the spider wasp Cyphononyx fulvognathus contained four bradykinin-related peptides. They are hyperalgesic and, dependent on the structure, differently associated with B1 or B2 receptors. Further survey led to the isolation of leucomyosuppressin-like FMRFamide peptides from the venoms of the digger wasps Sphex argentatus and Isodontia harmandi. These results of peptide toxins in solitary wasp venoms from our studies are summarized. PMID:27096870

  5. Peptide Toxins in Solitary Wasp Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsuhiro Konno

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Solitary wasps paralyze insects or spiders with stinging venom and feed the paralyzed preys to their larva. Accordingly, the venoms should contain a variety of constituents acting on nervous systems. However, only a few solitary wasp venoms have been chemically studied despite thousands of species inhabiting the planet. We have surveyed bioactive substances in solitary wasp venoms found in Japan and discovered a variety of novel bioactive peptides. Pompilidotoxins (PMTXs, in the venoms of the pompilid wasps Anoplius samariensis and Batozonellus maculifrons, are small peptides consisting of 13 amino acids without a disulfide bond. PMTXs slowed Na+ channel inactivation, in particular against neuronal type Na+ channels, and were rather selective to the Nav1.6 channel. Mastoparan-like cytolytic and antimicrobial peptides are the major components of eumenine wasp venoms. They are rich in hydrophobic and basic amino acids, adopting a α-helical secondary structure, and showing mast cell degranulating, antimicrobial and hemolytic activities. The venom of the spider wasp Cyphononyx fulvognathus contained four bradykinin-related peptides. They are hyperalgesic and, dependent on the structure, differently associated with B1 or B2 receptors. Further survey led to the isolation of leucomyosuppressin-like FMRFamide peptides from the venoms of the digger wasps Sphex argentatus and Isodontia harmandi. These results of peptide toxins in solitary wasp venoms from our studies are summarized.

  6. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touchard, Axel; Aili, Samira R; Fox, Eduardo Gonçalves Paterson; Escoubas, Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme; Nicholson, Graham M; Dejean, Alain

    2016-01-01

    Ants (Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:26805882

  7. Snake venom antibodies in Ecuadorian Indians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theakston, R D; Reid, H A; Larrick, J W; Kaplan, J; Yost, J A

    1981-10-01

    Serum samples from 223 Waorani Indians, a tribe in eastern Ecuador, were investigated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibodies to snake venom. Seventy-eight per cent were positive, confirming the highest incidence and mortality from snake bite poisoning yet recorded in the world. Most samples were positive for more than one venom antibody. Antibodies were found to venoms of Bothrops viper in 60% of positive cases, of Micrurus coral snake in 21%, and of the bushmaster, Lachesis muta, in 18%. Further studies are needed to determine whether high venom-antibody levels afford protection against further snake envenoming. PMID:7299877

  8. The Biochemical Toxin Arsenal from Ant Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Touchard

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Ants (Formicidae represent a taxonomically diverse group of hymenopterans with over 13,000 extant species, the majority of which inject or spray secretions from a venom gland. The evolutionary success of ants is mostly due to their unique eusociality that has permitted them to develop complex collaborative strategies, partly involving their venom secretions, to defend their nest against predators, microbial pathogens, ant competitors, and to hunt prey. Activities of ant venom include paralytic, cytolytic, haemolytic, allergenic, pro-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, and pain-producing pharmacologic activities, while non-toxic functions include roles in chemical communication involving trail and sex pheromones, deterrents, and aggregators. While these diverse activities in ant venoms have until now been largely understudied due to the small venom yield from ants, modern analytical and venomic techniques are beginning to reveal the diversity of toxin structure and function. As such, ant venoms are distinct from other venomous animals, not only rich in linear, dimeric and disulfide-bonded peptides and bioactive proteins, but also other volatile and non-volatile compounds such as alkaloids and hydrocarbons. The present review details the unique structures and pharmacologies of known ant venom proteinaceous and alkaloidal toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents.

  9. Proteome and peptidome profiling of spider venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Songping

    2008-10-01

    Spider venoms are an important source of novel molecules with different pharmacological properties. Recent technological developments of proteomics, especially mass spectrometry, have greatly promoted the systematic analysis of spider venom. The enormous diversity of venom components between spider species and the lack of complete genome sequence, and the limited database of protein and peptide sequences make spider venom profiling a challenging task and special considerations for technical strategies are required. This review highlights recently used methods for spider venom profiling. In general, spider venom profiling can be achieved in two parts: proteome profiling of the components with molecular weights above 10 kDa, and peptidome profiling of the components with a molecular weight of 10 kDa or under through the use of different methods. Venom proteomes are rich in various enzymes, hemocyanins, toxin-like proteins and many unknown proteins. Peptidomes are dominated by peptides with a mass of 3-6 kDa with three to five disulfide bonds. Although there are some similarities in peptide superfamily types of venoms from different spider species, the venom profile of each species is unique. The linkage of the peptidomic data with that of the cDNA approach is discussed briefly. Future challenges and perspectives are also highlighted in this review.

  10. Recombinant snake venom prothrombin activators

    OpenAIRE

    Lövgren, Ann

    2012-01-01

    Three prothrombin activators; ecarin, which was originally isolated from the venom of the saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus, trocarin from the rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus, and oscutarin from the Taipan snake Oxyuranus scutellatus, were expressed in mammalian cells with the purpose to obtain recombinant prothrombin activators that could be used to convert prothrombin to thrombin. We have previously reported that recombinant ecarin can efficiently generate thrombin without the need ...

  11. First evidence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and ranavirus in Hong Kong amphibian trade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Smith, Kristine M; Berger, Lee; Karesh, William B; Preston, Asa; Pessier, Allan P; Skerratt, Lee F

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd) and cloacal (ranavirus) swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7%) and in 105/185 (56.8%) of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong's trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment.

  12. First evidence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and ranavirus in Hong Kong amphibian trade.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd and cloacal (ranavirus swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7% and in 105/185 (56.8% of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong's trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment.

  13. In-vitro diagnostics of Hymenoptera venom allergy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rueff, F.; Vos, B.; Przybilla, B.

    2013-01-01

    In-vitro diagnostics of Hymenoptera venom allergy Patients with a history of anaphylactic sting reactions require an allergological work-up (history, in-vitro tests, and skin tests) to clarify indications on venom immunotherapy and on the type of venom to be used. To demonstrate a venom sensitisatio

  14. Researching nature's venoms and poisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warrell, David A

    2009-09-01

    Our environment hosts a vast diversity of venomous and poisonous animals and plants. Clinical toxinology is devoted to understanding, preventing and treating their effects in humans and domestic animals. In Sri Lanka, yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana, Sinhala 'kaneru'), a widespread and accessible ornamental shrub, is a popular means of self-harm. Its toxic glycosides resemble those of foxglove, against which therapeutic antibodies have been raised. A randomised placebo-controlled trial proved that this treatment effectively reversed kaneru cardiotoxicity. There are strong scientific grounds for the use of activated charcoal, but encouraging results with multiple-dose activated charcoal were not confirmed by a recent more powerful study. Venom of Russell's viper (Daboia siamensis) in Burma (Myanmar) produces lethal effects in human victims. The case of a 17-year-old rice farmer is described with pathophysiological interpretations. During the first 9 days of hospital admission he suffered episodes of shock, coagulopathy, bleeding, acute renal failure, local tissue necrosis, generally increased capillary permeability and acute symptomatic hypoglycaemia with evidence of acute pituitary/adrenal insufficiency. Antivenom rapidly restored haemostatic function but failed to correct other effects of venom toxins incurred during the 3h before he could be treated.

  15. Sperm storage in caecilian amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuehnel Susanne

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Female sperm storage has evolved independently multiple times among vertebrates to control reproduction in response to the environment. In internally fertilising amphibians, female salamanders store sperm in cloacal spermathecae, whereas among anurans sperm storage in oviducts is known only in tailed frogs. Facilitated through extensive field sampling following historical observations we tested for sperm storing structures in the female urogenital tract of fossorial, tropical caecilian amphibians. Findings In the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, aggregated sperm were present in a distinct region of the posterior oviduct but not in the cloaca in six out of seven vitellogenic females prior to oviposition. Spermatozoa were found most abundantly between the mucosal folds. In relation to the reproductive status decreased amounts of sperm were present in gravid females compared to pre-ovulatory females. Sperm were absent in females past oviposition. Conclusions Our findings indicate short-term oviductal sperm storage in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. We assume that in female caecilians exhibiting high levels of parental investment sperm storage has evolved in order to optimally coordinate reproductive events and to increase fitness.

  16. Ossification sequence heterochrony among amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Sean M; Harrison, Luke B; Sheil, Christopher A

    2013-01-01

    Heterochrony is an important mechanism in the evolution of amphibians. Although studies have centered on the relationship between size and shape and the rates of development, ossification sequence heterochrony also may have been important. Rigorous, phylogenetic methods for assessing sequence heterochrony are relatively new, and a comprehensive study of the relative timing of ossification of skeletal elements has not been used to identify instances of sequence heterochrony across Amphibia. In this study, a new version of the program Parsimov-based genetic inference (PGi) was used to identify shifts in ossification sequences across all extant orders of amphibians, for all major structural units of the skeleton. PGi identified a number of heterochronic sequence shifts in all analyses, the most interesting of which seem to be tied to differences in metamorphic patterns among major clades. Early ossification of the vomer, premaxilla, and dentary is retained by Apateon caducus and members of Gymnophiona and Urodela, which lack the strongly biphasic development seen in anurans. In contrast, bones associated with the jaws and face were identified as shifting late in the ancestor of Anura. The bones that do not shift late, and thereby occupy the earliest positions in the anuran cranial sequence, are those in regions of the skull that undergo the least restructuring throughout anuran metamorphosis. Additionally, within Anura, bones of the hind limb and pelvic girdle were also identified as shifting early in the sequence of ossification, which may be a result of functional constraints imposed by the drastic metamorphosis of most anurans.

  17. Moving pieces in a venomic puzzle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Verano-Braga, Thiago; Dutra, Alexandre A A; León, Ileana R;

    2013-01-01

    Besides being a public health problem, scorpion venoms have a potential biotechnological application since they contain peptides that may be used as drug leads and/or to reveal novel pharmacological targets. A comprehensive Tityus serrulatus venom proteome study with emphasis on the phosphoproteo...

  18. Venom Evolution: Gene Loss Shapes Phenotypic Adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casewell, Nicholas R

    2016-09-26

    Snake venoms are variable protein mixtures with a multitude of bioactivities. New work shows, surprisingly, that it is the loss of toxin-encoding genes that strongly influences venom function in rattlesnakes, highlighting how gene loss can underpin adaptive phenotypic change. PMID:27676304

  19. The effects of Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom to the preadipocyte proliferation and lipolysis of adipocyte, localized fat accumulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min-Ki Kim

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom to the primary cultured preadipocyte, adipocytes, and localized fat tissue. Methods : Decreased preadipocyte proliferation and decreased lipogenesis are mechanisms to reduce obesity. So, preadipocytes and adipocytes were performed on cell cultures using Sprague-Dawley Rats and treated with 0.01-1mg/㎖ Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom. And porcine skin including fat tissue after treated Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom according to the dosage dependent variation are investigated the histologic changes after injection of these Pharmacopuncture. Result : Following results were obtained from the preadipocyte proliferation and lipolysis of adipocyte and histologic investigation of fat tissue. 1. Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom showed the effect of decreased preadipocyte proliferation depend on concentration. 2. Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom showed the effect of decreased the activity of glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase(GPDH significantly. 3. Bee Venom was not showed the effect of lipolysis, but Sweet Bee Venom was increased in low dosage and decreased in high dosage. 4. Investigated the histologic changes in porcine fat tissue after treated Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom, we knew that these Pharmacopuncture was activated nonspecific lysis of cell membranes depend on concentration. Conclusion : These results suggest that Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom efficiently induces decreased proliferation of preadipocyte and lipolysis in adipose tissue

  20. Reappraisal of Vipera aspis venom neurotoxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabeth Ferquel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The variation of venom composition with geography is an important aspect of intraspecific variability in the Vipera genus, although causes of this variability remain unclear. The diversity of snake venom is important both for our understanding of venomous snake evolution and for the preparation of relevant antivenoms to treat envenomations. A geographic intraspecific variation in snake venom composition was recently reported for Vipera aspis aspis venom in France. Since 1992, cases of human envenomation after Vipera aspis aspis bites in south-east France involving unexpected neurological signs were regularly reported. The presence of genes encoding PLA(2 neurotoxins in the Vaa snake genome led us to investigate any neurological symptom associated with snake bites in other regions of France and in neighboring countries. In parallel, we used several approaches to characterize the venom PLA(2 composition of the snakes captured in the same areas. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted an epidemiological survey of snake bites in various regions of France. In parallel, we carried out the analysis of the genes and the transcripts encoding venom PLA(2s. We used SELDI technology to study the diversity of PLA(2 in various venom samples. Neurological signs (mainly cranial nerve disturbances were reported after snake bites in three regions of France: Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Genomes of Vipera aspis snakes from south-east France were shown to contain ammodytoxin isoforms never described in the genome of Vipera aspis from other French regions. Surprisingly, transcripts encoding venom neurotoxic PLA(2s were found in snakes of Massif Central region. Accordingly, SELDI analysis of PLA(2 venom composition confirmed the existence of population of neurotoxic Vipera aspis snakes in the west part of the Massif Central mountains. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The association of epidemiological studies to

  1. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole. PMID:19143783

  2. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Although snake bites are rare in Europe, there are a constant number of snake bites in Switzerland. There are two domestic venomous snakes in Switzerland: the aspic viper (Vipera aspis) and the common European adder (Vipera berus). Bites from venomous snakes are caused either by one of the two domestic venomous snakes or by an exotic venomous snake kept in a terrarium. Snake- bites can cause both a local and/or a systemic envenoming. Potentially fatal systemic complications are related to disturbances of the hemostatic- and cardiovascular system as well as the central or peripheral nervous system. Beside a symptomatic therapy the administration of antivenom is the only causal therapy to neutralize the venomous toxins.

  3. Pharmacological evaluation of bee venom and melittin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila G. Dantas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to identify the pharmacological effects of bee venom and its major component, melittin, on the nervous system of mice. For the pharmacological analysis, mice were treated once with saline, 0.1 or 1.2 mg/kg of bee venom and 0.1 mg/kg of melittin, subcutaneously, 30 min before being submitted to behavioral tests: locomotor activity and grooming (open-field, catalepsy, anxiety (elevated plus-maze, depression (forced swimming test and apomorphine-induced stereotypy. Haloperidol, imipramine and diazepam were administered alone (positive control or as a pre-treatment (haloperidol.The bee venom reduced motor activity and promoted cataleptic effect, in a similar manner to haloperidol.These effects were decreased by the pretreatment with haloperidol. Both melittin and bee venom decreased the apomorphine-induced stereotypies. The data indicated the antipsychotic activity of bee venom and melittin in a murine model.

  4. Tears of Venom: Hydrodynamics of Reptilian Envenomation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Bruce A.; Herzog, Florian; Friedel, Paul; Rammensee, Sebastian; Bausch, Andreas; van Hemmen, J. Leo

    2011-05-01

    In the majority of venomous snakes, and in many other reptiles, venom is conveyed from the animal’s gland to the prey’s tissue through an open groove on the surface of the teeth and not through a tubular fang. Here we focus on two key aspects of the grooved delivery system: the hydrodynamics of venom as it interacts with the groove geometry, and the efficiency of the tooth-groove-venom complex as the tooth penetrates the prey’s tissue. We show that the surface tension of the venom is the driving force underlying the envenomation dynamics. In so doing, we explain not only the efficacy of the open groove, but also the prevalence of this mechanism among reptiles.

  5. Spider venomics: implications for drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Sandy S; Undheim, Eivind A B; Rupasinghe, Darshani B; Ikonomopoulou, Maria P; King, Glenn F

    2014-10-01

    Over a period of more than 300 million years, spiders have evolved complex venoms containing an extraordinary array of toxins for prey capture and defense against predators. The major components of most spider venoms are small disulfide-bridged peptides that are highly stable and resistant to proteolytic degradation. Moreover, many of these peptides have high specificity and potency toward molecular targets of therapeutic importance. This unique combination of bioactivity and stability has made spider-venom peptides valuable both as pharmacological tools and as leads for drug development. This review describes recent advances in spider-venom-based drug discovery pipelines. We discuss spider-venom-derived peptides that are currently under investigation for treatment of a diverse range of pathologies including pain, stroke and cancer.

  6. Spider-Venom Peptides as Therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glenn F. King

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Spiders are the most successful venomous animals and the most abundant terrestrial predators. Their remarkable success is due in large part to their ingenious exploitation of silk and the evolution of pharmacologically complex venoms that ensure rapid subjugation of prey. Most spider venoms are dominated by disulfide-rich peptides that typically have high affinity and specificity for particular subtypes of ion channels and receptors. Spider venoms are conservatively predicted to contain more than 10 million bioactive peptides, making them a valuable resource for drug discovery. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of spider-venom peptides that are being used as leads for the development of therapeutics against a wide range of pathophysiological conditions including cardiovascular disorders, chronic pain, inflammation, and erectile dysfunction.

  7. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Although snake bites are rare in Europe, there are a constant number of snake bites in Switzerland. There are two domestic venomous snakes in Switzerland: the aspic viper (Vipera aspis) and the common European adder (Vipera berus). Bites from venomous snakes are caused either by one of the two domestic venomous snakes or by an exotic venomous snake kept in a terrarium. Snake- bites can cause both a local and/or a systemic envenoming. Potentially fatal systemic complications are related to disturbances of the hemostatic- and cardiovascular system as well as the central or peripheral nervous system. Beside a symptomatic therapy the administration of antivenom is the only causal therapy to neutralize the venomous toxins. PMID:27269771

  8. [Perspective on gravitational biology of amphibians].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Naitoh, Tomio; Wassersug, Richard J

    2002-12-01

    We review here the scientific significance of the use of amphibians for research in gravitational biology. Since amphibian eggs are quite large, yet develop rapidly and externally, it is easy to observe their development. Consequently amphibians were the first vertebrates to have their early developmental processes investigated in space. Though several deviations from normal embryonic development occur when amphibians are raised in microgravity, their developmental program is robust enough to return the organisms to an ostensibly normal morphology by the time they hatch. Evolutionally, amphibians were the first vertebrate animal to come out of the water and onto land. Subsequently they diversified and have adaptively radiated to various habitats. They now inhabit aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal and fossorial niches. This diversity can be used to help study the biological effects of gravity at the organismal level, where macroscopic phenomena are associated with gravitational loading. By choosing different amphibian models and using a comparative approach one can effectively identify the action of gravity on biological systems, and the adaptation that vertebrates have made to this loading. Advances in cellular and molecular biology provide powerful tools for the study in many fields, including gravitational biology, and amphibians have proven to be good models for studies at those levels as well. The low metabolic rates of amphibians make them convenient organisms to work with (compared to birds and mammals) in the difficult and confined spaces on orbiting research platforms. We include here a review of what is known about and the potential for further behavioral and physiological researches in space using amphibians.

  9. Cardiovascular physiology and diseases of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz-Taheny, Kathleen M

    2009-01-01

    The class Amphibia includes three orders of amphibians: the anurans (frogs and toads), urodeles (salamanders, axolotls, and newts), and caecilians. The diversity of lifestyles across these three orders has accompanying differences in the cardiovascular anatomy and physiology allowing for adaptations to aquatic or terrestrial habitats, pulmonic or gill respiration, hibernation, and body elongation (in the caecilian). This article provides a review of amphibian cardiovascular anatomy and physiology with discussion of unique species adaptations. In addition, amphibians as cardiovascular animal models and commonly encountered natural diseases are covered.

  10. Chytridiomycosis: a global threat to amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, P L L; Torres, A M C; Soares, D F M; Hijosa-Valsero, M; Bécares, E

    2013-12-01

    Chytridiomycosis, which is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, is an emerging infectious disease of amphibians. The disease is one of the main causes of the global decline in amphibians. The aetiological agent is ubiquitous, with worldwide distribution, and affects a large number of amphibian species in several biomes. In the last decade, scientific research has substantially increased knowledge of the aetiological agent and the associated infection. However, important epidemiological aspects of the environment-mediated interactions between the aetiological agent and the host are not yet clear. The objective of the present review is to describe chytridiomycosis with regard to the major features of the aetiological agent, the host and the environment.

  11. Low cost venom extractor based on Arduino(®) board for electrical venom extraction from arthropods and other small animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besson, Thomas; Debayle, Delphine; Diochot, Sylvie; Salinas, Miguel; Lingueglia, Eric

    2016-08-01

    Extracting venom from small species is usually challenging. We describe here an affordable and versatile electrical venom extractor based on the Arduino(®) Mega 2560 Board, which is designed to extract venom from arthropods and other small animals. The device includes fine tuning of stimulation time and voltage. It was used to collect venom without apparent deleterious effects, and characterized for the first time the venom of Zoropsis spinimana, a common spider in French Mediterranean regions. PMID:27158113

  12. Low cost venom extractor based on Arduino(®) board for electrical venom extraction from arthropods and other small animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besson, Thomas; Debayle, Delphine; Diochot, Sylvie; Salinas, Miguel; Lingueglia, Eric

    2016-08-01

    Extracting venom from small species is usually challenging. We describe here an affordable and versatile electrical venom extractor based on the Arduino(®) Mega 2560 Board, which is designed to extract venom from arthropods and other small animals. The device includes fine tuning of stimulation time and voltage. It was used to collect venom without apparent deleterious effects, and characterized for the first time the venom of Zoropsis spinimana, a common spider in French Mediterranean regions.

  13. [Venomous and poisonous animals. IV. Envenomations by venomous aquatic vertebrates].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bédry, R; De Haro, L

    2007-04-01

    Epidemiological information on marine envenomation is generally less extensive in Europe than in tropical regions where these injuries are more severe and the need for medical advice is more frequent. For these reasons use of regional Poison Control Centers in the area where the injury occurs must be encouraged. The purpose of this review is to describe envenomation by bony fish (lion fish, stone fish, and catfish), cartilaginous fish (stingrays and poisonous sharks), or other venomous aquatic vertebrates (moray-eels and marine snakes). Understanding of these envenomation syndromes is important not only in tropical areas but also in Europe where importation of dangerous species has increased in recent years.

  14. Expression of venom gene homologs in diverse python tissues suggests a new model for the evolution of snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Velasco, Jacobo; Card, Daren C; Andrew, Audra L; Shaney, Kyle J; Adams, Richard H; Schield, Drew R; Casewell, Nicholas R; Mackessy, Stephen P; Castoe, Todd A

    2015-01-01

    Snake venom gene evolution has been studied intensively over the past several decades, yet most previous studies have lacked the context of complete snake genomes and the full context of gene expression across diverse snake tissues. We took a novel approach to studying snake venom evolution by leveraging the complete genome of the Burmese python, including information from tissue-specific patterns of gene expression. We identified the orthologs of snake venom genes in the python genome, and conducted detailed analysis of gene expression of these venom homologs to identify patterns that differ between snake venom gene families and all other genes. We found that venom gene homologs in the python are expressed in many different tissues outside of oral glands, which illustrates the pitfalls of using transcriptomic data alone to define "venom toxins." We hypothesize that the python may represent an ancestral state prior to major venom development, which is supported by our finding that the expansion of venom gene families is largely restricted to highly venomous caenophidian snakes. Therefore, the python provides insight into biases in which genes were recruited for snake venom systems. Python venom homologs are generally expressed at lower levels, have higher variance among tissues, and are expressed in fewer organs compared with all other python genes. We propose a model for the evolution of snake venoms in which venom genes are recruited preferentially from genes with particular expression profile characteristics, which facilitate a nearly neutral transition toward specialized venom system expression.

  15. Maryland ESI: REPTILES (Reptile and Amphibian Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for sea turtles, estuarine turtles, and rare reptiles and amphibians in Maryland. Vector polygons in this...

  16. Tityus serrulatus venom--A lethal cocktail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pucca, Manuela Berto; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Pinheiro Junior, Ernesto Lopes; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Cordeiro, Francielle Almeida; Longhim, Heloisa Tavoni; Cremonez, Caroline Marroni; Oliveira, Guilherme Honda; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2015-12-15

    Tityus serrulatus (Ts) is the main scorpion species of medical importance in Brazil. Ts venom is composed of several compounds such as mucus, inorganic salts, lipids, amines, nucleotides, enzymes, kallikrein inhibitor, natriuretic peptide, proteins with high molecular mass, peptides, free amino acids and neurotoxins. Neurotoxins are considered the most responsible for the envenoming syndrome due to their pharmacological action on ion channels such as voltage-gated sodium (Nav) and potassium (Kv) channels. The major goal of this review is to present important advances in Ts envenoming research, correlating both the crude Ts venom and isolated toxins with alterations observed in all human systems. The most remarkable event lies in the Ts induced massive releasing of neurotransmitters influencing, directly or indirectly, the entire body. Ts venom proved to extremely affect nervous and muscular systems, to modulate the immune system, to induce cardiac disorders, to cause pulmonary edema, to decrease urinary flow and to alter endocrine, exocrine, reproductive, integumentary, skeletal and digestive functions. Therefore, Ts venom possesses toxins affecting all anatomic systems, making it a lethal cocktail. However, its low lethality may be due to the low venom mass injected, to the different venom compositions, the body characteristics and health conditions of the victim and the local of Ts sting. Furthermore, we also described the different treatments employed during envenoming cases. In particular, throughout the review, an effort will be made to provide information from an extensive documented studies concerning Ts venom in vitro, in animals and in humans (a total of 151 references). PMID:26522893

  17. Cardiovascular-Active Venom Toxins: An Overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebello Horta, Carolina Campolina; Chatzaki, Maria; Rezende, Bruno Almeida; Magalhães, Bárbara de Freitas; Duarte, Clara Guerra; Felicori, Liza Figueiredo; Ribeiro Oliveira-Mendes, Bárbara Bruna; do Carmo, Anderson Oliveira; Chávez-Olórtegui, Carlos; Kalapothakis, Evanguedes

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are a mixture of bioactive compounds produced as weapons and used primarily to immobilize and kill preys. As a result of the high potency and specificity for various physiological targets, many toxins from animal venoms have emerged as possible drugs for the medication of diverse disorders, including cardiovascular diseases. Captopril, which inhibits the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), was the first successful venom-based drug and a notable example of rational drug design. Since captopril was developed, many studies have discovered novel bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) with actions on the cardiovascular system. Natriuretic peptides (NPs) have also been found in animal venoms and used as template to design new drugs with applications in cardiovascular diseases. Among the anti-arrhythmic peptides, GsMTx-4 was discovered to be a toxin that selectively inhibits the stretch-activated cation channels (SACs), which are involved in atrial fibrillation. The present review describes the main components isolated from animal venoms that act on the cardiovascular system and presents a brief summary of venomous animals and their venom apparatuses. PMID:26812904

  18. Identifying and managing Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matron, Patricia Kane; Timms, Victoria; Fitzsimons, Roisin

    2016-05-25

    Hymenoptera venom allergy is an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated hypersensitivity to the venom of insects from the Hymenoptera order and is a common cause of anaphylaxis. A diagnosis of venom allergy is made by taking an accurate medical, family and social history, alongside specific allergy testing. Systemic reactions to Hymenoptera venom occur in a small proportion of the population; these range from mild to life-threatening in severity. Treatment for local reactions involves the use of cold packs, antihistamines, analgesia and topical corticosteroids to help alleviate swelling, pain and pruritus. Venom immunotherapy is the treatment of choice for reducing the incidence of future anaphylactic reactions in individuals who have signs of respiratory obstruction or hypotension. Venom immunotherapy is the most effective treatment in reduction of life-threatening reactions to venom, and can improve quality of life for individuals. Treatment should only be provided by experienced staff who are able to provide emergency care for anaphylaxis and life-threatening episodes. A risk assessment to deliver treatment should be undertaken before treatment is commenced. PMID:27224630

  19. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teralene S. Foxx; Timothy K. Haarmann; David C. Keller

    1999-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that amphibians and reptiles are good indicators of environmental health. They live in terrestrial and aquatic environments and are often the first animals to be affected by environmental change. This publication provides baseline information about amphibians and reptiles that are present on the Pajarito Plateau. Ten years of data collection and observations by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and hobbyists are represented.

  20. Black Bear Reactions to Venomous and Non-venomous Snakes in Eastern North America

    OpenAIRE

    Rogers, Lynn L; Mansfield, Susan A; Hornby, Kathleen; Hornby, Stewart; Debruyn, Terry D; Mize, Malvin; Clark, Rulon; Burghardt, Gordon M.

    2014-01-01

    Bears are often considered ecological equivalents of large primates, but the latter often respond with fear, avoidance, and alarm calls to snakes, both venomous and non-venomous, there is sparse information on how bears respond to snakes. We videotaped or directly observed natural encounters between black bears (Ursus americanus) and snakes. Inside the range of venomous snakes in Arkansas and West Virginia, adolescent and adult black bears reacted fearfully in seven of seven encounters upon b...

  1. Protease inhibitor in scorpion (Mesobuthus eupeus) venom prolongs the biological activities of the crude venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Hakim; Xiao-Peng, Tang; Yang, Shi-Long; Lu, Qiu-Min; Lai, Ren

    2016-08-01

    It is hypothesized that protease inhibitors play an essential role in survival of venomous animals through protecting peptide/protein toxins from degradation by proteases in their prey or predators. However, the biological function of protease inhibitors in scorpion venoms remains unknown. In the present study, a trypsin inhibitor was purified and characterized from the venom of scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus, which enhanced the biological activities of crude venom components in mice when injected in combination with crude venom. This protease inhibitor, named MeKTT-1, belonged to Kunitz-type toxins subfamily. Native MeKTT-1 selectively inhibited trypsin with a Kivalue of 130 nmol·L(-1). Furthermore, MeKTT-1 was shown to be a thermo-stable peptide. In animal behavioral tests, MeKTT-1 prolonged the pain behavior induced by scorpion crude venom, suggesting that protease inhibitors in scorpion venom inhibited proteases and protect the functionally important peptide/protein toxins from degradation, consequently keeping them active longer. In conclusion, this was the first experimental evidence about the natural existence of serine protease inhibitor in the venom of scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus, which preserved the activity of venom components, suggests that scorpions may use protease inhibitors for survival. PMID:27608950

  2. Hemostatic properties of Venezuelan Bothrops snake venoms with special reference to Bothrops isabelae venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Sánchez, Elda E; Márquez, Adriana; Carvajal, Zoila; Salazar, Ana M; Girón, María E; Estrella, Amalid; Gil, Amparo; Guerrero, Belsy

    2010-11-01

    In Venezuela, Bothrops snakes are responsible for more than 80% of all recorded snakebites. This study focuses on the biological and hemostatic characteristics of Bothrops isabelae venom along with its comparative characteristics with two other closely related Bothrops venoms, Bothrops atrox and Bothrops colombiensis. Electrophoretic profiles of crude B. isabelae venom showed protein bands between 14 and 100 kDa with the majority in the range of 14-31 kDa. The molecular exclusion chromatographic profile of this venom contains five fractions (F1-F5). Amidolytic activity evaluation evidenced strong thrombin-like followed by kallikrein-like activities in crude venom and in fractions F1 and F2. The fibrinogenolytic activity of B. isabelae venom at a ratio of 100:1 (fibrinogen/venom) induced a degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 15 min and 2 h, respectively. At a ratio of 100:10, a total degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 5 min and of gamma chains at 24 h was apparent. This current study evidences one of rarely reported for Bothrops venoms, which resembles the physiologic effect of plasmin. B. isabelae venom as well as F2 and F3 fractions, contain fibrinolytic activity on fibrin plate of 36, 23.5 and 9.45 mm(2)/microg, respectively using 25 microg of protein. Crude venom and F1 fraction showed gelatinolytic activity. Comparative analysis amongst Venezuelan bothropoid venoms, evidenced that the LD(50) of B. isabelae (5.9 mg/kg) was similar to B. atrox-Puerto Ayacucho 1 (6.1 mg/kg) and B. colombiensis-Caucagua (5.8 mg/kg). B. isabelae venom showed minor hemorrhagic activity, whereas B. atrox-Parguasa (Bolivar state) was the most hemorrhagic. In this study, a relative high thrombin-like activity was observed in B. colombiensis venoms (502-568 mUA/min/mg), and a relative high factor Xa-like activity was found in B. atrox venoms (126-294 mUA/min/mg). Fibrinolytic activity evaluated with 10 microg protein, showed that B. isabelae venom contained higher

  3. Hemostatic properties of Venezuelan Bothrops snake venoms with special reference to Bothrops isabelae venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Sánchez, Elda E; Márquez, Adriana; Carvajal, Zoila; Salazar, Ana M; Girón, María E; Estrella, Amalid; Gil, Amparo; Guerrero, Belsy

    2010-11-01

    In Venezuela, Bothrops snakes are responsible for more than 80% of all recorded snakebites. This study focuses on the biological and hemostatic characteristics of Bothrops isabelae venom along with its comparative characteristics with two other closely related Bothrops venoms, Bothrops atrox and Bothrops colombiensis. Electrophoretic profiles of crude B. isabelae venom showed protein bands between 14 and 100 kDa with the majority in the range of 14-31 kDa. The molecular exclusion chromatographic profile of this venom contains five fractions (F1-F5). Amidolytic activity evaluation evidenced strong thrombin-like followed by kallikrein-like activities in crude venom and in fractions F1 and F2. The fibrinogenolytic activity of B. isabelae venom at a ratio of 100:1 (fibrinogen/venom) induced a degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 15 min and 2 h, respectively. At a ratio of 100:10, a total degradation of A alpha and B beta chains at 5 min and of gamma chains at 24 h was apparent. This current study evidences one of rarely reported for Bothrops venoms, which resembles the physiologic effect of plasmin. B. isabelae venom as well as F2 and F3 fractions, contain fibrinolytic activity on fibrin plate of 36, 23.5 and 9.45 mm(2)/microg, respectively using 25 microg of protein. Crude venom and F1 fraction showed gelatinolytic activity. Comparative analysis amongst Venezuelan bothropoid venoms, evidenced that the LD(50) of B. isabelae (5.9 mg/kg) was similar to B. atrox-Puerto Ayacucho 1 (6.1 mg/kg) and B. colombiensis-Caucagua (5.8 mg/kg). B. isabelae venom showed minor hemorrhagic activity, whereas B. atrox-Parguasa (Bolivar state) was the most hemorrhagic. In this study, a relative high thrombin-like activity was observed in B. colombiensis venoms (502-568 mUA/min/mg), and a relative high factor Xa-like activity was found in B. atrox venoms (126-294 mUA/min/mg). Fibrinolytic activity evaluated with 10 microg protein, showed that B. isabelae venom contained higher

  4. [Venomous and poisonous animals--I. Overview].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chippaux, J P; Goyffon, M

    2006-06-01

    Venomous animals that are able to innoculate or inject venom and poisonous animals that cannot inject venom but are toxic when ingested belong to all zoological groups. They can be encountered worldwide in any ecosystem on land and at sea but they are more common and more dangerous in tropical areas. This first article of a series to appear in the next issues of Medecine Tropicale presents an overview of species involved in envenomations and poisonings. In addition to a brief reviewing geographic risks and circumstances in which bites, stings or ingestion occur, some information is provided about antivenim therapy, the only etiological treatment.

  5. An examination of amphibian sensitivity to environmental contaminants: are amphibians poor canaries?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerby, Jacob L; Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Storfer, Andrew; Skelly, David K

    2010-01-01

    Nearly two decades ago, the global biodiversity crisis was catapulted to the front pages of newspapers with the recognition of worldwide amphibian declines. Amphibians earned their appellation, 'canaries in a coal mine', because of apparent high sensitivity to human-mediated environmental change. The most frequently cited causes for high susceptibility include permeable skin, a dual aquatic-terrestrial life cycle and a relatively rudimentary immune system. While some researchers have questioned the basis for the canary assertion, there has been no systematic evaluation of amphibian sensitivity to environmental challenges relative to other taxa. Here, we apply a database representing thousands of toxicity tests to compare the responses of amphibians relative to that of other taxonomic groups. The use of standardized methods combined with large numbers of identical challenges enables a particularly powerful test of relative effect size. Overall, we found that amphibians only exhibit moderate relative responses to water-borne toxins. Our findings imply that, as far as chemical contaminants are concerned, amphibians are not particularly sensitive and might more aptly be described as 'miners in a coal mine'. To the extent that amphibian declines have been mediated by chemical contaminants, our findings suggest that population losses and extinctions may have already occurred in a variety of taxa much more sensitive than amphibians.

  6. Characterizing Tityus discrepans scorpion venom from a fractal perspective: Venom complexity, effects of captivity, sexual dimorphism, differences among species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Suze, Gina; Sandoval, Moisés; Sevcik, Carlos

    2015-12-15

    A characteristic of venom elution patterns, shared with many other complex systems, is that many their features cannot be properly described with statistical or euclidean concepts. The understanding of such systems became possible with Mandelbrot's fractal analysis. Venom elution patterns were produced using the reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with 1 mg of venom. One reason for the lack of quantitative analyses of the sources of venom variability is parametrizing the venom chromatograms' complexity. We quantize this complexity by means of an algorithm which estimates the contortedness (Q) of a waveform. Fractal analysis was used to compare venoms and to measure inter- and intra-specific venom variability. We studied variations in venom complexity derived from gender, seasonal and environmental factors, duration of captivity in the laboratory, technique used to milk venom.

  7. Echidna venom gland transcriptome provides insights into the evolution of monotreme venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S W Wong

    Full Text Available Monotremes (echidna and platypus are egg-laying mammals. One of their most unique characteristic is that males have venom/crural glands that are seasonally active. Male platypuses produce venom during the breeding season, delivered via spurs, to aid in competition against other males. Echidnas are not able to erect their spurs, but a milky secretion is produced by the gland during the breeding season. The function and molecular composition of echidna venom is as yet unknown. Hence, we compared the deeply sequenced transcriptome of an in-season echidna crural gland to that of a platypus and searched for putative venom genes to provide clues into the function of echidna venom and the evolutionary history of monotreme venom. We found that the echidna venom gland transcriptome was markedly different from the platypus with no correlation between the top 50 most highly expressed genes. Four peptides found in the venom of the platypus were detected in the echidna transcriptome. However, these genes were not highly expressed in echidna, suggesting that they are the remnants of the evolutionary history of the ancestral venom gland. Gene ontology terms associated with the top 100 most highly expressed genes in echidna, showed functional terms associated with steroidal and fatty acid production, suggesting that echidna "venom" may play a role in scent communication during the breeding season. The loss of the ability to erect the spur and other unknown evolutionary forces acting in the echidna lineage resulted in the gradual decay of venom components and the evolution of a new role for the crural gland.

  8. Venom-based biotoxins as potential analgesics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gazerani, Parisa; Cairns, Brian Edwin

    2014-11-01

    Chronic pain is a common debilitating condition with negative social and economic consequences. Management of chronic pain is challenging and the currently available medications do not yet yield satisfactory outcomes for many patients. Venom-derived biotoxins from various venomous species consist of several substances with different structures and compositions that include peptides. A unique characteristic of some venom-based biotoxins is the ability to block essential components of the pain signaling system, notably ion channels. This property is leading to the evaluation of the potential of biotoxins as analgesics to manage chronic pain. In addition to their therapeutic potential, biotoxins have also been essential tools to probe mechanisms underlying pain signaling, channelopathies and receptor expression. This review discusses venom-derived peptidergic biotoxins that are in preclinical stages or already in clinical trials. Some promising results from preliminary in vitro studies, ongoing challenges and unmet needs will also be discussed. PMID:25234848

  9. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Frishkoff, Luke O; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesús; Mesfun, Eyobed; Mendoza Quijano, Fernando; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-04-01

    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface

  10. Venom: the sharp end of pain therapeutics

    OpenAIRE

    Trim, Steven A; Trim, Carol M

    2013-01-01

    Adequate pain control is still a significant challenge and largely unmet medical need in the 21st century. With many small molecules failing to reach required levels of potency and selectivity, drug discovery is once again turning to nature to replenish pain therapeutic pipelines. Venomous animals are frequently stereotyped as inflictors of pain and distress and have historically been vilified by mankind. Yet, ironically, the very venoms that cause pain when directly injected by the host anim...

  11. Snake oil and venoms for medical research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolpert, H. D.

    2011-04-01

    Some think that using derivatives of snake venom for medical purposes is the modern version of snake oil but they are seriously misjudging the research potentials of some of these toxins in medicines of the 2000's. Medical trials, using some of the compounds has proven their usefulness. Several venoms have shown the possibilities that could lead to anticoagulants, helpful in heart disease. The blood clotting protein from the taipan snake has been shown to rapidly stop excessive bleeding. The venom from the copperhead may hold an answer to breast cancer. The Malaysian pit viper shows promise in breaking blood clots. Cobra venom may hold keys to finding cures for Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. Rattlesnake proteins from certain species have produced blood pressure medicines. Besides snake venoms, venom from the South American dart frog, mollusks (i.e. Cone Shell Snail), lizards (i.e. Gila Monster & Komodo Dragon), some species of spiders and tarantulas, Cephalopods, mammals (i.e. Platypus & Shrews), fish (i.e. sting rays, stone fish, puffer fish, blue bottle fish & box jelly fish), intertidal marine animals (echinoderms)(i.e. Crown of Thorn Star Fish & Flower Urchin) and the Honeybee are being investigated for potential medical benefits.

  12. Venom components from Citharischius crawshayi spider (Family Theraphosidae): exploring transcriptome, venomics, and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diego-García, Elia; Peigneur, Steve; Waelkens, Etienne; Debaveye, Sarah; Tytgat, Jan

    2010-08-01

    Despite strong efforts, knowledge about the composition of the venom of many spider species remains very limited. This work is the first report of transcriptome and venom analysis of the African spider Citharischius crawshayi. We used combined protocols of transcriptomics, venomics, and biological assays to characterize the venom and genes expressed in venom glands. A cDNA library of the venom glands was constructed and used to generate expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Sequence comparisons from 236 ESTs revealed interesting and unique sequences, corresponding to toxin-like and other components. Mass spectrometrical analysis of venom fractions showed more than 600 molecular masses, some of which showed toxic activity on crickets and modulated sodium currents in DmNa(v)1 and Na(v)1.6 channels as expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Taken together, our results may contribute to a better understanding of the cellular processes involved in the transcriptome and help us to discover new components from spider venom glands with therapeutic potential.

  13. Amphibians used in research and teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Rourke, Dorcas P

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians have long been utilized in scientific research and in education. Historically, investigators have accumulated a wealth of information on the natural history and biology of amphibians, and this body of information is continually expanding as researchers describe new species and study the behaviors of these animals. Amphibians evolved as models for a variety of developmental and physiological processes, largely due to their unique ability to undergo metamorphosis. Scientists have used amphibian embryos to evaluate the effects of toxins, mutagens, and teratogens. Likewise, the animals are invaluable in research due to the ability of some species to regenerate limbs. Certain species of amphibians have short generation times and genetic constructs that make them desirable for transgenic and knockout technology, and there is a current national focus on developing these species for genetic and genomic research. This group of vertebrates is also critically important in the investigation of the inter-relationship of humans and the environment based on their sensitivity to climatic and habitat changes and environmental contamination.

  14. A multifaceted analysis of viperid snake venoms by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis: an approach to understanding venom proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, Solange M T; Shannon, John D; Wang, Deyu; Camargo, Antonio C M; Fox, Jay W

    2005-02-01

    The complexity of Viperid venoms has long been appreciated by investigators in the fields of toxinology and medicine. However, it is only recently that the depth of that complexity has become somewhat quantitatively and qualitatively appreciated. With the resurgence of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and the advances in mass spectrometry virtually all venom components can be visualized and identified given sufficient effort and resources. Here we present the use of 2-DE for examining venom complexity as well as demonstrating interesting approaches to selectively delineate subpopulations of venom proteins based on particular characteristics of the proteins such as antibody cross-reactivity or enzymatic activities. 2-DE comparisons between venoms from different species of the same genus (Bothrops) of snake clearly demonstrated both the similarity as well as the apparent diversity among these venoms. Using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry we were able to identify regions of the two-dimensional gels from each venom in which certain classes of proteins were found. 2-DE was also used to compare venoms from Crotalus atrox and Bothrops jararaca. For these venoms a variety of staining/detection protocols was utilized to compare and contrast the venoms. Specifically, we used various stains to visualize subpopulations of the venom proteomes of these snakes, including Coomassie, Silver, Sypro Ruby and Pro-Q-Emerald. Using specific antibodies in Western blot analyses of 2-DE of the venoms we have examined subpopulations of proteins in these venoms including the serine proteinase proteome, the metalloproteinase proteome, and the phospholipases A2 proteome. A functional assessment of the gelatinolytic activity of these venoms was also performed by zymography. These approaches have given rise to a more thorough understanding of venom complexity and the toxins comprising these venoms and provide insights to investigators who wish to focus on these venom

  15. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Hayes, T. B.; Falso, P.; Gallipeau, S.; Stice, M.

    2010-01-01

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies hav...

  16. A study of bacterial contamination of rattlesnake venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Garcia-Lima

    1987-03-01

    Full Text Available The authors studied the bacterial contamination of rattlesnake venom isolated from snakes in captivity and wild snakes caught recently. The captive snakes showed a relatively high incidence of bacterial contamination of their venom.

  17. Recombinant snake venom prothrombin activators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lövgren, Ann

    2013-01-01

    Three prothrombin activators; ecarin, which was originally isolated from the venom of the saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus, trocarin from the rough-scaled snake Tropidechis carinatus, and oscutarin from the Taipan snake Oxyuranus scutellatus, were expressed in mammalian cells with the purpose to obtain recombinant prothrombin activators that could be used to convert prothrombin to thrombin. We have previously reported that recombinant ecarin can efficiently generate thrombin without the need for additional cofactors, but does not discriminate non-carboxylated prothrombin from biologically active γ-carboxylated prothrombin. Here we report that recombinant trocarin and oscutarin could not efficiently generate thrombin without additional protein co-factors. We confirm that both trocarin and oscutarin are similar to human coagulation Factor X (FX), explaining the need for additional cofactors. Sequencing of a genomic fragment containing 7 out of the 8 exons coding for oscutarin further confirmed the similarity to human FX. PMID:23111318

  18. Factors underlying the natural resistance of animals against snake venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Moussatché

    1989-01-01

    Full Text Available The existence of mammals and reptilia with a natural resistance to snake venoms is known since a long time. This fact has been subjected to the study by several research workers. Our experiments showed us that in the marsupial Didelphis marsupialis, a mammal highly resistant to the venom of Bothrops jararaca, and other Bothrops venoms, has a genetically origin protein, a alpha-1, acid glycoprotein, now highly purified, with protective action in mice against the jararaca snake venom.

  19. Hymenoptera Allergens: From Venom to “Venome”

    OpenAIRE

    Spillner, Edzard; Blank, Simon; Jakob, Thilo

    2014-01-01

    In Western Europe, Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA) primarily relates to venoms of the honeybee and the common yellow jacket. In contrast to other allergen sources, only a few major components of Hymenoptera venoms had been characterized until recently. Improved expression systems and proteomic detection strategies have allowed the identification and characterization of a wide range of additional allergens. The field of HVA research has moved rapidly from focusing on venom extract and single m...

  20. Centipede Venom: Recent Discoveries and Current State of Knowledge

    OpenAIRE

    Eivind A. B. Undheim; Fry, Bryan G.; Glenn F King

    2015-01-01

    Centipedes are among the oldest extant venomous predators on the planet. Armed with a pair of modified, venom-bearing limbs, they are an important group of predatory arthropods and are infamous for their ability to deliver painful stings. Despite this, very little is known about centipede venom and its composition. Advances in analytical tools, however, have recently provided the first detailed insights into the composition and evolution of centipede venoms. This has revealed that centipede v...

  1. Chemical Punch Packed in Venoms Makes Centipedes Excellent Predators*

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Shilong; Liu, Zhonghua; Xiao, Yao; Li, Yuan; Rong, Mingqiang; Liang, Songping; Zhang, Zhiye; Yu, Haining; Glenn F King; LAI, Ren

    2012-01-01

    Centipedes are excellent predatory arthropods that inject venom to kill or immobilize their prey. Although centipedes have long been known to be venomous, their venoms remain largely unexplored. The chemical components responsible for centipede predation and the functional mechanisms are unknown. Twenty-six neurotoxin-like peptides belonging to ten groups were identified from the centipede venoms, Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans L. Koch by peptidomics combined with transcriptome analysis, re...

  2. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins

    OpenAIRE

    Shuai Yan; Xianchun Wang

    2015-01-01

    Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom...

  3. Centipede Venoms and Their Components: Resources for Potential Therapeutic Applications

    OpenAIRE

    Md Abdul Hakim; Shilong Yang; Ren Lai

    2015-01-01

    Venomous animals have evolved with sophisticated bio-chemical strategies to arrest prey and defend themselves from natural predators. In recent years, peptide toxins from venomous animals have drawn considerable attention from researchers due to their surprising chemical, biochemical, and pharmacological diversity. Similar to other venomous animals, centipedes are one of the crucial venomous arthropods that have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years in China. Despite signify...

  4. Microbiota and mucosal immunity in amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno M Colombo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last twenty years we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacterias, archeas and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: i the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and ii the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota.

  5. Biological Scaling Problems and Solutions in Amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Daniel L; Heald, Rebecca

    2015-08-10

    Size is a primary feature of biological systems that varies at many levels, from the organism to its constituent cells and subcellular structures. Amphibians populate some of the extremes in biological size and have provided insight into scaling mechanisms, upper and lower size limits, and their physiological significance. Body size variation is a widespread evolutionary tactic among amphibians, with miniaturization frequently correlating with direct development that occurs without a tadpole stage. The large genomes of salamanders lead to large cell sizes that necessitate developmental modification and morphological simplification. Amphibian extremes at the cellular level have provided insight into mechanisms that accommodate cell-size differences. Finally, how organelles scale to cell size between species and during development has been investigated at the molecular level, because subcellular scaling can be recapitulated using Xenopus in vitro systems.

  6. Global patterns of amphibian phylogenetic diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritz, Susanne; Rahbek, Carsten

    2012-01-01

    Aim  Phylogenetic diversity can provide insight into how evolutionary processes may have shaped contemporary patterns of species richness. Here, we aim to test for the influence of phylogenetic history on global patterns of amphibian species richness, and to identify areas where macroevolutionary...... processes such as diversification and dispersal have left strong signatures on contemporary species richness. Location  Global; equal-area grid cells of approximately 10,000 km2. Methods  We generated an amphibian global supertree (6111 species) and repeated analyses with the largest available molecular...... phylogeny (2792 species). We combined each tree with global species distributions to map four indices of phylogenetic diversity. To investigate congruence between global spatial patterns of amphibian species richness and phylogenetic diversity, we selected Faith’s phylogenetic diversity (PD) index...

  7. Effects of Roads on Amphibian Populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hels, T.

    to have experienced the wonders of early summer sunrises in the field - and the joy of thawing out frozen fingers after hours of field work around freezing point. Amphibian populations are declining. This worrying fact is what has initiated this work. Some fifty years ago, the life history of frogs...... and toads was common knowledge to everybody due to personal experience: amphibians were abundant. Noisy and innumerable in spring when reproducing, silent and even more abundant in late summer with both adults and metamorphs leaving the breeding ponds. Today, experiencing frogs and toads is an event......, something to talk about. Fortunately, amphibians are still numerous in certain places and hopefully, we will get to a point when we know enough about the declines and their backgrounds to bring the decline to an end. It is my hope that results of this work will add a piece to the puzzle. This work...

  8. Amphibian monitoring in the Atchafalaya Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddle, Hardin

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians are a diverse group of animals that includes frogs, toads, and salamanders. They are adapted to living in a variety of habitats, but most require water for at least one life stage. Amphibians have recently become a worldwide conservation concern because of declines and extinctions even in remote protected areas previously thought to be safe from the pressures of habitat loss and degradation. Amphibians are an important part of ecosystem dynamics because they can be quite abundant and serve both as a predator of smaller organisms and as prey to a suite of vertebrate predators. Their permeable skin and aquatic life history also make them useful as indicators of ecosystem health. Since 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey has been studying the frog and toad species inhabiting the Atchafalaya Basin to monitor for population declines and to better understand how the species are potentially affected by disease, environmental contaminants, and climate change.

  9. Use of gamma irradiated viper venom as the toxoid against viper venom poisoning in mice and rabbits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The present paper deals with detoxification of the crude viper (Vipera russelli) venom by gamma irradiation and its effective immunogenic role in Balb/C mice, used as a toxoid. The successful immunization of rabbits with irradiated viper venom toxoid is also reported. Certain biochemical changes of the venom due to radiation exposure and neutralization capacity of the immune sera against phosphodiesterase and protease activity of the crude viper venom have also been studied. The neutralizing potency of Russell's viper venom (RVV) toxoid anti venom (anti venom raised in rabbits against γ-irradiated RVV toxoid adsorbed on aluminium phosphate), in comparison with a commercial bivalent anti venom (as a standard reference) with reference to haemorrhagic, necrotic and lethal effects of Russell's viper envenomation are reported. 25 refs

  10. Where to look when identifying roadkilled amphibians?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Franch

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Roads have multiple effects on wildlife; amphibians are one of the groups more intensely affected by roadkills. Monitoring roadkills is expensive and time consuming. Automated mapping systems for detecting roadkills, based on robotic computer vision techniques, are largely necessary. Amphibians can be recognised by a set of features as shape, size, colouration, habitat and location. This species identification by using multiple features at the same time is known as “jizz”. In a similar way to human vision, computer vision algorithms must incorporate a prioritisation process when analysing the objects in an image. Our main goal here was to give a numerical priority sequence of particular characteristics of roadkilled amphibians to improve the computing and learning process of algorithms. We asked hundred and five amateur and professional herpetologists to answer a simple test of five sets with ten images each of roadkilled amphibians, in order to determine which body parts or characteristics (body form, colour, and other patterns are used to identify correctly the species. Anura was the group most easily identified when it was roadkilled and Caudata was the most difficult. The lower the taxonomic level of amphibian, the higher the difficulty of identifying them, both in Anura and Caudata. Roadkilled amphibians in general and Anura group were mostly identified by the Form, by the combination of Form and Colour, and finally by Colour. Caudata was identified mainly on Form and Colour and on Colour. Computer vision algorithms must incorporate these combinations of features, avoiding to work exclusively in one specific feature.

  11. Ion transport by the amphibian primary ureter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møbjerg, Nadja

    2008-01-01

    and it is furthermore a key player in the induction of these kidney generations. Whether the ureter participates in urine modification, remains to be elucidated. In amphibians the pronephros is a large organ, which is functional for a considerable time before it degenerates. The aim of this study was to investigate...... putative ion transport mechanisms in the primary ureter of the freshwater amphibian Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl). Primary ureters isolated from axolotl larvae were perfused in vitro and single cells were impaled across the basal cell membrane with glass microelectrodes. In 42 cells the membrane potential...

  12. Amphibians as model to study endocrine disrupters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloas, Werner; Lutz, Ilka

    2006-10-13

    Environmental compounds can interfere with endocrine systems of wildlife and humans. These so-called endocrine disrupters (ED) are known to affect reproductive biology and thyroid system. The classical model species for these endocrine systems are amphibians and therefore they can serve as sentinels for detection of the modes of action (MOAs) of ED. Recently, amphibians are being reviewed as suitable models to assess (anti)estrogenic and (anti)androgenic MOAs influencing reproductive biology as well as (anti)thyroidal MOAs interfering with the thyroid system. The development of targeted bioassays in combination with adequate chemical analyses is the prerequisite for a concise risk assessment of ED.

  13. The state of amphibians in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, E.; Adams, M.J.; Grant, E.H.C.; Miller, D.; Corn, P.S.; Ball, L.C.

    2012-01-01

    More than 25 years ago, scientists began to identify unexplained declines in amphibian populations around the world. Much has been learned since then, but amphibian declines have not abated and the interactions among the various threats to amphibians are not clear. Amphibian decline is a problem of local, national, and international scope that can affect ecosystem function, biodiversity, and commerce. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the state of the amphibians and introduces examples to illustrate the range of issues in the United States.

  14. Characterization of venom (Duvernoy's secretion) from twelve species of colubrid snakes and partial sequence of four venom proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, R E; Mackessy, S P

    2000-12-01

    R.E. Hill and S.P. Mackessy. Characterization of venom (Duvernoy's secretion) from twelve species of colubrid snakes and partial sequence of four venom proteins. Toxicon XX, xx-yy, 2000. - Venomous colubrids, which include more than 700 snake species worldwide, represent a vast potential source of novel biological compounds. The present study characterized venom (Duvernoy's gland secretion) collected from twelve species of opisthoglyphous (rear-fanged) colubrid snakes, an extremely diverse assemblage of non-venomous to highly venomous snakes. Most venoms displayed proteolytic activity (casein), though activity levels varied considerably. Low phosphodiesterase activity was detected in several venoms (Amphiesma stolata, Diadophis punctatus, Heterodon nasicus kennerlyi, H. n. nasicus and Thamnophis elegans vagrans), and acetylcholinesterase was found in Boiga irregularis saliva and venom, but no venoms displayed hyaluronidase, thrombin-like or kallikrein-like activities. High phospholipase A(2) (PLA(2)) activity was found in Trimorphodon biscutatus lambda venom, and moderate levels were detected in Boiga dendrophila and D. p. regalis venoms as well as B. dendrophila and H. n. nasicus salivas. Non-reducing SDS-PAGE revealed 7-20 protein bands (3.5 to over 200 kD, depending on species) for all venoms analyzed, and electrophoretic profiles of venoms were typically quite distinct from saliva profiles. Components from A. stolata, Hydrodynastes gigas, Tantilla nigriceps and T. e. vagrans venoms showed protease activity when run on gelatin zymogram gels. N-terminal protein sequences for three 26 kD venom components of three species (H. gigas, H. torquata, T. biscutatus) and one 3.5 kD component (T. nigriceps) were also obtained, and the 3.5 kD peptide showed apparent sequence homology with human vascular endothelial growth factor; these data represent the first sequences of colubrid venom components. Protease, phosphodiesterase and PLA(2) activities are also common to elapid

  15. The role of amphibian antimicrobial peptides in protection of amphibians from pathogens linked to global amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2009-08-01

    Amphibian species have experienced population declines and extinctions worldwide that are unprecedented in recent history. Many of these recent declines have been linked to a pathogenic skin fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or to iridoviruses of the genus Ranavirus. One of the first lines of defense against pathogens that enter by way of the skin are antimicrobial peptides synthesized and stored in dermal granular glands and secreted into the mucus following alarm or injury. Here, I review what is known about the capacity of amphibian antimicrobial peptides from diverse amphibians to inhibit B. dendrobatidis or ranavirus infections. When multiple species were compared for the effectiveness of their in vitro antimicrobial peptides defenses against B. dendrobatidis, non-declining species of rainforest amphibians had more effective antimicrobial peptides than species in the same habitat that had recently experienced population declines. Further, there was a significant correlation between the effectiveness of the antimicrobial peptides and resistance of the species to experimental infection. These studies support the hypothesis that antimicrobial peptides are an important component of innate defenses against B. dendrobatidis. Some amphibian antimicrobial peptides inhibit ranavirus infections and infection of human T lymphocytes by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). An effective antimicrobial peptide defense against skin pathogens appears to depend on a diverse array of genes expressing antimicrobial peptides. The production of antimicrobial peptides may be regulated by signals from the pathogens. However, this defense must also accommodate potentially beneficial microbes on the skin that compete or inhibit growth of the pathogens. How this delicate balancing act is accomplished is an important area of future research.

  16. Snake venoms in science and clinical medicine. 2. Applied immunology in snake venom research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theakston, R D

    1989-01-01

    Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is a very important tool for studying both the epidemiology and clinical effects of snake bite in man. For epidemiology ELISA depends on the development and persistence of specific humoral venom antibody in previous snake bite victims. In the Nigerian savanna 63% of previous bite victims possessed specific venom antibodies against Echis carinatus venom; in Ecuador, where there is a 5% annual mortality due to snake bite in a population of Waorani Indians, venom antibodies against a wide range of different venoms were identified in previous bite victims using ELISA. In certain areas it is often not possible, using the symptoms of envenoming, to determine which species of snake has bitten the patient. Field studies using ELISA in Nigeria and Thailand have been successful in establishing the species responsible for envenoming. Current studies are in progress on the development of a rapid immunoassay which should be capable of detecting the biting species within 5-10 min of sampling from the admission patient. This will be useful for the clinician as it will enable the rapid detection of the species responsible for envenoming and, therefore, the use of the correct antivenom. Experimental work on the development of new methods of antivenom production includes immunization of experimental animals with venom/liposome preparations, the preparation of venom antigens using monoclonal antibodies on affinity columns, and recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid technology. Liposomal immunization requires only a single injection of venom to obtain a rapid, high level and protective immune response. Venom liposomes may also be given orally resulting in a serum immunoglobulin G immune response in experimental animals. Use of such a system may eventually result in immunization of man in areas of high snake bite incidence and mortality. PMID:2617643

  17. Hymenoptera venom review focusing on Apis mellifera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. R. de Lima

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Hymenoptera venoms are complex mixtures containing simple organic molecules, proteins, peptides, and other bioactive elements. Several of these components have been isolated and characterized, and their primary structures determined by biochemical techniques. These compounds are responsible for many toxic or allergic reactions in different organisms, such as local pain, inflammation, itching, irritation, and moderate or severe allergic reactions. The most extensively characterized Hymenoptera venoms are bee venoms, mainly from the Apis genus and also from social wasps and ant species. However, there is little information about other Hymenoptera groups. The Apis venom presents high molecular weight molecules - enzymes with a molecular weight higher than 10.0 kDa - and peptides. The best studied enzymes are phospholipase A2, responsible for cleaving the membrane phospholipids, hyaluronidase, which degrades the matrix component hyaluronic acid into non-viscous segments and acid phosphatase acting on organic phosphates. The main peptide compounds of bee venom are lytic peptide melittin, apamin (neurotoxic, and mastocyte degranulating peptide (MCD.

  18. Scorpion Venom and the Inflammatory Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera L. Petricevich

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Scorpion venoms consist of a complex of several toxins that exhibit a wide range of biological properties and actions, as well as chemical compositions, toxicity, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characteristics. These venoms are associated with high morbility and mortality, especially among children. Victims of envenoming by a scorpion suffer a variety of pathologies, involving mainly both sympathetic and parasympathetic stimulation as well as central manifestations such as irritability, hyperthermia, vomiting, profuse salivation, tremor, and convulsion. The clinical signs and symptoms observed in humans and experimental animals are related with an excessive systemic host inflammatory response to stings and stings, respectively. Although the pathophysiology of envenomation is complex and not yet fully understood, venom and immune responses are known to trigger the release of inflammatory mediators that are largely mediated by cytokines. In models of severe systemic inflammation produced by injection of high doses of venom or venoms products, the increase in production of proinflammatory cytokines significantly contributes to immunological imbalance, multiple organ dysfunction and death. The cytokines initiate a cascade of events that lead to illness behaviors such as fever, anorexia, and also physiological events in the host such as activation of vasodilatation, hypotension, and increased of vessel permeability.

  19. Presence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in native amphibians exported from Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented.

  20. Combined snake venomics and venom gland transcriptomic analysis of the ocellated carpet viper, Echis ocellatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagstaff, Simon C; Sanz, Libia; Juárez, Paula; Harrison, Robert A; Calvete, Juan J

    2009-01-30

    Snakebite in Africa causes thousands of deaths annually and considerable permanent physical disability. The saw-scaled viper, Echis ocellatus, represents the single most medically important snake species in West Africa. To provide a detailed compositional analysis of the venom of E. ocellatus for designing novel toxin-specific immunotherapy and to delineate sequence structure-function relationships of individual toxins, we characterised the venom proteome and the venom gland transcriptome. Whole E. ocellatus venom was fractionated by reverse-phase HPLC, followed by analysis of each chromatographic fraction using a combination of SDS-PAGE, N-terminal sequencing, MALDI-TOF mass fingerprinting, and CID-MS/MS of tryptic peptides. This analysis identified around 35 distinct proteins of molecular masses in the range of 5.5-110 kDa belonging to 8 different toxin families (disintegrin, DC-fragment, phospholipase A(2), cysteine-rich secretory protein, serine proteinase, C-type lectin, l-amino acid oxidase, and Zn(2+)-dependent metalloprotease). Comparison of the toxin composition of E. ocellatus venom determined using a proteomic approach, with the predicted proteome derived from assembly of 1000 EST sequences from a E. ocellatus venom gland cDNA library, shows some differences. Most notably, peptides derived from 26% of the venom proteins could not be ascribed an exact match in the transcriptome. Similarly, 64 (67%) out of the 95 putative toxin clusters reported in the transcriptome did not match to peptides detected in the venom proteome. These data suggest that the final composition of venom is influenced by transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms that may be more complex than previously appreciated. This, in turn, emphasises the value of combining proteomic and transcriptomic approaches to acquire a more complete understanding of the precise composition of snake venom, than would be gleaned from using one analysis alone. From a clinical perspective, the large

  1. Culture of Cells from Amphibian Embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanisstreet, Martin

    1983-01-01

    Describes a method for in vitro culturing of cells from amphibian early embryos. Such cells can be used to demonstrate such properties of eukaryote cells as cell motility, adhesion, differentiation, and cell sorting into tissues. The technique may be extended to investigate other factors. (Author/JN)

  2. Universal COI primers for DNA barcoding amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Che, Jing; Chen, Hong-Man; Yang, Jun-Xiao; Jin, Jie-Qiong; Jiang, Ke; Yuan, Zhi-Yong; Murphy, Robert W; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2012-03-01

    DNA barcoding is a proven tool for the rapid and unambiguous identification of species, which is essential for many activities including the vouchering tissue samples in the genome 10K initiative, genealogical reconstructions, forensics and biodiversity surveys, among many other applications. A large-scale effort is underway to barcode all amphibian species using the universally sequenced DNA region, a partial fragment of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I COI. This fragment is desirable because it appears to be superior to 16S for barcoding, at least for some groups of salamanders. The barcoding of amphibians is essential in part because many species are now endangered. Unfortunately, existing primers for COI often fail to achieve this goal. Herein, we report two new pairs of primers (➀, ➁) that in combination serve to universally amplify and sequence all three orders of Chinese amphibians as represented by 36 genera. This taxonomic diversity, which includes caecilians, salamanders and frogs, suggests that the new primer pairs will universally amplify COI for the vast majority species of amphibians.

  3. Centipede venoms and their components: resources for potential therapeutic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakim, Md Abdul; Yang, Shilong; Lai, Ren

    2015-11-01

    Venomous animals have evolved with sophisticated bio-chemical strategies to arrest prey and defend themselves from natural predators. In recent years, peptide toxins from venomous animals have drawn considerable attention from researchers due to their surprising chemical, biochemical, and pharmacological diversity. Similar to other venomous animals, centipedes are one of the crucial venomous arthropods that have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years in China. Despite signifying pharmacological importance, very little is known about the active components of centipede venoms. More than 500 peptide sequences have been reported in centipede venomous glands by transcriptome analysis, but only a small number of peptide toxins from centipede has been functionally described. Like other venomous animals such as snakes, scorpions, and spiders, the venom of centipedes could be an excellent source of peptides for developing drugs for treatments as well as bio-insecticides for agrochemical applications. Although centipede venoms are yet to be adequately studied, the venom of centipedes as well as their components described to date, should be compiled to help further research. Therefore, based on previous reports, this review focusses on findings and possible therapeutic applications of centipede venoms as well as their components. PMID:26593947

  4. Fibrin(ogen)olytic activity of bumblebee venom serine protease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bee venom is a rich source of pharmacologically active components; it has been used as an immunotherapy to treat bee venom hypersensitivity, and venom therapy has been applied as an alternative medicine. Here, we present evidence that the serine protease found in bumblebee venom exhibits fibrin(ogen)olytic activity. Compared to honeybee venom, bumblebee venom contains a higher content of serine protease, which is one of its major components. Venom serine proteases from bumblebees did not cross-react with antibodies against the honeybee venom serine protease. We provide functional evidence indicating that bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) venom serine protease (Bt-VSP) acts as a fibrin(ogen)olytic enzyme. Bt-VSP activates prothrombin and directly degrades fibrinogen into fibrin degradation products. However, Bt-VSP is not a plasminogen activator, and its fibrinolytic activity is less than that of plasmin. Taken together, our results define roles for Bt-VSP as a prothrombin activator, a thrombin-like protease, and a plasmin-like protease. These findings offer significant insight into the allergic reaction sequence that is initiated by bee venom serine protease and its potential usefulness as a clinical agent in the field of hemostasis and thrombosis. - Graphical abstract: Display Omitted Highlights: → Bumblebee venom serine protease (Bt-VSP) is a fibrin(ogen)olytic enzyme. → Bt-VSP activates prothrombin. → Bt-VSP directly degrades fibrinogen into fibrin degradation products. → Bt-VSP is a hemostatically active protein that is a potent clinical agent.

  5. Inhibition of Naja kaouthia venom activities by plant polyphenols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pithayanukul, Pimolpan; Ruenraroengsak, Pakatip; Bavovada, Rapepol; Pakmanee, Narumol; Suttisri, Rutt; Saen-oon, Suwipa

    2005-03-21

    Plant polyphenols from the aqueous extracts of Pentace burmanica, Pithecellobium dulce, Areca catechu and Quercus infectoria were tested for their inhibitory activities against Naja kaouthia (NK) venom by in vitro neutralization method. The first three extracts could completely inhibit the lethality of the venom at 4 LD50 concentration and the venom necrotizing activity at the minimum necrotizing dose while also inhibited up to 90% of the acetylcholinesterase activity of NK venom at much lower tannin concentrations than that of Quercus infectoria. The ED50 of plant tannins in inhibiting NK venom activities varied according to condensed tannins and their content in the extracts. Molecular docking of the complexes between alpha-cobratoxin and either hydrolysable or condensed tannins at their lowest energetic conformations were proposed. The anti-venom activities of these plant polyphenols by selectively blocking the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor and non-selectively by precipitation of the venom proteins were suggested. PMID:15740891

  6. Tracing Monotreme Venom Evolution in the Genomics Era

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilla M. Whittington

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The monotremes (platypuses and echidnas represent one of only four extant venomous mammalian lineages. Until recently, monotreme venom was poorly understood. However, the availability of the platypus genome and increasingly sophisticated genomic tools has allowed us to characterize platypus toxins, and provides a means of reconstructing the evolutionary history of monotreme venom. Here we review the physiology of platypus and echidna crural (venom systems as well as pharmacological and genomic studies of monotreme toxins. Further, we synthesize current ideas about the evolution of the venom system, which in the platypus is likely to have been retained from a venomous ancestor, whilst being lost in the echidnas. We also outline several research directions and outstanding questions that would be productive to address in future research. An improved characterization of mammalian venoms will not only yield new toxins with potential therapeutic uses, but will also aid in our understanding of the way that this unusual trait evolves.

  7. Angiotensin processing activities in the venom of Thalassophryne nattereri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenório, Humberto de Araújo; Marques, Maria Elizabeth da Costa; Machado, Sonia Salgueiro; Pereira, Hugo Juarez Vieira

    2015-05-01

    The venom of marine animals is a rich source of compounds with remarkable functional specificity and diversity. Thalassophryne nattereri is a small venomous fish inhabiting the northern and northeastern coast of Brazil, and represents a relatively frequent cause of injuries. Its venom causes severe inflammatory response followed frequently by the necrosis of the affected area. This venom presents characterized components such as proteases (Natterins 1-4) and a lectin (Nattectin) with complex effects on the human organism. A specific inhibitor of tissue kallikrein (TKI) reduces the nociception and the edema caused by the venom in mice. Our study sought to investigate the proteolytic activities against vasopeptides Angiotensin I, Angiotensin II, Angiotensin 1-9 and Bradykinin. The venom indicated angiotensin conversion against angiotensin I, as well as kininase against bradykinin. Captopril conducted the total inhibition of the converting activity, featuring the first report of ACE activity in fish venoms. PMID:25702959

  8. Pharmacological evaluation of bee venom and melittin

    OpenAIRE

    Camila G. Dantas; Tássia L.G.M. Nunes; Tâmara L.G.M. Nunes; Ailma O. da Paixão; Francisco P. Reis; Waldecy de L. Júnior; Juliana C. Cardoso; Kátia P. Gramacho; Gomes, Margarete Z

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify the pharmacological effects of bee venom and its major component, melittin, on the nervous system of mice. For the pharmacological analysis, mice were treated once with saline, 0.1 or 1.2 mg/kg of bee venom and 0.1 mg/kg of melittin, subcutaneously, 30 min before being submitted to behavioral tests: locomotor activity and grooming (open-field), catalepsy, anxiety (elevated plus-maze), depression (forced swimming test) and apomorphine-induced stereot...

  9. Tarantula (Eurypelma californicum) venom, a multicomponent system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savel-Niemann, A

    1989-05-01

    The venom of the tarantula Eurypelma californicum was analysed biochemically, the components were isolated and characterized. The pH value of the crude venom is 5.3 +/- 0.3. After dilution with distilled water, UV-absorption spectra showed a single maximum at 258 nm (pH ca. 7.0). A second maximum at 328 nm emerged above pH 8.0. Protein concentration of the venom is ca. 65 mg/ml. After Coomassie staining SDS-PAGE patterns show three major bands with apparent molecular masses around 40 kDa, 4.3 kDa and 1.3 kDa besides some weak high molecular protein bands. The following low-molecular mass constituents were determined in the crude venom: ATP, ADP, AMP, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, gamma-aminobutyric acid, glucose and the ions potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and chloride; the osmolality was 361 micro0smol/ml. The LD50 value for female cockroaches was 0.15 microliters venom per g body weight and for male cockroaches 0.4 microliters venom per g body weight. Separation of the crude venom by gel chromatography yielded four elution peaks. Peak I contains the enzyme hyaluronidase. The activity is 200-900 U/microliters. Peak II contains a mixture of toxic peptides. Peak III contains the 1.3-kDa components of SDS-PAGE and peak IV mainly contains ATP. Venom proteins including the enzyme hyaluronidase were precipitated by 5% trichloroacetic acid. The supernatant was separated by HPLC into 13 fractions. Fraction 1 contains glutamic acid, aspartic acid, gamma-aminobutyric acid and ATP; fraction 2 contains ATP, ADP and AMP as well as a component 2' visible in SDS-PAGE as 1.3-kDa band and consisting of spermine and tryptophan; fraction 3 contains ATP and an unknown component 3'; fractions 4-6 also show a 1.3-kDa band in SDS-PAGE, fraction 4 being tyrosylspermine and fractions 5 and 6 containing compounds of spermine and aromatic molecules; fraction 7 contains a peptide which lacks aromatic amino acids, it was sequenced from the N-terminus; fractions 8-13 contain very similar

  10. THE USE OF THE ANTI-VENOM SPECIFIC ANTIBODIES ISOLATED FROM DUCK EGGS FOR INACTIVATION OF THE VIPER VENOM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ADRIANA CRISTE

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The activity of specific anti-venom can be demonstrated using protection test in laboratory mice. Our study aimed to emphasize the possibility of viper venom inactivation by the antibodies produced and isolated from duck eggs and also to the activation concentration of these antibodies. The venom used for inoculation was harvested from two viper species (Vipera ammodytes and Vipera berus. The immunoglobulin extract had a better activity on the venom from Vipera berus compared to the venom from Vipera ammodytes. This could be the result of a better immunological response, as consequence of the immunization with this type of venom, compared to the response recorded when the Vipera ammodytes venom was used. Besides the advantages of low cost, high productivity and reduced risk of anaphylactic shock, the duck eggs also have high activity up to dilutions of 1/16, 1/32, respectively, with specific activity and 100 surviving in individuals which received 3 x DL50.

  11. Amphibians as animal models for laboratory research in physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burggren, Warren W; Warburton, Stephen

    2007-01-01

    The concept of animal models is well honored, and amphibians have played a prominent part in the success of using key species to discover new information about all animals. As animal models, amphibians offer several advantages that include a well-understood basic physiology, a taxonomic diversity well suited to comparative studies, tolerance to temperature and oxygen variation, and a greater similarity to humans than many other currently popular animal models. Amphibians now account for approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of lower vertebrate and invertebrate research, and this proportion is especially true in physiological research, as evident from the high profile of amphibians as animal models in Nobel Prize research. Currently, amphibians play prominent roles in research in the physiology of musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, reproductive, and sensory systems. Amphibians are also used extensively in physiological studies aimed at generating new insights in evolutionary biology, especially in the investigation of the evolution of air breathing and terrestriality. Environmental physiology also utilizes amphibians, ranging from studies of cryoprotectants for tissue preservation to physiological reactions to hypergravity and space exploration. Amphibians are also playing a key role in studies of environmental endocrine disruptors that are having disproportionately large effects on amphibian populations and where specific species can serve as sentinel species for environmental pollution. Finally, amphibian genera such as Xenopus, a genus relatively well understood metabolically and physiologically, will continue to contribute increasingly in this new era of systems biology and "X-omics."

  12. Antifungal Activity of Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom against Clinically Isolated Candida albicans

    OpenAIRE

    Seung-Bae Lee

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the antifungal effect of bee venom (BV) and sweet bee venom (SBV) against Candida albicans (C. albicans) clinical isolates. Methods: In this study, BV and SBV were examined for antifungal activities against the Korean Collection for Type Cultures (KCTC) strain and 10 clinical isolates of C. albicans. The disk diffusion method was used to measure the antifungal activity and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assays were performed by ...

  13. Fossilized Venom: The Unusually Conserved Venom Profiles of Heloderma Species (Beaded Lizards and Gila Monsters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Koludarov

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Research into snake venoms has revealed extensive variation at all taxonomic levels. Lizard venoms, however, have received scant research attention in general, and no studies of intraclade variation in lizard venom composition have been attempted to date. Despite their iconic status and proven usefulness in drug design and discovery, highly venomous helodermatid lizards (gila monsters and beaded lizards have remained neglected by toxinological research. Proteomic comparisons of venoms of three helodermatid lizards in this study has unravelled an unusual similarity in venom-composition, despite the long evolutionary time (~30 million years separating H. suspectum from the other two species included in this study (H. exasperatum and H. horridum. Moreover, several genes encoding the major helodermatid toxins appeared to be extremely well-conserved under the influence of negative selection (but with these results regarded as preliminary due to the scarcity of available sequences. While the feeding ecologies of all species of helodermatid lizard are broadly similar, there are significant morphological differences between species, which impact upon relative niche occupation.

  14. Bee Venom Phospholipase A2: Yesterday's Enemy Becomes Today's Friend.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Gihyun; Bae, Hyunsu

    2016-02-01

    Bee venom therapy has been used to treat immune-related diseases such as arthritis for a long time. Recently, it has revealed that group III secretory phospholipase A2 from bee venom (bee venom group III sPLA2) has in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory effects. A growing number of reports have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA2. Notably, new experimental data have shown protective immune responses of bee venom group III sPLA2 against a wide range of diseases including asthma, Parkinson's disease, and drug-induced organ inflammation. It is critical to evaluate the beneficial and adverse effects of bee venom group III sPLA2 because this enzyme is known to be the major allergen of bee venom that can cause anaphylactic shock. For many decades, efforts have been made to avoid its adverse effects. At high concentrations, exposure to bee venom group III sPLA2 can result in damage to cellular membranes and necrotic cell death. In this review, we summarized the current knowledge about the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA2 on several immunological diseases and described the detailed mechanisms of bee venom group III sPLA2 in regulating various immune responses and physiopathological changes. PMID:26907347

  15. Categorization of venoms according to bonding properties: An immunological overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Nihal M; El-Kady, Ebtsam M; Asker, Mohsen S

    2016-02-01

    In this report, we present a study on the antigenic cross-reactivity of various venoms from the most dangerous Egyptian snakes and scorpions belonging to families Elapidae, Viperidae and Buthidae. The study was carried out with special reference to bonding properties between venoms and antivenoms and their involvement in the formation of specific and/or cross-reactive interactions. The homologous polyclonal antivenoms showed high reactivity to the respective venoms and cross-reacted with varying degrees to other non-homologous venoms. Assorting the antivenoms according to their susceptibility to dissociation by different concentrations of NH4SCN revealed that most of the antibodies involved in homologous venom-antivenom interactions were highly avid; building up strong venom-antivenom bonding. Whereas cross-reactions due to heterologous interactions were mediated by less avid antibodies that ultimately led to the formation of venom-antivenom bonding of different power strengths depending on the antigenic similarity and hence on the phylogenetic relationship of the tested venom. A new parameter evaluating high and low avid interactions, designated as H/L value, for each antigen-antibody bonding was initiated and used as an indicator of bonding strength between different venom-antivenom partners. H/L values were many folds higher than 1 for homologous and closely related venoms, 1 or around 1 for cross-reactive venoms, whereas venoms from unrelated remote sources recorded H/L values far less than 1. Using well defined polyclonal antivenoms, H/L value was successfully used to assign eight unknown venoms to their animal families and the results were confirmed by species-specific ELISA and immunoblotting assays. PMID:26690707

  16. Modulation of intracellular Ca2+ levels by Scorpaenidae venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Church, Jarrod E; Moldrich, Randal X; Beart, Philip M; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2003-05-01

    The crude venoms of the soldierfish (Gymnapistes marmoratus), the lionfish (Pterois volitans) and the stonefish (Synanceia trachynis) display pronounced neuromuscular activity. Since [Ca(2+)](i) is a key regulator in many aspects of neuromuscular function we sought to determine its involvement in the neuromuscular actions of the venoms. In the chick biventer cervicis muscle, all three venoms produced a sustained contraction (approx 20-30% of 1mM acetylcholine). Blockade of nicotinic receptors with tubocurarine (10 micro M) failed to attenuate the contractile response to either G. marmoratus venom or P. volitans venom, but produced slight inhibition of the response to S. trachynis venom. All three venoms produced a rise in intracellular Ca(2+) (approx. 200-300% of basal) in cultured murine cortical neurons. The Ca(2+)-channel blockers omega-conotoxin MVIIC, omega-conotoxin GVIA, omega-agatoxin IVa and nifedipine (each at 1 micro M) potentiated the increase in [Ca(2+)](i) in response to G. marmoratus venom and P. volitans venom, while attenuating the response to S. trachynis venom. Removal of extracellular Ca(2+), replacement of Ca(2+) with La(3+) (0.5mM), or addition of stonefish antivenom (3units/ml) inhibited both the venom-induced increase in [Ca(2+)](i) in cultured neurones and contraction in chick biventer cervicis muscle. Venom-induced increases in [Ca(2+)](i) correlated with an increased cell death of cultured neurones as measured using propidium iodide (1 micro g/ml). Morphological analysis revealed cellular swelling and neurite loss consistent with necrosis. These data indicate that the effects of all three venoms are due in part to an increase in intracellular Ca(2+), possibly via the formation of pores in the cellular membrane which, under certain conditions, can lead to necrosis. PMID:12727272

  17. SdPI, The First Functionally Characterized Kunitz-Type Trypsin Inhibitor from Scorpion Venom

    OpenAIRE

    Zhao, Ruiming; Dai, Hui; Qiu, Su; Li, Tian; He, Yawen; Ma, Yibao; Chen, Zongyun; Wu, Yingliang; Li, Wenxin; Cao,Zhijian

    2011-01-01

    Background Kunitz-type venom peptides have been isolated from a wide variety of venomous animals. They usually have protease inhibitory activity or potassium channel blocking activity, which by virtue of the effects on predator animals are essential for the survival of venomous animals. However, no Kunitz-type peptides from scorpion venom have been functionally characterized. Principal Findings A new Kunitz-type venom peptide gene precursor, SdPI, was cloned and characterized from a venom gla...

  18. Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA): An Internet-Based Amphibian Course for Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Tony P.

    2001-12-01

    A pilot on-line course on amphibians was offered free to 20 educators around the United States in 1999. This course, called Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA), was the first of its kind on-line course for educators dealing with amphibian issues. It also used these animals as a focus to teach about the environment. The course lasted 9 weeks with some additional time for continued discussions and used various aspects of Internet technology (including a virtual conference center), media, and traditional paper-based products to complete the learning process. Five teachers were selected to attend a national amphibian summit hosted by the Center for Global Environmental Education, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN. The course was aimed primarily at upper elementary and middle school teachers, but participants included formal and nonformal educators. For the most part, educators expressed satisfaction with the course and the content, as well as the structure of the web site. For 80% of the group, this was their first Internet-based course. In addition, as part of the course, the educators were expected to take some action with their primary audiences to help local amphibian populations. This mainly took the form of surveys or habitat clean-ups. The development of the course was underwritten by grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Best Buy Children's Foundation, and Hamline University.

  19. Direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaustein, Andrew R.; Walls, Susan C.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Searle, Catherine L.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.

    2010-01-01

    As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth, reproduction and dispersal capabilities. Moreover, climate change can alter amphibian habitats including vegetation, soil, and hydrology. Climate change can influence food availability, predator-prey relationships and competitive interactions which can alter community structure. Climate change can also alter pathogen-host dynamics and greatly influence how diseases are manifested. Changes in climate can interact with other stressors such as UV-B radiation and contaminants. The interactions among all these factors are complex and are probably driving some amphibian population declines and extinctions.

  20. Venomous Animals; Are They Important in Iran?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dehghani R.* PhD

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Many reports have indicated the medical importance of animal poisons in Iran. The significance numbers of Iranians are injured from high endemic to sporadic, by venomous snakes, scorpions, wasps, bees, fire and velvet ants, spiders and backswimmer bugs, so their nuisance prevention is an important task.

  1. Snake evolution and prospecting of snake venom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vonk, Freek Jacobus

    2012-01-01

    in this thesis I have shown that snakes have undergone multiple changes in their genome and embryonic development that has provided them with the variation to which natural selection could act. This thesis provides evidence for the variable mechanisms of venom gene evolution, which presumably is muc

  2. Pesticide Detection in Rainwater, Stemflow, and Amphibians from Agricultural Spray Drift in Southern Georgia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibians are important sentinel environmental species since they integrate stressors from both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Pesticides are well established as a significant stressor for amphibians. In order to study spray-drift contributions to amphibian habitats, pestic...

  3. Pesticide Uptake Across the Amphibian Dermis Through Soil and Overspray Exposures

    Science.gov (United States)

    For terrestrial amphibians, accumulation ofpesticides through dermal contact is a primary route ofexposure in agricultural landscapes and may be contributingto widespread amphibian declines. To show pesticidetransfer across the amphibian dermis at permitted labelapplication rates...

  4. Book review: Amphibians and reptiles in Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.

    2014-01-01

    The photograph of a young boy poised to capture a wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) on page 3 of Amphibians and Reptiles in Minnesota captures perfectly the sense of awe and wonderment that one encounters throughout John Moriarty and Carol Hall’s new book. This is a spirit that most children possess naturally and that is so readily apparent when one of them comes face-to-face with one of the 53 species of frogs, toads, salamanders, turtles, lizards, or snakes that make Minnesota their home. This is a spirit that the authors have maintained in their hearts throughout almost 30 years of chasing, capturing, and studying amphibians and reptiles (a.k.a., herptiles or herps) in Minnesota. It is also the spirit that you will find reawakening in yourself as you turn from one page to the next and encounter the abundant color photos and descriptive text within this book.

  5. Neurosteroid biosynthesis in the brain of amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hubert eVaudry

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Amphibians have been widely used to investigate the synthesis of biologically active steroids in the brain and the regulation of neurosteroid production by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. The aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the neuroanatomical distribution and biochemical activity of steroidogenic enzymes in the brain of anurans and urodeles. The data accumulated over the past two decades demonstrate that discrete populations of neurons and/or glial cells in the frog and newt brains express the major steroidogenic enzymes and are able to synthesize de novo a number of neurosteroids from cholesterol/pregnenolone. Since neurosteroidogenesis has been conserved during evolution from amphibians to mammals, it appears that neurosteroids must play important physiological functions in the central nervous system of vertebrates

  6. Ranavirus outbreaks in amphibian populations of northern Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Danelle M.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Sprague, Laura; Waits, Lisette P.; Green, D. Earl; Schuler, Krysten L.; Rosenblum, Erica Bree

    2011-01-01

    Ranavirus outbreaks, caused by pathogens in the genus Ranavirus (Family Iridoviridae), were the largest single cause of reported amphibian mass mortality events in the United States from 1996–2001 (Green et al. 2002). Mortality events associated with ranaviruses have been documented on five continents and throughout the latitudes and elevations where amphibians occur (Gray et al. 2009). However, the threat of ranaviruses to amphibian and reptile populations in specific regions is still largely unknown (Chinchar 2002; Gray et al. 2009).

  7. The effect of road kills on amphibian populations

    OpenAIRE

    Hels, Tove; Buchwald,, Erik

    2001-01-01

    The diurnal movement patterns of Triturus vulgaris, T. cristatus, Pelobates fuscus, Bufo bufo, Rana temporaria, and R. arvalis were investigated during five breeding seasons (1994-1998). Two main questions were addressed: 1) What is the probability of an individual amphibian getting killed when crossing the road? and 2) What fraction of the amphibian populations gets killed by traffic? The rate of movement of 203 adult amphibians was recorded. Information on traffic loads was provided, and mo...

  8. Trends in Amphibian Occupancy in the United States

    OpenAIRE

    Adams, Michael J.; David A. W. Miller; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Larissa L. Bailey; Gary M. Fellers; Robert N Fisher; Walter J Sadinski; Waddle, Hardin; Susan C Walls

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International ...

  9. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, E.

    2008-01-01

    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site sits along the Arkansas River in the semi-desert prairie of southeastern Colorado. The USGS provided assistance in designing surveys to assess the variety of herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) resident at this site. This brochure is the results of those efforts and provides visitors with information on what frogs, toads, snakes and salamanders might be seen and heard at Bent's Old Fort.

  10. Amphibian road kills: a global perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Puky, Miklós

    2005-01-01

    Transportation infrastructure is a major factor determining land use forms. As global changes in this factor are the most important for biodiversity, roads fundamentally influence wildlife. The effect of roads on wildlife has been categorized in several ways resulting in six to ten categories with road kill as an obvious and important component, and amphibians are greatly affected by this factor. As this animal group has been documented to decline from multiple threats worldwide, the study an...

  11. Study on Bee venom and Pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyoung-Seok Yun

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to study Bee venom and Pain, We searched Journals and Internet. The results were as follows: 1. The domestic papers were total 13. 4 papers were published at The journal of korean acupuncture & moxibustion society, 3 papers were published at The journal of korean oriental medical society, Each The journal of KyoungHee University Oriental Medicine and The journal of korean sports oriental medical society published 1 papers and Unpublished desertations were 3. The clinical studies were 4 and the experimental studies were 9. 2. The domestic clinical studies reported that Bee venom Herbal Acupuncture therapy was effective on HIVD, Subacute arthritis of Knee Joint and Sequale of sprain. In the domestic experimental studies, 5 were related to analgesic effect of Bee vnom and 4 were related to mechanism of analgesia. 3. The journals searched by PubMed were total 18. 5 papers were published at Pain, Each 2 papers were published at Neurosci Lett. and Br J Pharmacol, and Each Eur J Pain, J Rheumatol, Brain Res, Neuroscience, Nature and Toxicon et al published 1 paper. 4. In the journals searched by PubMed, Only the experimental studies were existed. 8 papers used Bee Venom as pain induction substance and 1 paper was related to analgesic effects of Bee venom. 5. 15 webpage were searched by internet related to Bee Venom and pain. 11 were the introduction related to arthritis, 1 was the advertisement, 1 was the patient's experience, 1 was the case report on RA, 1 was review article.

  12. Expression pattern of three-finger toxin and phospholipase A2 genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii: comparison of evolution of these toxins in land snakes, sea kraits and sea snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fry Bryan G

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Snake venom composition varies widely both among closely related species and within the same species, based on ecological variables. In terrestrial snakes, such variation has been proposed to be due to snakes' diet. Land snakes target various prey species including insects (arthropods, lizards (reptiles, frogs and toads (amphibians, birds (aves, and rodents (mammals, whereas sea snakes target a single vertebrate class (fishes and often specialize on specific types of fish. It is therefore interesting to examine the evolution of toxins in sea snake venoms compared to that of land snakes. Results Here we describe the expression of toxin genes in the venom glands of two sea snakes, Lapemis curtus (Spine-bellied Sea Snake and Acalyptophis peronii (Horned Sea Snake, two members of a large adaptive radiation which occupy very different ecological niches. We constructed cDNA libraries from their venom glands and sequenced 214 and 192 clones, respectively. Our data show that despite their explosive evolutionary radiation, there is very little variability in the three-finger toxin (3FTx as well as the phospholipase A2 (PLA2 enzymes, the two main constituents of Lapemis curtus and Acalyptophis peronii venom. To understand the evolutionary trends among land snakes, sea snakes and sea kraits, pairwise genetic distances (intraspecific and interspecific of 3FTx and PLA2 sequences were calculated. Results show that these proteins appear to be highly conserved in sea snakes in contrast to land snakes or sea kraits, despite their extremely divergent and adaptive ecological radiation. Conclusion Based on these results, we suggest that streamlining in habitat and diet in sea snakes has possibly kept their toxin genes conserved, suggesting the idea that prey composition and diet breadth may contribute to the diversity and evolution of venom components.

  13. Book review: The ecology and behavior of amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walls, Susan C.

    2008-01-01

    This state‐of‐the‐art book has made its timely emergence amid a crisis of global magnitude: that of population declines, range reductions, and extinctions of numerous species of amphibians. A clear understanding of the fundamental concepts in amphibian biology is crucial to the success of any conservation effort. This volume compiles the information necessary to acquire that basic understanding. It is a comprehensive synthesis of both traditional and contemporary facets of amphibian biology, spanning a breadth of topics ranging from phylogeny, physiology, behavior, population and community ecology, and conservation. As such, it undoubtedly takes its place among contemporary volumes as the single, authoritative source for basic topics relevant to amphibian life.

  14. Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuart, Simon N; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Young, Bruce E; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Fischman, Debra L; Waller, Robert W

    2004-12-01

    The first global assessment of amphibians provides new context for the well-publicized phenomenon of amphibian declines. Amphibians are more threatened and are declining more rapidly than either birds or mammals. Although many declines are due to habitat loss and overutilization, other, unidentified processes threaten 48% of rapidly declining species and are driving species most quickly to extinction. Declines are nonrandom in terms of species' ecological preferences, geographic ranges, and taxonomic associations and are most prevalent among Neotropical montane, stream-associated species. The lack of conservation remedies for these poorly understood declines means that hundreds of amphibian species now face extinction.

  15. Animal venom studies: Current benefits and future developments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yuri; N; Utkin

    2015-01-01

    Poisonous organisms are represented in many taxa, including kingdom Animalia. During evolution, animals have developed special organs for production and injection of venoms. Animal venoms are complex mixtures, compositions of which depend on species producing venom. The most known and studied poisonous terrestrial animals are snakes, scorpions and spiders. Among marine animals, these are jellyfishes, anemones and cone snails. The toxic substances in the venom ofthese animals are mainly of protein and peptide origin. Recent studies have indicated that the single venom may contain up to several hundred different components producing diverse physiological effects. Bites or stings by certain poisonous species result in severe envenomations leading in some cases to death. This raises the problem of bite treatment. The most effective treatment so far is the application of antivenoms. To enhance the effectiveness of such treatments, the knowledge of venom composition is needed. On the other hand, venoms contain substances with unique biological properties, which can be used both in basic science and in clinical applications. The best example of toxin application in basic science is α-bungarotoxin the discovery of which made a big impact on the studies of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Today compositions of venom from many species have already been examined. Based on these data, one can conclude that venoms contain a large number of individual components belonging to a limited number of structural types. Often minor changes in the amino acid sequence give rise to new biological properties. Change in the living conditions of poisonous animals lead to alterations in the composition of venoms resulting in appearance of new toxins. At the same time introduction of new methods of proteomics and genomics lead to discoveries of new compounds, which may serve as research tools or as templates for the development of novel drugs. The application of these sensitive and

  16. Studies on Bee Venom and Its Medical Uses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Mahmoud Abdu Al-Samie Mohamed

    2012-07-01

    Use of honey and other bee products in human treatments traced back thousands of years and healing properties are included in many religious texts including the Veda, Bible and Quran. Apitherapy is the use of honey bee products for medical purposes, this include bee venom, raw honey, royal jelly, pollen, propolis, and beeswax. Whereas bee venom therapy is the use of live bee stings (or injectable venom) to treat various diseases such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus, sciatica, low back pain, and tennis elbow to name a few. It refers to any use of venom to assist the body in healing itself. Bee venom contains at least 18 pharmacologically active components including various enzymes, peptides and amines. Sulfur is believed to be the main element in inducing the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands and in protecting the body from infections. Contact with bee venom produces a complex cascade of reactions in the human body. The bee venom is safe for human treatments, the median lethal dose (LD50) for an adult human is 2.8 mg of venom per kg of body weight, i.e. a person weighing 60 kg has a 50% chance of surviving injections totaling 168 mg of bee venom. Assuming each bee injects all its venom and no stings are quickly removed at a maximum of 0.3 mg venom per sting, 560 stings could well be lethal for such a person. For a child weighing 10 kg, as little as 93.33 stings could be fatal. However, most human deaths result from one or few bee stings due to allergic reactions, heart failure or suffocation from swelling around the neck or the mouth. As compare with other human diseases, accidents and other unusual cases, the bee venom is very safe for human treatments.

  17. Antibacterial activity of Rhynocoris marginatus (Fab. and Catamirus brevipennis (Servile (Hemiptera: reduviidae venomS against human pathogens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Sahayaraj

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The reduviid predators Rhynocoris marginatus (Fab. and Catamirus brevipennis (Servile use their venoms to paralyze their preys. We detected the antibacterial activity of R. marginatus and C. brevipennis venoms against seven Gram-negative and four Gram-positive bacteria by using the disc diffusion method. Rhynocoris marginatus venom exhibited antibacterial activity against four Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Salmonella typhimurium and one Gram-positive (Streptococcus pyogenes. Catamirus brevipennis venom showed antibacterial activity against six Gram-negative (Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus vulgaris, and Salmonella typhimurium and three Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus sphaericus bacteria. Both C. brevipennis (90.91% and R. marginatus (45.45% venoms were more effective against Gram-negative bacteria (80% and 70% for R. marginatus and C. brevipennis, respectively. The venoms of both reduviid predators are composed of low molecular weight proteins (7-33 kD.

  18. Anti-necrosis potential of polyphenols against snake venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leanpolchareanchai, Jiraporn; Pithayanukul, Pimolpan; Bavovada, Rapepol

    2009-01-01

    Polyphenols from the extracts of Areca catechu L. and Quercus infectoria Oliv. inhibited phospholipase A(2), proteases, hyaluronidase and L-amino acid oxidase of Naja naja kaouthia Lesson (NK) and Calloselasma rhodostoma Kuhl (CR) venoms by in vitro tests. Both extracts inhibited the hemorrhagic activity of CR venom and the dermonecrotic activity of NK venom by in vivo tests. The inhibitory activity of plant polyphenols against local tissue necrosis induced by snake venoms may be caused by inhibition of inflammatory reactions, hemorrhage, and necrosis. The result implies the therapeutic potential of plant polyphenols against necrosis in snakebite victims. PMID:19874222

  19. Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture Responses According to Sasang Constitution and Gender

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Chaeweon

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The current study was performed to compare the bee venom pharmacopuncture skin test reactions among groups with different sexes and Sasang constitutions. Methods: Between July 2012 and June 2013, all 76 patients who underwent bee venom pharmacopuncture skin tests and Sasang constitution diagnoses at Oriental Medicine Hospital of Sangji University were included in this study. The skin test was performed on the patient’s forearm intracutaneously with 0.05 ml of sweet bee venom (SBV on their first visit. If the patients showed a positive response, the test was discontinued. On the other hand, if the patient showed a negative response, the test was performed on the opposite forearm intracutaneously with 0.05 ml of bee venom pharmacopuncture 25% on the next day or the next visit. Three groups were made to compare the differences in the bee venom pharmacopuncture skin tests according to sexual difference and Sasang constitution: group A showed a positive response to SBV, group B showed a positive response to bee venom pharmacopuncture 25%, and group C showed a negative response on all bee venom pharmacopuncture skin tests. Fisher’s exact test was performed to evaluate the differences statistically. Results: The results of the bee venom pharmacopuncture skin tests showed no significant differences according to Sasang constitution (P = 0.300 or sexual difference (P = 0.163. Conclusion: No significant differences on the results of bee venom pharmacopuncture skin tests were observed according to two factors, Sasang constitution and the sexual difference.

  20. Tc 99m - scorpion venom: labelling, biodistribution and scintiimaging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Labelling of scorpion (Mesobuthus tamulus concanesis Pocock) venom was successfully achieved with Tc 99m using direct tin reduction procedure. Biodistribution studies were carried out in Wistar rats at different time intervals after i.v. administration of the labelled venom. Scintiimages were obtained after scorpion envenoming using a large field of view gamma camera to ascertain the pharmacological action of venom in the body. Within 5 min of administration, labelled venom was found in the blood (27.7%), muscle (30.11%), bone (13.3%), kidneys (11.5%), liver (10.4%) and other organs. The level of venom in the kidneys was higher than in the liver. The labelled venom was excreted through renal and hepatobiliary pathways. An immunoreactivity study was carried out in rabbits after i.v. injection of labelled scorpion venom followed by the injection of the species specific antivenom. A threefold increase in uptake by the kidneys ss was observed compared with that seen with scorpion venom alone. the neutralisation of the venom in the kidneys was higher than in the liver. (author)

  1. Tc 99m - scorpion venom: labelling, biodistribution and scintiimaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murugesan, S.; Noronha, O.P.D.; Samuel, A.M. [Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai (India). Tata Hospital Annexe. Radiation Medicine Center; Murthy, K. Radha Krishna [Seth G.S. Medical College, Mumbai (India). Dept. of Physiology

    1999-07-01

    Labelling of scorpion (Mesobuthus tamulus concanesis Pocock) venom was successfully achieved with Tc 99m using direct tin reduction procedure. Biodistribution studies were carried out in Wistar rats at different time intervals after i.v. administration of the labelled venom. Scintiimages were obtained after scorpion envenoming using a large field of view gamma camera to ascertain the pharmacological action of venom in the body. Within 5 min of administration, labelled venom was found in the blood (27.7%), muscle (30.11%), bone (13.3%), kidneys (11.5%), liver (10.4%) and other organs. The level of venom in the kidneys was higher than in the liver. The labelled venom was excreted through renal and hepatobiliary pathways. An immunoreactivity study was carried out in rabbits after i.v. injection of labelled scorpion venom followed by the injection of the species specific antivenom. A threefold increase in uptake by the kidneys ss was observed compared with that seen with scorpion venom alone. the neutralisation of the venom in the kidneys was higher than in the liver. (author)

  2. [Use of medicinal plants against scorpionic and ophidian venoms].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Memmi, A; Sansa, G; Rjeibi, I; El Ayeb, M; Srairi-Abid, N; Bellasfer, Z; Fekhih, A

    2007-01-01

    The scorpionic and ophidian envenomations are a serious public health problem in Tunisia especially in Southeastern regions. In these regions Artemisia campestris L is a plant well known which has a very important place in traditional medicine for its effectiveness against alleged venom of scorpions and snakes. In this work, we tested for the first time, the anti-venomous activity of Artemisia campestris L against the scorpion Androctonus australis garzonii and the viper Macrovipera lebetina venoms. Assays were conducted by fixing the dose of extract to3 mg/mouse while doses of venom are variable. The leaves of Artemisia campestris L were extracted by various organic solvents (Ether of oil, ethyl acetate, methanol and ethanol) and each extract was tested for its venom neutralizing capacity. For the ethanolic extract, a significant activity with respect to the venoms of scorpion Androctonus australis garzonii (Aag), was detected. Similarly, a significant neutralizing activity against the venom of a viper Macrovipera lebetina (Ml), was obtained with the dichloromethane extract. These results suggest the presence of two different type of chemical components in this plant: those neutralizing the venom of scorpion are soluble in ethanol whereas those neutralizing the venom of viper are soluble in dichloromethane.

  3. Inhibitors of snake venoms and development of new therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Elda E; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis

    2008-01-01

    Natural inhibitors of snake venoms play a significant role in the ability to neutralize the degradation effects induced by venom toxins. It has been known for many years that animal sera and some plant extracts are competent in neutralizing snake venoms. The purpose of this review is to highlight the recent work that has been accomplished with natural inhibitors of snake venoms as well as revisiting the past research including those found in plants. The biomedical value of these natural inhibitors can lead to the development of new therapeutics for an assortment of diseases as well as contributing to efficient antivenoms for the treatment of ophidic accidents.

  4. Diversity of peptide toxins from stinging ant venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aili, Samira R; Touchard, Axel; Escoubas, Pierre; Padula, Matthew P; Orivel, Jérôme; Dejean, Alain; Nicholson, Graham M

    2014-12-15

    Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) represent a taxonomically diverse group of arthropods comprising nearly 13,000 extant species. Sixteen ant subfamilies have individuals that possess a stinger and use their venom for purposes such as a defence against predators, competitors and microbial pathogens, for predation, as well as for social communication. They exhibit a range of activities including antimicrobial, haemolytic, cytolytic, paralytic, insecticidal and pain-producing pharmacologies. While ant venoms are known to be rich in alkaloids and hydrocarbons, ant venoms rich in peptides are becoming more common, yet remain understudied. Recent advances in mass spectrometry techniques have begun to reveal the true complexity of ant venom peptide composition. In the few venoms explored thus far, most peptide toxins appear to occur as small polycationic linear toxins, with antibacterial properties and insecticidal activity. Unlike other venomous animals, a number of ant venoms also contain a range of homodimeric and heterodimeric peptides with one or two interchain disulfide bonds possessing pore-forming, allergenic and paralytic actions. However, ant venoms seem to have only a small number of monomeric disulfide-linked peptides. The present review details the structure and pharmacology of known ant venom peptide toxins and their potential as a source of novel bioinsecticides and therapeutic agents. PMID:25448389

  5. Observations on white and yellow venoms from an individual southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis helleri).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, E K; Kardong, K V; Ownby, C L

    1987-01-01

    Biochemical differences in white and yellow venoms produced in the separate venom glands of an individual southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis helleri) were investigated. Compared to the yellow venom, the white venom contained fewer low molecular weight components and was considerably less toxic. Although the exact LD50 was not determined, the white venom did not produce toxic effects in mice when injected i.v. at concentrations up to 10 mg/kg. The i.v. LD50 of the yellow venom was approximately 1.6 mg/kg. Both white and yellow venoms had hemorrhagic activity, but the white venom caused less intradermal hemorrhage in mice. No L-amino acid oxidase activity was measured in the white venom and protease and phospholipase A2 activities of the white venom were much less than in the yellow venom. The white and yellow venoms both produced myonecrosis at 1, 3 and 24 hr after i.m. injection into mice, however, there were some qualitative differences in the myonecrosis produced. When the venom samples were reacted against Wyeth's polyvalent (Crotalidae) antivenom using immunodiffusion, three precipitin bands formed against the yellow venom, whereas only one formed against the white venom. When reacted against an antiserum to myotoxin alpha from C. viridis viridis venom, both the white and yellow venoms produced one precipitin band each.

  6. Conceptual Design for the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, W. A.; Langtimm, C. A.; Adams, M. J.; Gallant, A. L.; James, D. L.

    2001-12-01

    In 2000, the President of the United States (US) and Congress directed Department of Interior (DOI) agencies to develop a program for monitoring trends in amphibian populations on DOI lands and to conduct research into causes of declines. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was given lead responsibility for planning and implementing the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management. The program objectives are to (1) establish a network for monitoring the status and distribution of amphibian species on DOI lands; (2) identify and monitor environmental conditions known to affect amphibian populations; (3) conduct research on causes of amphibian population change and malformations; and (4) provide information to resource managers, policy makers, and the public in support of amphibian conservation. The ARMI program will integrate research efforts of USGS, other Federal, and non-federal herpetologists, hydrologists, and geographers across the Nation. ARMI will conduct a small number (~20) of intensive research efforts (for example, studies linking amphibian population changes to hydrologic conditions) and a larger number (~50) of more generalized inventory and monitoring studies encompassing broader areas such as NPS units. ARMI will coordinate with and try to augment other amphibian inventory studies such as the National Amphibian Atlas and the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. ARMI will develop and test protocols for the standardized collection of amphibian data and provide a centrally managed database designed to simplify data entry, retrieval, and analysis. ARMI pilot projects are underway at locations across the US.

  7. Global rates of habitat loss and implications for amphibian conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Casper, G.S.; Lannoo, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    A large number of factors are known to affect amphibian population viability, but most authors agree that the principal causes of amphibian declines are habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation. We provide a global assessment of land use dynamics in the context of amphibian distributions. We accomplished this by compiling global maps of amphibian species richness and recent rates of change in land cover, land use, and human population growth. The amphibian map was developed using a combination of published literature and digital databases. We used an ecoregion framework to help interpret species distributions across environmental, rather than political, boundaries. We mapped rates of land cover and use change with statistics from the World Resources Institute, refined with a global digital dataset on land cover derived from satellite data. Temporal maps of human population were developed from the World Resources Institute database and other published sources. Our resultant map of amphibian species richness illustrates that amphibians are distributed in an uneven pattern around the globe, preferring terrestrial and freshwater habitats in ecoregions that are warm and moist. Spatiotemporal patterns of human population show that, prior to the 20th century, population growth and spread was slower, most extensive in the temperate ecoregions, and largely exclusive of major regions of high amphibian richness. Since the beginning of the 20th century, human population growth has been exponential and has occurred largely in the subtropical and tropical ecoregions favored by amphibians. Population growth has been accompanied by broad-scale changes in land cover and land use, typically in support of agriculture. We merged information on land cover, land use, and human population growth to generate a composite map showing the rates at which humans have been changing the world. When compared with the map of amphibian species richness, we found that many of the regions of the

  8. Coevolution of venom function and venom resistance in a rattlesnake predator and its squirrel prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holding, Matthew L; Biardi, James E; Gibbs, H Lisle

    2016-04-27

    Measuring local adaptation can provide insights into how coevolution occurs between predators and prey. Specifically, theory predicts that local adaptation in functionally matched traits of predators and prey will not be detected when coevolution is governed by escalating arms races, whereas it will be present when coevolution occurs through an alternate mechanism of phenotype matching. Here, we analyse local adaptation in venom activity and prey resistance across 12 populations of Northern Pacific rattlesnakes and California ground squirrels, an interaction that has often been described as an arms race. Assays of venom function and squirrel resistance show substantial geographical variation (influenced by site elevation) in both venom metalloproteinase activity and resistance factor effectiveness. We demonstrate local adaptation in the effectiveness of rattlesnake venom to overcoming present squirrel resistance, suggesting that phenotype matching plays a role in the coevolution of these molecular traits. Further, the predator was the locally adapted antagonist in this interaction, arguing that rattlesnakes are evolutionarily ahead of their squirrel prey. Phenotype matching needs to be considered as an important mechanism influencing coevolution between venomous animals and resistant prey. PMID:27122552

  9. Protease Inhibitors from Marine Venomous Animals and Their Counterparts in Terrestrial Venomous Animals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline B. F. Mourão

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The Kunitz-type protease inhibitors are the best-characterized family of serine protease inhibitors, probably due to their abundance in several organisms. These inhibitors consist of a chain of ~60 amino acid residues stabilized by three disulfide bridges, and was first observed in the bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI-like protease inhibitors, which strongly inhibit trypsin and chymotrypsin. In this review we present the protease inhibitors (PIs described to date from marine venomous animals, such as from sea anemone extracts and Conus venom, as well as their counterparts in terrestrial venomous animals, such as snakes, scorpions, spiders, Anurans, and Hymenopterans. More emphasis was given to the Kunitz-type inhibitors, once they are found in all these organisms. Their biological sources, specificity against different proteases, and other molecular blanks (being also K+ channel blockers are presented, followed by their molecular diversity. Whereas sea anemone, snakes and other venomous animals present mainly Kunitz-type inhibitors, PIs from Anurans present the major variety in structure length and number of Cys residues, with at least six distinguishable classes. A representative alignment of PIs from these venomous animals shows that, despite eventual differences in Cys assignment, the key-residues for the protease inhibitory activity in all of them occupy similar positions in primary sequence. The key-residues for the K+ channel blocking activity was also compared.

  10. Snake venomics of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) and investigation of human IgG response against venom toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Gutiérrez, José María; Lohse, Brian;

    2015-01-01

    The venom proteome of the monocled cobra, Naja kaouthia, from Thailand, was characterized by RP-HPLC, SDS-PAGE, and MALDI-TOF-TOF analyses, yielding 38 different proteins that were either identified or assigned to families. Estimation of relative protein abundances revealed that venom is dominate...... against N. kaouthia venom was therefore detected. Combined, our results display a high level of venom complexity, unveil the most relevant toxins to be neutralized, and provide prospects of discovering human IgGs with toxin neutralizing abilities through use of phage display screening....

  11. 50 CFR 17.43 - Special rules-amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Special rules-amphibians. 17.43 Section 17.43 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—amphibians. (a) San Marcos salamander (Eurycea nana). (1) All provisions of § 17.31 apply...

  12. All about Amphibians. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000

    This videotape teaches children about their favorite amphibious creatures, as well as amphibians' nearest cousins--toads, newts, and salamanders. Young students discover how these amazing creatures can live both in and out of water, learn about the amphibious life cycle, and compare the differences between amphibians and reptiles. This videotape…

  13. AMPHIBIAN DECLINES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IN THE EASTERN "MOJAVE DESERT"

    Science.gov (United States)

    A number of amphibian species historically inhabited sparsely distributed wetlands in the Mojave Desert, USA, habitats that have been dramatically altered or eliminated as a result of human activities. The population status and distribution of amphibians were investigated in a 20...

  14. Amphibian Oasis: Designing and Building a Schoolyard Pond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosselin, Heather; Johnson, Bob

    1996-01-01

    Building a pond in a schoolyard is a rewarding way to help boost local populations of amphibians, to increase the natural value of school grounds, and to serve as a locale for observing the life cycles of plants, invertebrates, and amphibians. This article outlines important considerations in designing and building a pond from siting through…

  15. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    We report the herpetofauna of two neighboring upland locations in west-central Guyana. Twenty amphibian and 24 reptile species were collected. Only 40% of amphibians and 12.5% of reptiles were collected in both locations. This is one of the few collections made at upland (750–800 m) locations in the Guiana Shield.

  16. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, Paulette M.; Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.

  17. Comparative study of anticoagulant and procoagulant properties of 28 snake venoms from families Elapidae, Viperidae, and purified Russell's viper venom-factor X activator (RVV-X).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suntravat, Montamas; Nuchprayoon, Issarang; Pérez, John C

    2010-09-15

    Snake venoms consist of numerous molecules with diverse biological functions used for capturing prey. Each component of venom has a specific target, and alters the biological function of its target. Once these molecules are identified, characterized, and cloned; they could have medical applications. The activated clotting time (ACT) and clot rate were used for screening procoagulant and anticoagulant properties of 28 snake venoms. Crude venoms from Daboia russellii siamensis, Bothrops asper, Bothrops moojeni, and one Crotalus oreganus helleri from Wrightwood, CA, had procoagulant activity. These venoms induced a significant shortening of the ACT and showed a significant increase in the clot rate when compared to the negative control. Factor X activator activity was also measured in 28 venoms, and D. r. siamensis venom was 5-6 times higher than those of B. asper, B. moojeni, and C. o. helleri from Wrightwood County. Russell's viper venom-factor X activator (RVV-X) was purified from D. r. siamensis venom, and then procoagulant activity was evaluated by the ACT and clot rate. Other venoms, Crotalus atrox and two Naja pallida, had anticoagulant activity. A significant increase in the ACT and a significant decrease in the clot rate were observed after the addition of these venoms; therefore, the venoms were considered to have anticoagulant activity. Venoms from the same species did not always have the same ACT and clot rate profiles, but the profiles were an excellent way to identify procoagulant and anticoagulant activities in snake venoms. PMID:20677373

  18. Study on Bee venom and Pain

    OpenAIRE

    Hyoung-Seok Yun; Young-Suk Kim; Jae-Dong Lee

    2000-01-01

    In order to study Bee venom and Pain, We searched Journals and Internet. The results were as follows: 1. The domestic papers were total 13. 4 papers were published at The journal of korean acupuncture & moxibustion society, 3 papers were published at The journal of korean oriental medical society, Each The journal of KyoungHee University Oriental Medicine and The journal of korean sports oriental medical society published 1 papers and Unpublished desertations were 3. The clinical studies were...

  19. Deciphering the main venom components of the ectoparasitic ant-like bethylid wasp, Scleroderma guani.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Jia-Ying

    2016-04-01

    Similar to venom found in most venomous animals, parasitoid venoms contain a complex cocktail of proteins with potential agrichemical and pharmaceutical use. Even though parasitoids are one of the largest group of venomous animals, little is known about their venom composition. Recent few studies revealed high variated venom composition existing not only in different species but also between closely related strains, impling that increasing information on the venom proteins from more greater diversity of species of different taxa is key to comprehensively uncover the complete picture of parasitoid venom. Here, we explored the major protein components of the venom of ectoparasitic ant-like bethylid wasp, Scleroderma guani by an integrative transcriptomic-proteomic approach. Illumina deep sequencing of venom apparatus cDNA produced 49,873 transcripts. By mapping the peptide spectral data derived from venom reservoir against these transcripts, mass spectrometry analysis revealed ten main venom proteins, including serine proteinase, metalloprotease, dipeptidyl peptidase IV, esterase, antithrombin-III, acid phosphatase, neural/ectodermal development factor IMP-L2 like protein, venom allergen 3, and unknown protein. Interestingly, one serine proteinase was firstly identified with rarely high molecular weight about 200 kDa in parasitoid venom. The occurrence of abundant acid phosphatase, antithrombin-III and venom allergen 3 demonstrated that S. guani venom composition is similar to that of social wasp venoms. All identified venom genes showed abundantly biased expression in venom apparatus, indicating their virulent functions involved in parasitization. This study shed light on the more better understanding of parasitoid venom evolution across species and will facilitate the further elucidation of function and toxicity of these venom proteins. PMID:26853496

  20. Detection of Snake Venom in Post-Antivenom Samples by Dissociation Treatment Followed by Enzyme Immunoassay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalana P. Maduwage

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Venom detection is crucial for confirmation of envenomation and snake type in snake-bite patients. Enzyme immunoassay (EIA is used to detect venom, but antivenom in samples prevents venom detection. We aimed to detect snake venom in post-antivenom samples after dissociating venom-antivenom complexes with glycine-HCl (pH 2.2 and heating for 30 min at 950 °C. Serum samples underwent dissociation treatment and then Russell’s viper venom or Australian elapid venom measured by EIA. In confirmed Russell’s viper bites with venom detected pre-antivenom (positive controls, no venom was detected in untreated post-antivenom samples, but was after dissociation treatment. In 104 non-envenomed patients (negative controls, no venom was detected after dissociation treatment. In suspected Russell’s viper bites, ten patients with no pre-antivenom samples had venom detected in post-antivenom samples after dissociation treatment. In 20 patients with no venom detected pre-antivenom, 13 had venom detected post-antivenom after dissociation treatment. In another 85 suspected Russell’s viper bites with no venom detected pre-antivenom, 50 had venom detected after dissociation treatment. Dissociation treatment was also successful for Australian snake envenomation including taipan, mulga, tiger snake and brown snake. Snake venom can be detected by EIA in post-antivenom samples after dissociation treatment allowing confirmation of diagnosis of envenomation post-antivenom.

  1. Detection of Snake Venom in Post-Antivenom Samples by Dissociation Treatment Followed by Enzyme Immunoassay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maduwage, Kalana P; O'Leary, Margaret A; Silva, Anjana; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2016-01-01

    Venom detection is crucial for confirmation of envenomation and snake type in snake-bite patients. Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is used to detect venom, but antivenom in samples prevents venom detection. We aimed to detect snake venom in post-antivenom samples after dissociating venom-antivenom complexes with glycine-HCl (pH 2.2) and heating for 30 min at 950 °C. Serum samples underwent dissociation treatment and then Russell's viper venom or Australian elapid venom measured by EIA. In confirmed Russell's viper bites with venom detected pre-antivenom (positive controls), no venom was detected in untreated post-antivenom samples, but was after dissociation treatment. In 104 non-envenomed patients (negative controls), no venom was detected after dissociation treatment. In suspected Russell's viper bites, ten patients with no pre-antivenom samples had venom detected in post-antivenom samples after dissociation treatment. In 20 patients with no venom detected pre-antivenom, 13 had venom detected post-antivenom after dissociation treatment. In another 85 suspected Russell's viper bites with no venom detected pre-antivenom, 50 had venom detected after dissociation treatment. Dissociation treatment was also successful for Australian snake envenomation including taipan, mulga, tiger snake and brown snake. Snake venom can be detected by EIA in post-antivenom samples after dissociation treatment allowing confirmation of diagnosis of envenomation post-antivenom. PMID:27136587

  2. SNAKE BITE, SNAKE VENOM, ANTI-VENOM AND HERBAL ANTIDOTE – A REVIEW

    OpenAIRE

    Paul Rita; Datta K. Animesh; Mandal Aninda; Ghosh K Benoy; Halder Sandip

    2011-01-01

    The mortality associated with snake bites is a serious public health problem as the estimated death incidence per year is about 1,25,000 globally. In India about 35,000 to 50,000 people reportedly die of snake bite; although, unreported cases may be even more in rural areas. Considering the socio-medical problem due to snake bite, a review is being conducted on snake bite (management aspects), snake venom (nature and its utility), anti-venom and herbal antidote to provide adequate information...

  3. Captive breeding, reintroduction, and the conservation of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette

    2008-08-01

    The global amphibian crisis has resulted in renewed interest in captive breeding as a conservation tool for amphibians. Although captive breeding and reintroduction are controversial management actions, amphibians possess a number of attributes that make them potentially good models for such programs. We reviewed the extent and effectiveness of captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians through an analysis of data from the Global Amphibian Assessment and other sources. Most captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians have focused on threatened species from industrialized countries with relatively low amphibian diversity. Out of 110 species in such programs, 52 were in programs with no plans for reintroduction that had conservation research or conservation education as their main purpose. A further 39 species were in programs that entailed captive breeding and reintroduction or combined captive breeding with relocations of wild animals. Nineteen species were in programs with relocations of wild animals only. Eighteen out of 58 reintroduced species have subsequently bred successfully in the wild, and 13 of these species have established self-sustaining populations. As with threatened amphibians generally, amphibians in captive breeding or reintroduction programs face multiple threats, with habitat loss being the most important. Nevertheless, only 18 out of 58 reintroduced species faced threats that are all potentially reversible. When selecting species for captive programs, dilemmas may emerge between choosing species that have a good chance of surviving after reintroduction because their threats are reversible and those that are doomed to extinction in the wild as a result of irreversible threats. Captive breeding and reintroduction programs for amphibians require long-term commitments to ensure success, and different management strategies may be needed for species earmarked for reintroduction and species used for conservation

  4. Detection of Snake Venom in Post-Antivenom Samples by Dissociation Treatment Followed by Enzyme Immunoassay

    OpenAIRE

    Maduwage, Kalana P.; O’Leary, Margaret A.; Anjana Silva; Isbister, Geoffrey K

    2016-01-01

    Venom detection is crucial for confirmation of envenomation and snake type in snake-bite patients. Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is used to detect venom, but antivenom in samples prevents venom detection. We aimed to detect snake venom in post-antivenom samples after dissociating venom-antivenom complexes with glycine-HCl (pH 2.2) and heating for 30 min at 950 °C. Serum samples underwent dissociation treatment and then Russell’s viper venom or Australian elapid venom measured by EIA. In confirmed ...

  5. Analgesic effect of Persian Gulf Conus textile venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nasim Tabaraki

    2014-10-01

    Results: SDS-PAGE indicated 12 bands ranged between 6 and 180 KDa. Finally, ten ng of Conus crude venom showed the best analgesic activity in formalin test. No death observed up to 100 mg/kg. Analgesic activity of crude venom was more significant (P

  6. Snake venoms components with antitumor activity in murine melanoma cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Despite the constant advances in the treatment of cancer, this disease remains one of the main causes of mortality worldwide. So, the development of new treatment modalities is imperative. Snake venom causes a variety of biological effects because they constitute a complex mixture of substances as disintegrins, proteases (serine and metalo), phospholipases A2, L-amino acid oxidases and others. The goal of the present work is to evaluate a anti-tumor activity of some snake venoms fractions. There are several studies of components derived from snake venoms with this kind of activity. After fractionation of snake venoms of the families Viperidae and Elapidae, the fractions were assayed towards murine melanoma cell line B16-F10 and fibroblasts L929. The results showed that the fractions of venom of the snake Notechis ater niger had higher specificity and potential antitumor activity on B16-F10 cell line than the other studied venoms. Since the components of this venom are not explored yet coupled with the potential activity showed in this work, we decided to choose this venom to develop further studies. The cytotoxic fractions were evaluated to identify and characterize the components that showed antitumoral activity. Western blot assays and zymography suggests that these proteins do not belong to the class of metallo and serine proteinases. (author)

  7. Irradiated cobra (Naja naja) venom for biomedical applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ionizing radiation is known to cause damage to proteins in aqueous solutions in a selective manner, thereby producing remarkable changes in their properties. Since venoms are very rich in proteins, it was felt that they would also show such changes upon irradiation. It was of interest to know if one could get rid of the toxicity and retain the immunogenicity of the venom by suitable choice of radiation dose and strength of venom solution. If so, the method could be profitably exploited for the rapid preparation of venom toxoid and this could be expected to have many applications in the biological sciences. Accordingly, laboratory investigations were undertaken on the effect of gamma radiation on cobra (Naja naja) venom. To avoid drastic changes, solutions of cobra venom having low protein content were irradiated with gamma radiation from a cobalt-60 source. The results obtained with 0.01 to 1.0% venom solutions are found to be encouraging. The solutions did not manifest any toxicity in mice. For the immunogenicity test, guinea pigs were immunized with varying doses of the irradiated cobra venom and the immunized guinea pigs were found to survive when challenged with as big a dose as 10 MLD (i.e. minimum lethal dose, approximately 1 mg). The paper describes the experimental details and the results of the observations. (author)

  8. Embriotoxic effects of maternal exposure to Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. S. Barão

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Tityus serrulatus is the most venomous scorpion in Brazil; however, it is not known whether its venom causes any harm to the offspring whose mothers have received it. This study investigates whether the venom of T. serrulatus may lead to deleterious effects in the offspring, when once administered to pregnant rats at a dose that causes moderate envenomation (3mg/kg. The venom effects were studied on the 5th and on the 10th gestation day (GD5 and GD10. The maternal reproductive parameters of the group that received the venom on GD5 showed no alteration. The group that received the venom on GD10 presented an increase in post-implantation losses. In this group, an increase in the liver weight was also observed and one-third of the fetuses presented incomplete ossification of skull bones. None of the groups that received the venom had any visceral malformation or delay in the fetal development of their offspring. The histopathological analysis revealed not only placentas and lungs but also hearts, livers and kidneys in perfect state. Even having caused little effect on the dams, the venom may act in a more incisive way on the offspring, whether by stress generation or by a direct action.

  9. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Shuai; Wang, Xianchun

    2015-12-01

    Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species. PMID:26633495

  10. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Yan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species.

  11. Recent Advances in Research on Widow Spider Venoms and Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Shuai; Wang, Xianchun

    2015-11-27

    Widow spiders have received much attention due to the frequently reported human and animal injures caused by them. Elucidation of the molecular composition and action mechanism of the venoms and toxins has vast implications in the treatment of latrodectism and in the neurobiology and pharmaceutical research. In recent years, the studies of the widow spider venoms and the venom toxins, particularly the α-latrotoxin, have achieved many new advances; however, the mechanism of action of the venom toxins has not been completely clear. The widow spider is different from many other venomous animals in that it has toxic components not only in the venom glands but also in other parts of the adult spider body, newborn spiderlings, and even the eggs. More recently, the molecular basis for the toxicity outside the venom glands has been systematically investigated, with four proteinaceous toxic components being purified and preliminarily characterized, which has expanded our understanding of the widow spider toxins. This review presents a glance at the recent advances in the study on the venoms and toxins from the Latrodectus species.

  12. Nucleotidase and DNase activities in Brazilian snake venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sales, Paulo Bruno Valadão; Santoro, Marcelo L

    2008-01-01

    Among the myriad of enzymes present in animal venoms, nucleotidases and nucleases are poorly investigated. Herein, we studied such enzymes in 28 crude venoms of animals found in Brazil. Higher levels of ATPase, 5'-nucleotidase, ADPase, phosphodiesterase and DNase activities were observed in snake venoms belonging to Bothrops, Crotalus and Lachesis genera than to Micrurus genus. The venom of Bothrops brazili snake showed the highest nucleotidase and DNase activities, whereas that of Micrurus frontalis snake the highest alkaline phosphatase activity. On the other hand, the venoms of the snake Philodryas olfersii and the spider Loxosceles gaucho were devoid of most nucleotidase and DNase activities. Species that exhibited similar nucleotidase activities by colorimetric assays showed different banding pattern by zymography, suggesting the occurrence of structural differences among them. Hydrolysis of nucleotides showed that 1 mol of ATP is cleaved in 1 mol of pyrophosphate and 1 mol of orthophosphate, whereas 1 mol of ADP is cleaved exclusively in 2 mol of orthophosphates. Pyrophosphate is barely hydrolyzed by snake venoms. Phosphodiesterase activity was better correlated with 5'-nucleotidase, ADPase and ATPase activities than with DNase activity, evidencing that phosphodiesterases are not the main agent of DNA hydrolysis in animal venoms. The omnipresence of nucleotidase and DNase activities in viperid venoms implies a role for them within the repertoire of enzymes involved in immobilization and death of preys. PMID:17904425

  13. [Accidents with venomous and poisonous animals in Central Europe].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodio, Mauro; Junghanss, Thomas

    2009-05-01

    Central Europe is largely safe from accidents with venomous and poisonous animals. The regions where European vipers are regularly found are shrinking. Today accidents with jellyfish and stings of venomous fish afflicted during leisure activities at the sea side play the dominant role. Life threatening accidents in Europe are mainly due to exotic snakes held in captivity. A system useful in daily medical practice is explained to classify and stage accidents due to poisonous and venomous animals. The important poisonous and venomous animals of Central Europe and the specific therapeutics, the antivenoms, are covered. The antivenom depot "Antivenin-CH" of the Swiss Toxicology Information Centre in Zurich and the MRITox in Munich with the antivenom registry Munich AntiVenom INdex (MAVIN) are presented.

  14. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats.

  15. Fetal adaptations for viviparity in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wake, Marvalee H

    2015-08-01

    Live-bearing has evolved in all three orders of amphibians--frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Developing young may be either yolk dependent, or maternal nutrients may be supplied after yolk is resorbed, depending on the species. Among frogs, embryos in two distantly related lineages develop in the skin of the maternal parents' backs; they are born either as advanced larvae or fully metamorphosed froglets, depending on the species. In other frogs, and in salamanders and caecilians, viviparity is intraoviductal; one lineage of salamanders includes species that are yolk dependent and born either as larvae or metamorphs, or that practice cannibalism and are born as metamorphs. Live-bearing caecilians all, so far as is known, exhaust yolk before hatching and mothers provide nutrients during the rest of the relatively long gestation period. The developing young that have maternal nutrition have a number of heterochronic changes, such as precocious development of the feeding apparatus and the gut. Furthermore, several of the fetal adaptations, such as a specialized dentition and a prolonged metamorphosis, are homoplasious and present in members of two or all three of the amphibian orders. At the same time, we know little about the developmental and functional bases for fetal adaptations, and less about the factors that drive their evolution and facilitate their maintenance.

  16. Dietary antioxidants enhance immunocompetence in larval amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szuroczki, Dorina; Koprivnikar, Janet; Baker, Robert L

    2016-11-01

    Dietary antioxidants have been shown to confer a variety of benefits through their ability to counter oxidative stress, including increased immunocompetence and reduced susceptibility to both infectious and non-infectious diseases. However, little is known about the effects of dietary antioxidants on immune function in larval amphibians, a group experiencing worldwide declines driven by factors that likely involve altered immunocompetence. We investigated the effects of dietary antioxidants (quercetin, vitamin E, and β-carotene) on two components of the immune system, as well as development and growth. Lithobates pipiens tadpoles fed diets with supplemental β-carotene or vitamin E exhibited an enhanced swelling response as measured with a phytohemagglutinin assay (PHA), but there was no induced antibody response. Effects were often dose-dependent, with higher antioxidant levels generally conferring stronger swelling that possibly corresponds to the innate immune response. Our results indicate that the antioxidant content of the larval amphibian diets not only had a detectable effect on their immune response capability, but also promoted tadpole growth (mass gain), although developmental stage was not affected. Given that many environmental perturbations may cause oxidative stress or reduce immunocompetence, it is critical to understand how nutrition may counter these effects. PMID:27475300

  17. Honeybee venom proteome profile of queens and winter bees as determined by a mass spectrometric approach

    OpenAIRE

    Danneels, Ellen L.; Matthias Van Vaerenbergh; Griet Debyser; Bart Devreese; Dirk C de Graaf

    2015-01-01

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal change...

  18. Snake venomics of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) and investigation of human IgG response against venom toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Gutiérrez, José María; Lohse, Brian;

    2015-01-01

    /cardiotoxins. IgGs isolated from a person who had repeatedly self-immunized with a variety of snake venoms were immunoprofiled by ELISA against all venom fractions. Stronger responses against larger toxins, but lower against the most critical α-neurotoxins were obtained. As expected, no neutralization potential...

  19. Venom landscapes: mining the complexity of spider venoms via a combined cDNA and mass spectrometric approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escoubas, Pierre; Sollod, Brianna; King, Glenn F

    2006-05-01

    The complexity of Australian funnel-web spider venoms has been explored via the combined use of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry coupled with chromatographic separation and the analysis of venom-gland cDNA libraries. The results show that these venoms are far more complex than previously realized. We show that the venoms of Australian funnel-web spiders contain many hundreds of peptides that follow a bimodal distribution, with about 75% of the peptides having a mass of 3000-5000 Da. The mass spectral data were validated by matching the experimentally observed masses with those predicted from peptide sequences derived from analysis of venom-gland cDNA libraries. We show that multiple isoforms of these peptides are found in small chromatographic windows, which suggests that the wide distribution of close molecular weights among the chromatographic fractions probably reflects a diversity of structures and physicochemical properties. The combination of all predicted and measured parameters permits the interpretation of three-dimensional 'venom landscapes' derived from LC-MALDI analysis. We propose that these venom landscapes might have predictive value for the discovery of various groups of pharmacologically distinct toxins in complex venoms.

  20. A Study on Major Components of Bee Venom Using Electrophoresis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee, Jin-Seon

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available This study was designed to study on major components of various Bee Venom(Bee Venom by electrical stimulation in Korea; K-BV I, Bee Venom by Microwave stimulation in Korea; K -BV II, 0.5rng/ml, Fu Yu Pharmaceutical Factory, China; C-BV, 1mg /ml, Monmouth Pain Institute, Inc., U.S.A.; A-BV using Electrophoresis. The results were summarized as follows: 1. In 1:4000 Bee Venom solution rate, the band was not displayed distinctly usmg Electrophoresis. But in 1: 1000, the band showed clearly. 2. The results of Electrophoresis at solution rate 1:1000, K-BV I and K-BVII showed similar band. 3. The molecular weight of Phospholipase A2 was known as 19,000 but its band was seen at 17,000 in Electrophoresis. 4. Protein concentration of Bee Venom by Lowry method was different at solution rate 1:4000 ; C-BV was 250μg/ml, K-BV I was 190μg/ml, K-BV Ⅱ was 160μg/ml and C-BV was 45μg/ml. 5. Electrophoresis method was unuseful for analysis of Bee Venom when solution rate is above 1:4000 but Protein concentration of Bee Venom by Lowry method was possible. These data from the study can be applied to establish the standard measurement of Bee Venom and prevent pure bee venom from mixing of another components. I think it is desirable to study more about safety of Bee Venom as time goes by.

  1. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom toxins: tools for biological purposes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaim, Olga Meiri; Trevisan-Silva, Dilza; Chaves-Moreira, Daniele; Wille, Ana Carolina M; Ferrer, Valéria Pereira; Matsubara, Fernando Hitomi; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; da Silveira, Rafael Bertoni; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Gremski, Waldemiro; Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2011-03-01

    Venomous animals use their venoms as tools for defense or predation. These venoms are complex mixtures, mainly enriched of proteic toxins or peptides with several, and different, biological activities. In general, spider venom is rich in biologically active molecules that are useful in experimental protocols for pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology and immunology, as well as putative tools for biotechnology and industries. Spider venoms have recently garnered much attention from several research groups worldwide. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom is enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5-40 kDa). Although their venom is produced in minute volumes (a few microliters), and contain only tens of micrograms of protein, the use of techniques based on molecular biology and proteomic analysis has afforded rational projects in the area and permitted the discovery and identification of a great number of novel toxins. The brown spider phospholipase-D family is undoubtedly the most investigated and characterized, although other important toxins, such as low molecular mass insecticidal peptides, metalloproteases and hyaluronidases have also been identified and featured in literature. The molecular pathways of the action of these toxins have been reported and brought new insights in the field of biotechnology. Herein, we shall see how recent reports describing discoveries in the area of brown spider venom have expanded biotechnological uses of molecules identified in these venoms, with special emphasis on the construction of a cDNA library for venom glands, transcriptome analysis, proteomic projects, recombinant expression of different proteic toxins, and finally structural descriptions based on crystallography of toxins.

  2. Brown Spider (Loxosceles genus Venom Toxins: Tools for Biological Purposes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Senff-Ribeiro

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Venomous animals use their venoms as tools for defense or predation. These venoms are complex mixtures, mainly enriched of proteic toxins or peptides with several, and different, biological activities. In general, spider venom is rich in biologically active molecules that are useful in experimental protocols for pharmacology, biochemistry, cell biology and immunology, as well as putative tools for biotechnology and industries. Spider venoms have recently garnered much attention from several research groups worldwide. Brown spider (Loxosceles genus venom is enriched in low molecular mass proteins (5–40 kDa. Although their venom is produced in minute volumes (a few microliters, and contain only tens of micrograms of protein, the use of techniques based on molecular biology and proteomic analysis has afforded rational projects in the area and permitted the discovery and identification of a great number of novel toxins. The brown spider phospholipase-D family is undoubtedly the most investigated and characterized, although other important toxins, such as low molecular mass insecticidal peptides, metalloproteases and hyaluronidases have also been identified and featured in literature. The molecular pathways of the action of these toxins have been reported and brought new insights in the field of biotechnology. Herein, we shall see how recent reports describing discoveries in the area of brown spider venom have expanded biotechnological uses of molecules identified in these venoms, with special emphasis on the construction of a cDNA library for venom glands, transcriptome analysis, proteomic projects, recombinant expression of different proteic toxins, and finally structural descriptions based on crystallography of toxins.

  3. Epithelium specific ETS transcription factor, ESE-3, of Protobothrops flavoviridis snake venom gland transactivates the promoters of venom phospholipase A2 isozyme genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Hitomi; Murakami, Tatsuo; Hattori, Shosaku; Sakaki, Yoshiyuki; Ohkuri, Takatoshi; Chijiwa, Takahito; Ohno, Motonori; Oda-Ueda, Naoko

    2014-12-15

    Protobothrops flavoviridis (habu) (Crotalinae, Viperidae) is a Japanese venomous snake, and its venom contains the enzymes with a variety of physiological activities. The phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are the major components and exert various toxic effects. They are expressed abundantly in the venom gland. It is thought that the venom gland-specific transcription factors play a key role for activation of PLA2 genes specifically expressed in the venom gland. Thus, the full-length cDNA library for P. flavoviridis venom gland after milking of the venom was made to explore the transcription factors therein. As a result, three cDNAs encoding epithelium-specific ETS transcription factors (ESE)-1, -2, and -3 were obtained. Among them, ESE-3 was specifically expressed in the venom gland and activated the proximal promoters of venom PLA2 genes, which are possibly regarded as the representatives of the venom gland-specific protein genes in P. flavoviridis. Interestingly, the binding specificity of ESE-3 to the ETS binding motif located near TATA box is well correlated with transcriptional activities for the venom PLA2 genes. This is the first report that venom gland-specific transcription factor could actually activate the promoters of the venom protein genes.

  4. Amphibian skin may select for rare environmental microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walke, Jenifer B; Becker, Matthew H; Loftus, Stephen C; House, Leanna L; Cormier, Guy; Jensen, Roderick V; Belden, Lisa K

    2014-11-01

    Host-microbe symbioses rely on the successful transmission or acquisition of symbionts in each new generation. Amphibians host a diverse cutaneous microbiota, and many of these symbionts appear to be mutualistic and may limit infection by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has caused global amphibian population declines and extinctions in recent decades. Using bar-coded 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we addressed the question of symbiont transmission by examining variation in amphibian skin microbiota across species and sites and in direct relation to environmental microbes. Although acquisition of environmental microbes occurs in some host-symbiont systems, this has not been extensively examined in free-living vertebrate-microbe symbioses. Juvenile bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), pond water and pond substrate were sampled at a single pond to examine host-specificity and potential environmental transmission of microbiota. To assess population level variation in skin microbiota, adult newts from two additional sites were also sampled. Cohabiting bullfrogs and newts had distinct microbial communities, as did newts across the three sites. The microbial communities of amphibians and the environment were distinct; there was very little overlap in the amphibians' core microbes and the most abundant environmental microbes, and the relative abundances of OTUs that were shared by amphibians and the environment were inversely related. These results suggest that, in a host species-specific manner, amphibian skin may select for microbes that are generally in low abundance in the environment.

  5. Venom immunotherapy improves health-related quality of life in patients allergic to yellow jacket venom

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Elberink, JNGO; de Monchy, JGR; van der Heide, S; Guyatt, GH; Dubois, AEJ

    2002-01-01

    Background: Venom immunotherapy (VIT) is effective in preventing anaphylactic reactions after insect stings. The effect of VIT on health-related quality of life (HRQL) was studied to evaluate whether this treatment is of importance to patients. Objective: We compared HRQL outcomes measured with a di

  6. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  7. Facility design and associated services for the study of amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, Robert K; Odum, R Andrew; Herman, Timothy; Zippel, Kevin

    2007-01-01

    The role of facilities and associated services for amphibians has recently undergone diversification. Amphibians traditionally used as research models adjust well to captivity and thrive with established husbandry techniques. However, it is now necessary to maintain hundreds of novel amphibian species in captive breeding, conservation research, and biomedical research programs. These diverse species have a very wide range of husbandry requirements, and in many cases the ultimate survival of threatened species will depend on captive populations. Two critical factors have emerged in the maintenance of amphibians, stringent quarantine and high-quality water. Because exotic diseases such as chytridiomycosis have devastated both natural and captive populations of amphibians, facilities must provide stringent quarantine. The provision of high-quality water is also essential to maintain amphibian health and condition due to the intimate physiological relationship of amphibians to their aquatic environment. Fortunately, novel technologies backed by recent advances in the scientific knowledge of amphibian biology and disease management are available to overcome these challenges. For example, automation can increase the reliability of quarantine and maintain water quality, with a corresponding decrease in handling and the associated disease-transfer risk. It is essential to build facilities with appropriate nontoxic waterproof materials and to provide quarantined amphibian rooms for each population. Other spaces and services include live feed rooms, quarantine stations, isolation rooms, laboratory space, technical support systems, reliable energy and water supplies, high-quality feed, and security. Good husbandry techniques must include reliable and species-specific management by trained staff members who receive support from the administration. It is possible to improve husbandry techniques for many species by sharing knowledge through common information systems. Overall

  8. Zoonotic diseases associated with reptiles and amphibians: an update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2011-09-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are popular as pets. There are increased concerns among public health officials because of the zoonotic potential associated with these animals. Encounters with reptiles and amphibians are also on the rise in the laboratory setting and with wild animals; in both of these practices, there is also an increased likelihood for exposure to zoonotic pathogens. It is important that veterinarians remain current with the literature as it relates to emerging and reemerging zoonotic diseases attributed to reptiles and amphibians so that they can protect themselves, their staff, and their clients from potential problems.

  9. ASSESSMENT OF THE RISK OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION TO AMPHIBIANS. II: IN SITU CHARACTERIZATION OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION IN AMPHIBIAN HABITATS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation has been hypothesized as a potential cause of amphibian population declines and increased incidences of malformations. Realistic studies documenting UV irradiance or dose have rarely been conducted in wetlands used by amphibians. We demonstrate that ...

  10. Exploring the venom proteome of the western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox, via snake venomics and combinatorial peptide ligand library approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvete, Juan J; Fasoli, Elisa; Sanz, Libia; Boschetti, Egisto; Righetti, Pier Giorgio

    2009-06-01

    We report the proteomic characterization of the venom of the medically important North American western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox, using two complementary approaches: snake venomics (to gain an insight of the overall venom proteome), and two solid-phase combinatorial peptide ligand libraries (CPLL), followed by 2D electrophoresis and mass spectrometric characterization of in-gel digested protein bands (to capture and "amplify" low-abundance proteins). The venomics approach revealed approximately 24 distinct proteins belonging to 2 major protein families (snake venom metalloproteinases, SVMP, and serine proteinases), which represent 69.5% of the total venom proteins, 4 medium abundance families (medium-size disintegrin, PLA(2), cysteine-rich secretory protein, and l-amino acid oxidase) amounting to 25.8% of the venom proteins, and 3 minor protein families (vasoactive peptides, endogenous inhibitor of SVMP, and C-type lectin-like). This toxin profile potentially explains the cytotoxic, myotoxic, hemotoxic, and hemorrhagic effects evoked by C. atrox envenomation. Further, our results showing that C. atrox exhibits a similar level of venom variation as Sistrurus miliarius points to a "diversity gain" scenario in the lineage leading to the Sistrurus catenatus taxa. On the other hand, the two combinatorial hexapeptide libraries captured distinct sets of proteins. Although the CPLL-treated samples did not retain a representative venom proteome, protein spots barely, or not at all, detectable in the whole venom were enriched in the two CPLL-treated samples. The amplified low copy number C. atrox venom proteins comprised a C-type lectin-like protein, several PLA(2) molecules, PIII-SVMP isoforms, glutaminyl cyclase isoforms, and a 2-cys peroxiredoxin highly conserved across the animal kingdom. Peroxiredoxin and glutaminyl cyclase may participate, respectively, in redox processes leading to the structural/functional diversification of toxins, and in the N

  11. Mechanisms of immunotherapy to wasp and bee venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozdemir, C; Kucuksezer, U C; Akdis, M; Akdis, C A

    2011-09-01

    Hymenoptera venoms are important allergens that can elicit both local and systemic allergic reactions, including life-threatening anaphylaxis. Venom immunotherapy (VIT) remains the most effective treatment, reducing the risk of systemic reactions in individuals with Hymenoptera venom allergy. VIT can restore normal immunity against venom allergens and provide patients with a lifetime of tolerance to venoms. During VIT, peripheral tolerance is induced by the generation of allergen-specific regulatory T (Treg) cells, which suppress proliferative and cytokine responses against the venom allergens. Treg cells are characterized by IL-10 secretion that directly or indirectly influence effector cells of allergic inflammation, such as mast cells, basophils and eosinophils. Treg cells also have influence on B cells, suppressing IgE production and inducing the production of blocking type IgG4 antibodies against venom allergens. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that Treg cells may affect allergen sensitization and methods for enhancing this cell population may eventually improve the efficacy of VIT. In this article, immune mechanisms enrolled in bee and wasp VIT are reviewed. PMID:21729181

  12. Micrurus snake venoms activate human complement system and generate anaphylatoxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanaka Gabriela D

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genus Micrurus, coral snakes (Serpentes, Elapidae, comprises more than 120 species and subspecies distributed from the south United States to the south of South America. Micrurus snake bites can cause death by muscle paralysis and further respiratory arrest within a few hours after envenomation. Clinical observations show mainly neurotoxic symptoms, although other biological activities have also been experimentally observed, including cardiotoxicity, hemolysis, edema and myotoxicity. Results In the present study we have investigated the action of venoms from seven species of snakes from the genus Micrurus on the complement system in in vitro studies. Several of the Micrurus species could consume the classical and/or the lectin pathways, but not the alternative pathway, and C3a, C4a and C5a were generated in sera treated with the venoms as result of this complement activation. Micrurus venoms were also able to directly cleave the α chain of the component C3, but not of the C4, which was inhibited by 1,10 Phenanthroline, suggesting the presence of a C3α chain specific metalloprotease in Micrurus spp venoms. Furthermore, complement activation was in part associated with the cleavage of C1-Inhibitor by protease(s present in the venoms, which disrupts complement activation control. Conclusion Micrurus venoms can activate the complement system, generating a significant amount of anaphylatoxins, which may assist due to their vasodilatory effects, to enhance the spreading of other venom components during the envenomation process.

  13. Effects of Animal Venoms and Toxins on Hallmarks of Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Hodgson, Wayne C; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Prasongsook, Naiyarat

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are a cocktail of proteins and peptides, targeting vital physiological processes. Venoms have evolved to assist in the capture and digestion of prey. Key venom components often include neurotoxins, myotoxins, cardiotoxins, hematoxins and catalytic enzymes. The pharmacological activities of venom components have been investigated as a source of potential therapeutic agents. Interestingly, a number of animal toxins display profound anticancer effects. These include toxins purified from snake, bee and scorpion venoms effecting cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptotic activity and neovascularization. Indeed, the mechanism behind the anticancer effect of certain toxins is similar to that of agents currently used in chemotherapy. For example, Lebein is a snake venom disintegrin which generates anti-angiogenic effects by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF). In this review article, we highlight the biological activities of animal toxins on the multiple steps of tumour formation or hallmarks of cancer. We also discuss recent progress in the discovery of lead compounds for anticancer drug development from venom components. PMID:27471574

  14. Ancient Venom Systems: A Review on Cnidaria Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Yanagihara, Angel A; Madio, Bruno; Nevalainen, Timo J; Alewood, Paul F; Fry, Bryan G

    2015-06-01

    Cnidarians are the oldest extant lineage of venomous animals. Despite their simple anatomy, they are capable of subduing or repelling prey and predator species that are far more complex and recently evolved. Utilizing specialized penetrating nematocysts, cnidarians inject the nematocyst content or "venom" that initiates toxic and immunological reactions in the envenomated organism. These venoms contain enzymes, potent pore forming toxins, and neurotoxins. Enzymes include lipolytic and proteolytic proteins that catabolize prey tissues. Cnidarian pore forming toxins self-assemble to form robust membrane pores that can cause cell death via osmotic lysis. Neurotoxins exhibit rapid ion channel specific activities. In addition, certain cnidarian venoms contain or induce the release of host vasodilatory biogenic amines such as serotonin, histamine, bunodosine and caissarone accelerating the pathogenic effects of other venom enzymes and porins. The cnidarian attacking/defending mechanism is fast and efficient, and massive envenomation of humans may result in death, in some cases within a few minutes to an hour after sting. The complexity of venom components represents a unique therapeutic challenge and probably reflects the ancient evolutionary history of the cnidarian venom system. Thus, they are invaluable as a therapeutic target for sting treatment or as lead compounds for drug design. PMID:26094698

  15. [Drug or plant substances which antagonize venoms or potentiate antivenins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chippaux, J P; Rakotonirina, V S; Rakotonirina, A; Dzikouk, G

    1997-01-01

    Dendroaspis jamesoni (Elapidae) and Echis oceliatus (Viperidae) are responsible for most of severe evenomation in Cameroon. Toxicity of venoms of these two species has been measured using mice according to the method of Spearman & Kàrber. The effect on experimental envenomation of various drugs (atropine, promethazine, neostigmine, hydrocortisone, pentosane sulfuric polyester, heparin, tranexamic acid and aminocaproic acid) and plant extracts (Schumanniophyton magnificum, Bidens pilosa, Securidaca longepedunculata and Garcinia lucida) has been observed associated or not with the antivenom lpser Afrique (SAV). The venom of D. jamesoni contains neurotoxins agonizing and antagonising acetylcholine. The toxicity of the venom did not depend on the route of injection. Atropine, promethazine, neostigmine and hydrocortisone protected animals against a venom dose up to 2 LD50. Moreover, atropine and promethazine potentiated the SAV. Similar results have been obtained with extracts from S. magnificum and B. pilosa. The venom of E. ocellatus induces haemorrhage and necrosis. The toxicity increased by 3-fold when the venom was injected through intravenous or intraperitoneal route, compared to intramuscular route. Pentosane sulfuric polyester and tranexamic acid protected mice against doses up to 3 LD50. Pentosane sulfuric polyester, hydrocortisone, heparin and aminocaproic acid increased the SAV protective titre by 50%. However, tried plant extracts weakly antagonised the venom and did not potentiate the SAV. PMID:9479470

  16. [Drug or plant substances which antagonize venoms or potentiate antivenins].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chippaux, J P; Rakotonirina, V S; Rakotonirina, A; Dzikouk, G

    1997-01-01

    Dendroaspis jamesoni (Elapidae) and Echis oceliatus (Viperidae) are responsible for most of severe evenomation in Cameroon. Toxicity of venoms of these two species has been measured using mice according to the method of Spearman & Kàrber. The effect on experimental envenomation of various drugs (atropine, promethazine, neostigmine, hydrocortisone, pentosane sulfuric polyester, heparin, tranexamic acid and aminocaproic acid) and plant extracts (Schumanniophyton magnificum, Bidens pilosa, Securidaca longepedunculata and Garcinia lucida) has been observed associated or not with the antivenom lpser Afrique (SAV). The venom of D. jamesoni contains neurotoxins agonizing and antagonising acetylcholine. The toxicity of the venom did not depend on the route of injection. Atropine, promethazine, neostigmine and hydrocortisone protected animals against a venom dose up to 2 LD50. Moreover, atropine and promethazine potentiated the SAV. Similar results have been obtained with extracts from S. magnificum and B. pilosa. The venom of E. ocellatus induces haemorrhage and necrosis. The toxicity increased by 3-fold when the venom was injected through intravenous or intraperitoneal route, compared to intramuscular route. Pentosane sulfuric polyester and tranexamic acid protected mice against doses up to 3 LD50. Pentosane sulfuric polyester, hydrocortisone, heparin and aminocaproic acid increased the SAV protective titre by 50%. However, tried plant extracts weakly antagonised the venom and did not potentiate the SAV.

  17. Use of snake venom fractions in the coagulation laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, N A

    1998-07-01

    Snake venom toxins are now regularly used in the coagulation laboratory for assaying haemostatic parameters and as coagulation reagents. Snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen and fibrinogen breakdown product assay as well as detecting dysfibrinogenaemias. Significantly, because SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin, they can be used for defibrinating samples that contain the anticoagulant before assay of haemostatic variables. Prothrombin activators are found in many snake venoms and are used in prothrombin assays, for studying dysprothrombinaemias and preparing meizothrombin and non-enzymic prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom (RVV) contains a number of compounds useful in the assay of factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and lupus anticoagulants. Activators from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper have been used to assay lupus anticoagulants. Protein C and activated protein C resistance can be measured by means of RVV and Protac, a fast acting inhibitor from Southern copperhead snake venom and von Willebrand factor can be studied with Botrocetin from Bothrops jararaca venom. Finally, phospholipase A2 enzymes and the disintegrins, a family of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing proteins found in snake venoms, show great potential for the study of haemostasis including, notably, platelet glycoprotein receptors GPIIb/IIIa and Ib. PMID:9712287

  18. Effects of Animal Venoms and Toxins on Hallmarks of Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaisakul, Janeyuth; Hodgson, Wayne C.; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Prasongsook, Naiyarat

    2016-01-01

    Animal venoms are a cocktail of proteins and peptides, targeting vital physiological processes. Venoms have evolved to assist in the capture and digestion of prey. Key venom components often include neurotoxins, myotoxins, cardiotoxins, hematoxins and catalytic enzymes. The pharmacological activities of venom components have been investigated as a source of potential therapeutic agents. Interestingly, a number of animal toxins display profound anticancer effects. These include toxins purified from snake, bee and scorpion venoms effecting cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptotic activity and neovascularization. Indeed, the mechanism behind the anticancer effect of certain toxins is similar to that of agents currently used in chemotherapy. For example, Lebein is a snake venom disintegrin which generates anti-angiogenic effects by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF). In this review article, we highlight the biological activities of animal toxins on the multiple steps of tumour formation or hallmarks of cancer. We also discuss recent progress in the discovery of lead compounds for anticancer drug development from venom components. PMID:27471574

  19. The First Venomous Crustacean Revealed by Transcriptomics and Functional Morphology: Remipede Venom Glands Express a Unique Toxin Cocktail Dominated by Enzymes and a Neurotoxin

    OpenAIRE

    Reumont, von; Blanke, Alexander; Richter, Sandy; Alvarez, Fernando; Bleidorn, Christoph; Jenner, Ronald A.

    2013-01-01

    Animal venoms have evolved many times. Venomous species are especially common in three of the four main groups of arthropods (Chelicerata, Myriapoda, and Hexapoda), which together represent tens of thousands of species of venomous spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and hymenopterans. Surprisingly, despite their great diversity of body plans, there is no unambiguous evidence that any crustacean is venomous. We provide the first conclusive evidence that the aquatic, blind, and cave-dwelling remipe...

  20. Practical applications of snake venom toxins in haemostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Neville; Williams, Vaughan

    2005-06-15

    Snake venom toxins affecting haemostasis have facilitated extensively the routine assays of haemostatic parameters in the coagulation laboratory. Snake venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLE) are used for fibrinogen/fibrinogen breakdown product assay and for the detection of fibrinogen dysfunction. SVTLE are not inhibited by heparin and can thus can be used for assaying antithrombin III and other haemostatic variables in heparin-containing samples. Snake venoms are a rich source of prothrombin activators and these are utilised in prothrombin assays, for studying dysprothrombinaemias and for preparing meizothrombin and non-enzymic forms of prothrombin. Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) venom (RVV) contains toxins which have been used to assay blood clotting factors V, VII, X, platelet factor 3 and, importantly, lupus anticoagulants (LA). Other prothrombin activators (from the taipan, Australian brown snake and saw-scaled viper) have now been used to assay LA. Protein C and activated protein C resistance can be measured by means of RVV and Protac, a fast acting inhibitor from Southern copperhead snake venom and von Willebrand factor can be studied with botrocetin from Bothrops jararaca venom. The disintegrins, a large family of Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-containing snake venom proteins, show potential for studying platelet glycoprotein receptors, notably, GPIIb/IIIa and Ib. Snake venom toxins affecting haemostasis are also used in the therapeutic setting: Ancrod (from the Malayan pit viper, Calloselasma rhodostoma), in particular, has been used as an anticoagulant to achieve 'therapeutic defibrination'. Other snake venom proteins show promise in the treatment of a range of haemostatic disorders. PMID:15922782

  1. Cross-reactivity and phospholipase A2 neutralization of anti-irradiated Bothrops jararaca venom antibodies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The detoxified Bothrops jararaca venom, immunized rabbits with the toxoid obtained and investigated cross-reactivity of the antibodies obtained against autologous and heterelogous venoms was presented. It was also investigated the ability of the IgGs, purified by affinity chromatography, from those sera to neutralize phospholipase. A2, an ubiquous enzyme in animal venoms. Results indicate that venom irradiation leads to an attenuation of toxicity of 84%. Cross-reactivity was investigated by ELISA and Western blot and all venoms were reactive to the antibodies. On what refers to phospholipase A2 activity neutralization, the antibodies neutralized autologous venoms efficiently and, curiously, other venoms from the same genus were not neutralized, while Lachesis muta venom, a remote related specier, was neutralized by this serum. These data suggest that irradiation preserve important epitopes for induction of neutralizing antibodies and that these epitopes are not shared by all venoms assayed. (author). 8 refs, 2 figs, 3 tabs

  2. Fish Springs NWR mammal, fish, amphibian, and reptile list

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The following is a species list for mammals, fishes, amphibians, and reptiles found on or adjacent to Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, as of October, 1996.

  3. Amphibian and reptile diversity of the Lahontan Valley

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report is about a survey that was done to assess the amphibian and reptile diversity of the Lahontan Valley in Nevada. The work contained in this summary can...

  4. Amphibian and Reptile Research on Coldwater National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The management actions in the wildlife ponds on Coldwater National Wildlife Refuge create a highly variable and dynamic environment for amphibians and reptiles....

  5. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.; Miller, David A.W.; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L.; Fellers, Gary M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  6. Climate change and amphibian diversity patterns in Mexico

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ochoa-Ochoa, Leticia M.; Rodríguez, Pilar; Mora, Franz;

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this article is to characterize at fine scale alpha and beta diversity patterns for Mexican amphibians and analyze how these patterns might change under a moderate climate-change scenario, highlighting the overall consequences for amphibian diversity at the country level. We used a geo...... of presence and dispersal capability) in the modelling processes. We simulated the base line (2000) and future scenarios for Mexican amphibian diversity (2020, 2050, 2080), using climate data layers constructed for Mexico. Using moving-window analyses of different sizes (9, 25, 100, 225 and 400 km2) we...... country boundaries) were particularly intense during the period 2020–2050. The results implied that heterogeneous zones associated with mountain ranges will remain particularly important for amphibian diversity and thus constitute areas for continued conservation prioritization in the face of climate...

  7. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browne, R K; Kaurova, S A; Uteshev, V K; Shishova, N V; McGinnity, D; Figiel, C R; Mansour, N; Agney, D; Wu, M; Gakhova, E N; Dzyuba, B; Cosson, J

    2015-01-01

    We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P amphibian sperm in general and anurans reversion from internal to external fertilization. Our findings provide a greater understanding of the reproductive biology of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians, and a biological foundation for the further development of reproduction technologies for their sustainable management.

  8. Declining amphibian populations: a global phenomenon in conservation biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gardner, T.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The majority of the recent reductions in the Earth's biodiversity can be attributed to direct human impacts on the environment. An increasing number of studies over the last decade have reported declines in amphibian populations in areas of pristine habitat. Such reports suggest the role of indirect factors and a global effect of human activities on natural systems. Declines in amphibian populations bear significant implications for the functioning of many terrestrial ecosystems, and may signify important implications for human welfare. A wide range of candidates have been proposed to explain amphibian population declines. However, it seems likely that the relevance of each factor is dependent upon the habitat type and species in question, and that complex synergistic effects between a number of environmental factors is of critical importance. Monitoring of amphibian populations to assess the extent and cause of declines is confounded by a number of ecological and methodological limitations.

  9. Abnormal amphibians on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This project contains a journal article, a news release, FAQs, a fact sheet, photos, and a dataset related to a 10-year study of amphibian abnormalities on U.S....

  10. Nationwide Abnormal Amphibian Monitoring Project : Region 3: 2002

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 2000, the FWS's Environmental Contaminants Program (currently Environmental Quality Program) received funding as part of the Department of Interior's Amphibian...

  11. Conservation needs of amphibians in China: A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIE Feng; Michael Wai Neng LAU; Simon N STUART; Janice S CHANSON; Neil A COX; Debra L FISCHMAN

    2007-01-01

    The conservation status of all the amphibians in China is analyzed, and the country is shown to be a global priority for conservation in comparison to many other countries of the world. Three Chinese regions are particularly rich in amphibian diversity: Hengduan, Nanling, and Wuyi mountains. Salamanders are more threatened than frogs and toads. Several smaller families show a high propensity to become seriously threatened: Bombinatoridae, Cryptobranchidae, Hynobiidae and Salamandridae. Like other parts of the world, stream-breeding, high-elevation forest amphibians have a much higher likelihood of being seriously threatened. Habitat loss, pollution, and over-harvesting are the most serious threats to Chinese amphibians. Over-harvesting is a less pervasive threat than habitat loss, but it is more likely to drive a species into rapid decline. Five conservation challenges are mentioned with recommendations for the highest priority research and conservation actions.

  12. Scientists urge enforcement of an amphibian conservation plan

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    @@ A group of CAS biologists recently lodged an appeal, calling for initiating a national action plan as soon as possible to protect the amphibian species now struggling for their survival throughout the country.

  13. Conservation needs of amphibians in China:A review

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Michael; Wai; Neng; LAU; Simon; N; STUART; Janice; S; CHANSON; Neil; A; COX; Debra; L; FISCHMAN

    2007-01-01

    The conservation status of all the amphibians in China is analyzed,and the country is shown to be a global priority for conservation in comparison to many other countries of the world.Three Chinese regions are particularly rich in amphibian diversity:Hengduan,Nanling,and Wuyi mountains.Sala-manders are more threatened than frogs and toads.Several smaller families show a high propensity to become seriously threatened:Bombinatoridae,Cryptobranchidae,Hynobiidae and Salamandridae.Like other parts of the world,stream-breeding,high-elevation forest amphibians have a much higher likeli-hood of being seriously threatened.Habitat loss,pollution,and over-harvesting are the most serious threats to Chinese amphibians.Over-harvesting is a less pervasive threat than habitat loss,but it is more likely to drive a species into rapid decline.Five conservation challenges are mentioned with recommendations for the highest priority research and conservation actions.

  14. Checklist of Helminth parasites of Amphibians from South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campião, Karla Magalhães; Morais, Drausio Honorio; Dias, Olívia Tavares; Aguiar, Aline; Toledo, Gislayne De Melo; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo Roland; Da Silva, Reinaldo José

    2014-07-30

    Parasitological studies on helminths of amphibians in South America have increased in the past few years. Here, we present a list with summarized data published on helminths of South American amphibians from 1925 to 2012, including a list of helminth parasites, host species, and geographic records. We found 194 reports of helminths parasitizing 185 amphibian species from eleven countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Equador, French Guyana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Helminth biodiversity includes 278 parasite species of the groups Acanthocephala, Nematoda, Cestoda, Monogenea and Trematoda. A list of helminth parasite species per host, and references are also presented. This contribution aims to document the biodiversity of helminth parasites in South American amphibians, as well as identify gaps in our knowledge, which in turn may guide subsequent studies. 

  15. Metabolism of pesticides after dermal exposure to amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding how pesticide exposure to non-target species influences toxicity is necessary to accurately assess the ecological risks these compounds pose. Aquatic, terrestrial, and arboreal amphibians are often exposed to pesticides during their agricultural application resultin...

  16. Invasive and introduced reptiles and amphibians: Chapter 28

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Robert N.; Krysko, Kenneth L.; Mader, Douglas R.; Divers, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Why is there a section on introduced amphibians and reptiles in this volume, and why should veterinarians care about this issue? Globally, invasive species are a major threat to the stability of native ecosystems,1,2 and amphibians and reptiles are attracting increased attention as potential invaders. Some introduced amphibians and reptiles have had a major impact (e.g., Brown Tree Snakes [Boiga irregularis] wiping out the native birds of Guam3 or Cane Toads [Rhinella marina] poisoning native Australian predators).4 For the vast majority of species, however, the ecological, economic, and sociopolitical effects of introduced amphibians and reptiles are generally poorly quantified, largely because of a lack of focused research effort rather than because such effects are nonexistent. This trend is alarming given that rates of introduction have increased exponentially in recent decades.

  17. ALIEN SPECIES: THEIR ROLE IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES AND RESTORATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...

  18. FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE UNITED STATES

    Science.gov (United States)

    This study identified the factors responsible for the decline of native amphibians in the U.S. The type of land use, the introduction of exotic animal species, and chemical contamination were identified as the most likely causes of decline.

  19. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J; Miller, David A W; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L; Fellers, Gary M; Fisher, Robert N; Sadinski, Walter J; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  20. Update of reptile and amphibian lists Kern NWR complex

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document includes a list of reptiles and amphibians found at Kern NWR, and lists brief species accounts for rare sightings/species. Attached are updated lists...

  1. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J; Miller, David A W; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L; Fellers, Gary M; Fisher, Robert N; Sadinski, Walter J; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized. PMID:23717602

  2. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J Adams

    Full Text Available Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  3. Nationwide Abnormal Amphibian Monitoring Project : Region 3 : Interim Report 2003

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 2000, the FWS's Environmental Contaminants Program (currently Environmental Quality Program) received funding as part of the Department of Interior's Amphibian...

  4. Nationwide Abnormal Amphibian Monitoring Project : Region 3 : Interim Report 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 2000, the FWS's Environmental Contaminants Program (currently Environmental Quality Program) received funding as part of the Department of Interior's Amphibian...

  5. Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Cusuco National Park, Honduras.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Padgett-Flohr, Gretchen E; Field, Richard

    2010-11-01

    Amphibian population declines in Honduras have long been attributed to habitat degradation and pollution, but an increasing number of declines are now being observed from within the boundaries of national parks in pristine montane environments. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in these declines and was recently documented in Honduras from samples collected in Pico Bonito National Park in 2003. This report now confirms Cusuco National Park, a protected cloud forest reserve with reported amphibian declines, to be the second known site of infection for Honduras. B. dendrobatidis infection was detected in 5 amphibian species: Craugastor rostralis, Duellmanohyla soralia, Lithobates maculata, Plectrohyla dasypus, and Ptychohyla hypomykter. D. soralia, P. dasypus, and P. hypomykter are listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and have severely fragmented or restricted distributions. Further investigations are necessary to determine whether observed infection levels indicate an active B. dendrobatidis epizootic with the potential to cause further population declines and extinction.

  6. Twenty years of ISAREN: an amphibian biologist in Wonderland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuyama, Sakae

    2010-09-01

    The 6th International Symposium on Amphibian and Reptilian Endocrinology and Neurobiology (ISAREN), the former International Symposium on Amphibian Endocrinology (ISAE), was recently held in Berlin. ISAREN developed from two symposia on amphibian biology held in European countries in 1988-1990. In this article, the history of ISAREN was briefly stated. In addition, some of the topics of our researches carried out in collaboration with several groups, using various amphibian species during the past 20 years and/or presented in the past symposia were reviewed. The topics included the discovery of pancreatic chitinase, involvement of growth hormone in vitellogenin synthesis, changes of ANF-like immunoreactivity in the frogs sent into the space, discovery of a peptide sex-pheromone, origin of the epithelial pituitary, and hypothalamic regulation of thyroid-stimulating hormone. PMID:20138045

  7. Production and packaging of a biological arsenal: evolution of centipede venoms under morphological constraint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Undheim, Eivind A B; Hamilton, Brett R; Kurniawan, Nyoman D; Bowlay, Greg; Cribb, Bronwen W; Merritt, David J; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F; Venter, Deon J

    2015-03-31

    Venom represents one of the most extreme manifestations of a chemical arms race. Venoms are complex biochemical arsenals, often containing hundreds to thousands of unique protein toxins. Despite their utility for prey capture, venoms are energetically expensive commodities, and consequently it is hypothesized that venom complexity is inversely related to the capacity of a venomous animal to physically subdue prey. Centipedes, one of the oldest yet least-studied venomous lineages, appear to defy this rule. Although scutigeromorph centipedes produce less complex venom than those secreted by scolopendrid centipedes, they appear to rely heavily on venom for prey capture. We show that the venom glands are large and well developed in both scutigerid and scolopendrid species, but that scutigerid forcipules lack the adaptations that allow scolopendrids to inflict physical damage on prey and predators. Moreover, we reveal that scolopendrid venom glands have evolved to accommodate a much larger number of secretory cells and, by using imaging mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that toxin production is heterogeneous across these secretory units. We propose that the differences in venom complexity between centipede orders are largely a result of morphological restrictions of the venom gland, and consequently there is a strong correlation between the morphological and biochemical complexity of this unique venom system. The current data add to the growing body of evidence that toxins are not expressed in a spatially homogenous manner within venom glands, and they suggest that the link between ecology and toxin evolution is more complex than previously thought. PMID:25775536

  8. Brown spider venom toxins interact with cell surface and are endocytosed by rabbit endothelial cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowatzki, Jenifer; de Sene, Reginaldo Vieira; Paludo, Katia Sabrina; Veiga, Silvio Sanches; Oliver, Constance; Jamur, Maria Célia; Nader, Helena Bonciani; Trindade, Edvaldo S; Franco, Célia Regina C

    2010-09-15

    Bites from the Loxosceles genus (brown spiders) cause severe clinical symptoms, including dermonecrotic injury, hemorrhage, hemolysis, platelet aggregation and renal failure. Histological findings of dermonecrotic lesions in animals exposed to Loxosceles intermedia venom show numerous vascular alterations. Study of the hemorrhagic consequences of the venom in endothelial cells has demonstrated that the degeneration of blood vessels results not only from degradation of the extracellular matrix molecule or massive leukocyte infiltration, but also from a direct and primary activity of the venom on endothelial cells. Exposure of an endothelial cell line in vitro to L. intermedia venom induce morphological alterations, such as cell retraction and disadhesion to the extracellular matrix. The aim of the present study was to investigate the interaction between the venom toxins and the endothelial cell surface and their possible internalization, in order to illuminate the information about the deleterious effect triggered by venom. After treating endothelial cells with venom toxins, we observed that the venom interacts with cell surface. Venom treatment also can cause a reduction of cell surface glycoconjugates. When cells were permeabilized, it was possible to verify that some venom toxins were internalized by the endothelial cells. The venom internalization involves endocytic vesicles and the venom was detected in the lysosomes. However, no damage to lysosomal integrity was observed, suggesting that the cytotoxic effect evoked by L. intermedia venom on endothelial cells is not mediated by venom internalization.

  9. Immobilizing and lethal effects of spider venoms on the cockroach and the common mealbeetle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedel, T; Nentwig, W

    1989-01-01

    Immobilizing and lethal effects of the venoms obtained from six spider species (Brachypelma albopilosum, Atrax robustus, Cupiennius salei, Selenops mexicanus, Tegenaria atrica, Argiope bruennichi) were tested on Blatta orientalis (cockroach) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). The immobilizing effects were quantified by measuring insect locomotor activity in circle arenas observed over 72 hr after venom injection. Both insect species showed cramps, quivering and jerking of the limbs as well as flaccid paralysis after venom injection. Through relative toxicity of the venoms tested is the same in T. molitor and B. orientalis, T. molitor is absolutely less sensitive to spider venoms. The effects on locomotor activity show time characteristics specific for each venom. A dependence of the venom paralyzing effects on insect locomotor activity, low intensity of the initial excitatory phase of the venom effects and partial recovery of the insects was found with A. bruennichi and T. atrica venom. The maximal venom yields of A. bruennichi and S. mexicanus are not lethal to B. orientalis, indicating that the mere immobilizing effects of spider venoms are far more crucial to prey capture than their lethal effects. The contribution of a variety of differently acting neurotoxic components in spider venoms to the observed venom effects on insects and the significance of the venoms in spider nutrition, hunting behaviour and ecology are discussed. PMID:2728023

  10. Analysis of Fang Puncture Wound Patterns in Isfahan Province’s, Iran, Venomous and Non-Venomous Snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dehghani R.1 PhD,

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Aims Venomous snake bites are public health problems in different parts of the world. The most specific mainstay in the treatment of envenomation is anti-venom. To treat the envenomation, it is very important to identify the offending species. This study was designed to determine the penetrating pattern of fangs and teeth of some viper snakes. Materials & Methods This descriptive study was performed on live venomous and nonvenomous snakes from 2010 till 2011. All 47 sample snakes were collected from different regions of Isfahan province such as Kashan City, Ghamsar, Niasar, Mashhad Ardehal, Taher- Abad and Khozagh. Their mouths were inspected every two weeks and development of their fangs and teeth were recorded by taking clear digital photos. Fangs and teeth patterns of samples were drawn and the results were compared. Findings One or two wounds appeared as typical fang marks at the bite site of venomous snakes while non-venomous snakes had two carved rows of small teeth. Three different teeth and fang patterns were recognized in venomous snakes which were completely different. Conclusion The fang marks of venomous snakes do not always have a common and classic pattern and there are at least 3 different patterns in Isfahan province, Iran.

  11. The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI): 5-year report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muths, Erin; Gallant, Alisa L.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Battaglin, William A.; Green, David E.; Staiger, Jennifer S.; Walls, Susan C.; Gunzburger, Margaret S.; Kearney, Rick F.

    2006-01-01

    The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) is an innovative, multidisciplinary program that began in 2000 in response to a congressional directive for the Department of the Interior to address the issue of amphibian declines in the United States. ARMI’s formulation was cross-disciplinary, integrating U.S. Geological Survey scientists from Biology, Water, and Geography to develop a course of action (Corn and others, 2005a). The result has been an effective program with diverse, yet complementary, expertise.

  12. Resistance to cancer in amphibians: a role for apoptosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruben, Laurens N; Johnson, Rachel O; Clothier, Richard H; Balls, Michael

    2013-07-01

    The rarity of spontaneous cancer in amphibians, and the difficulty of inducing cancer in these lower vertebrates, suggest that they possess an effective system for resistance to the development of cancer. The first part of this narrative presents evidence for cancer resistance in amphibians, and then a variety of studies designed to help understand the physiological basis for this resistance are reviewed. Here, our emphasis is on evidence with regard to the role that apoptosis might play.

  13. Amphibian and reptile distribution in forests adjacent to watercourses

    OpenAIRE

    Olsson, Cecilia

    2008-01-01

    Worldwide amphibians and reptiles are declining with habitat fragmentation and destruction as the primary cause. Riparian areas are important for the herpetofauna, but as land is converted to agriculture or harvested for timber the areas are diminishing. The aim of this study was to examine amphibian and reptile abundance in relation to distance from water and in relation to habitat characteristics, foremost per cent deciduous trees. The survey was conducted during spring at six different loc...

  14. Effects of Terrestrial Buffer Zones on Amphibians on Golf Courses

    OpenAIRE

    Puglis, Holly J.; Boone, Michelle D.

    2012-01-01

    A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they w...

  15. Recruitment of Glycosyl Hydrolase Proteins in a Cone Snail Venomous Arsenal: Further Insights into Biomolecular Features of Conus Venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Favreau

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cone snail venoms are considered an untapped reservoir of extremely diverse peptides, named conopeptides, displaying a wide array of pharmacological activities. We report here for the first time, the presence of high molecular weight compounds that participate in the envenomation cocktail used by these marine snails. Using a combination of proteomic and transcriptomic approaches, we identified glycosyl hydrolase proteins, of the hyaluronidase type (Hyal, from the dissected and injectable venoms (“injectable venom” stands for the venom variety obtained by milking of the snails. This is in contrast to the “dissected venom”, which was obtained from dissected snails by extraction of the venom glands of a fish-hunting cone snail, Conus consors (Pionoconus clade. The major Hyal isoform, Conohyal-Cn1, is expressed as a mixture of numerous glycosylated proteins in the 50 kDa molecular mass range, as observed in 2D gel and mass spectrometry analyses. Further proteomic analysis and venom duct mRNA sequencing allowed full sequence determination. Additionally, unambiguous segment location of at least three glycosylation sites could be determined, with glycans corresponding to multiple hexose (Hex and N-acetylhexosamine (HexNAc moieties. With respect to other known Hyals, Conohyal-Cn1 clearly belongs to the hydrolase-type of Hyals, with strictly conserved consensus catalytic donor and positioning residues. Potent biological activity of the native Conohyals could be confirmed in degrading hyaluronic acid. A similar Hyal sequence was also found in the venom duct transcriptome of C. adamsonii (Textilia clade, implying a possible widespread recruitment of this enzyme family in fish-hunting cone snail venoms. These results provide the first detailed Hyal sequence characterized from a cone snail venom, and to a larger extent in the Mollusca phylum, thus extending our knowledge on this protein family and its evolutionary selection in marine snail venoms.

  16. A preliminary report of amphibian mortality patterns on railways

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    Karolina A. Budzik

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In contrast to road mortality, little is known about amphibian railroad mortality. The aim of this study was to quantify amphibian mortality along a railway line as well as to investigate the relationship between the availability of breeding sites in the surrounding habitats and the monthly variation of amphibian railway mortality. The study was conducted from April to July 2011 along 45 km of the railway line Kraków - Tarnów (Poland, Małopolska province. Three species were affected by railway mortality: Bufo bufo, Rana temporaria and Pelophylax kl. esculentus. Most dead individuals (77% were adult common toads. The largest number (14 of amphibian breeding sites was located in the most heterogeneous habitats (woodland and rural areas, which coincides with the sectors of highest amphibian mortality (42% of all accidents. As in the case of roads, spring migration is the period of highest amphibian mortality (87% of all accidents on railroads. Our findings suggest that railroad mortality depends on the agility of the species, associated primarily with the ability to overcome the rails.

  17. Why amphibians are more sensitive than mammals to xenobiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quaranta, Angelo; Bellantuono, Vito; Cassano, Giuseppe; Lippe, Claudio

    2009-11-04

    Dramatic declines in amphibian populations have been described all over the world since the 1980s. The evidence that the sensitivity to environmental threats is greater in amphibians than in mammals has been generally linked to the observation that amphibians are characterized by a rather permeable skin. Nevertheless, a numerical comparison of data of percutaneous (through the skin) passage between amphibians and mammals is lacking. Therefore, in this investigation we have measured the percutaneous passage of two test molecules (mannitol and antipyrine) and three heavily used herbicides (atrazine, paraquat and glyphosate) in the skin of the frog Rana esculenta (amphibians) and of the pig ear (mammals), by using the same experimental protocol and a simple apparatus which minimizes the edge effect, occurring when the tissue is clamped in the usually used experimental device.The percutaneous passage (P) of each substance is much greater in frog than in pig. LogP is linearly related to logKow (logarithm of the octanol-water partition coefficient). The measured P value of atrazine was about 134 times larger than that of glyphosate in frog skin, but only 12 times in pig ear skin. The FoD value (Pfrog/Ppig) was 302 for atrazine, 120 for antipyrine, 66 for mannitol, 29 for paraquat, and 26 for glyphosate.The differences in structure and composition of the skin between amphibians and mammals are discussed.

  18. Why amphibians are more sensitive than mammals to xenobiotics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo Quaranta

    Full Text Available Dramatic declines in amphibian populations have been described all over the world since the 1980s. The evidence that the sensitivity to environmental threats is greater in amphibians than in mammals has been generally linked to the observation that amphibians are characterized by a rather permeable skin. Nevertheless, a numerical comparison of data of percutaneous (through the skin passage between amphibians and mammals is lacking. Therefore, in this investigation we have measured the percutaneous passage of two test molecules (mannitol and antipyrine and three heavily used herbicides (atrazine, paraquat and glyphosate in the skin of the frog Rana esculenta (amphibians and of the pig ear (mammals, by using the same experimental protocol and a simple apparatus which minimizes the edge effect, occurring when the tissue is clamped in the usually used experimental device.The percutaneous passage (P of each substance is much greater in frog than in pig. LogP is linearly related to logKow (logarithm of the octanol-water partition coefficient. The measured P value of atrazine was about 134 times larger than that of glyphosate in frog skin, but only 12 times in pig ear skin. The FoD value (Pfrog/Ppig was 302 for atrazine, 120 for antipyrine, 66 for mannitol, 29 for paraquat, and 26 for glyphosate.The differences in structure and composition of the skin between amphibians and mammals are discussed.

  19. Global amphibian declines: perspectives from the United States and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Densmore, Christine L.; Cipriano, R.C.; Bruckner, A.W.; Shchelkunov, I.S.

    2011-01-01

    Over recent decades, amphibians have experienced population declines, extirpations and species-level extinctions at an alarming rate. Numerous potential etiologies for amphibian declines have been postulated including climate and habitat degradation. Other potential anthropogenic causes including overexploitation and the frequent introductions of invasive predatory species have also been blamed for amphibian declines. Still other underlying factors may include infectious diseases caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, pathogenic viruses (Ranavirus), and other agents. It is nearly certain that more than one etiology is to blame for the majority of the global amphibian declines, and that these causal factors include some combination of climatological or physical habitat destabilization and infectious disease, most notably chytridiomycosis. Scientific research efforts are aimed at elucidating these etiologies on local, regional, and global scales that we might better understand and counteract the driving forces behind amphibian declines. Conservation efforts as outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan of 2005 are also being made to curtail losses and prevent further extinctions wherever possible.

  20. Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, C Guilherme; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2011-06-14

    Habitat loss and disease are main drivers of global amphibian declines, yet the interaction between them remains largely unexplored. Here we show that paradoxically, habitat loss is negatively associated with occurrence, prevalence, and infection intensity of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations in the tropics. At a large spatial scale, increased habitat loss predicted lower disease risk in amphibian populations across Costa Rica and eastern Australia, even after jointly considering the effect of potential biotic and abiotic correlates. Lower host-species richness and suboptimal microclimates for Bd in disturbed habitats are potential mechanisms underlying this pattern. Furthermore, we found that anthropogenic deforestation practices biased to lowlands and natural vegetation remaining in inaccessible highlands explain increased Bd occurrence at higher elevations. At a smaller spatial scale, holding constant elevation, latitude, and macroclimate, we also found a negative relationship between habitat loss, and both Bd prevalence and infection intensity in frog populations in two landscapes of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Our results indicate that amphibians will be disproportionately affected by emerging diseases in pristine environments, and that, paradoxically, disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation. Thus, tropical amphibian faunas are threatened both by destruction of natural habitats as well as increased disease in pristine forests. To curb further extinctions and develop effective mitigation and restoration programs we must look to interactions between habitat loss and disease, the two main factors at the root of global amphibian declines.

  1. Baseline Population Inventory of Amphibians on the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge and Screening for the Amphibian Disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — From July of 2012 to June of 2013, we conducted baseline inventories for amphibians and sampled for the disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on the Mountain...

  2. Spider-Venom Peptides as Bioinsecticides

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    Glenn F. King

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Over 10,000 arthropod species are currently considered to be pest organisms. They are estimated to contribute to the destruction of ~14% of the world’s annual crop production and transmit many pathogens. Presently, arthropod pests of agricultural and health significance are controlled predominantly through the use of chemical insecticides. Unfortunately, the widespread use of these agrochemicals has resulted in genetic selection pressure that has led to the development of insecticide-resistant arthropods, as well as concerns over human health and the environment. Bioinsecticides represent a new generation of insecticides that utilise organisms or their derivatives (e.g., transgenic plants, recombinant baculoviruses, toxin-fusion proteins and peptidomimetics and show promise as environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional agrochemicals. Spider-venom peptides are now being investigated as potential sources of bioinsecticides. With an estimated 100,000 species, spiders are one of the most successful arthropod predators. Their venom has proven to be a rich source of hyperstable insecticidal mini-proteins that cause insect paralysis or lethality through the modulation of ion channels, receptors and enzymes. Many newly characterized insecticidal spider toxins target novel sites in insects. Here we review the structure and pharmacology of these toxins and discuss the potential of this vast peptide library for the discovery of novel bioinsecticides.

  3. IgE antibodies against snake venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, A; Scavini, L M; Marino, G A; Rodríguez, S M

    1995-01-01

    A similar event was detected in the clinical records of a small group of atopic patients living in the northern provinces of Argentina, i.e., they were bitten by a snake of the Bothrops species (or yarará) during their rural activities (woodcutters, cattle-drivers and farmers). Those who were bitten twice suffered an acute episode of hives and angioedema within 15 minutes after the snake bite. The presence of specific antibodies against Bothrops alternata (Ba) extract was detected by means of RAST for IgE and Ouchterlony and Boyden for IgG. The Ouchterlony also demonstrated crossreactivity among the venoms of the Bothrops species and the positivity of the six fractions obtained by DEAE-cellulose column fractionation against the horse anti-Ba serum. The Ba antigen induced a definite inhibition of the RAST. We presume that hives and angioedema in atopic patients immediately after a second snake bite could be attributed to the presence of a specific IgE antibody against the venom, and must not be misinterpreted with the toxic effects that appear later. PMID:7551202

  4. Antineoplastic Effects of Honey Bee Venom

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    Mohammad Nabiuni

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Bee venom (BV, like many other complementary medicines, has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of a range of diseases. More recently, BV is also being considered as an effective composition for the treatment of cancer. Cancer is a major worldwide problem. It is obvious that the identification of compounds that can activate apoptosis could be effective on the treatment of cancer. BV is a very complicated mixture of active peptides, enzymes, and biologically active amines. The two main components of BV are melittin and phospholipase A2 (PLA2. Of these two components, melittin, the major active ingredient of BV, has been identified to induce apoptosis and to possess anti-tumor effects. We tried to review antineoplastic effects of BV in this study. Materials and Methods: The related articles were derived from different data bases such as PubMed, Elsevier Science, and Google Scholar using keywords including bee venom, cancer, and apoptosis.Results: According to the results of this study, BV can induce apoptosis and inhibit tumor cell growth and metastasis. Results of in vivo experiments show that the anti-tumor effect of the BV is highly dependent on the manner of injection as well as the distance between the area of injection and the tumor cells.Conclusion: The results obtained from the reported studies revealed that BV has anti-cancer effects and can be used as an effective chemotherapeutic agent against tumors in the future.

  5. The Amphibian Extinction Crisis - what will it take to put the action into the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan?

    OpenAIRE

    Bishop, P J; Angulo, A; Lewis, J P; Moore, R D; Rabb, G. B.; Moreno, J. Garcia

    2012-01-01

    The current mass extinction episode is most apparent in the amphibians. With approximately 7,000 species, amphibians are dependent on clean fresh water and damp habitats and are considered vulnerable to habitat loss (deforestation), changes in water or soil quality and the potential impacts of climate change, and in addition many species are suffering from an epidemic caused by a chytrid fungus. Because of their sensitivity and general dependence on both terrestrial and aquatic habitats they ...

  6. Applications of snake venoms in treatment of cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vagish; Kumar; Laxman; Shanbhag

    2015-01-01

    Snake venoms are folk medicines used since ages. The components of snake venoms have high specific affinity and actions on cells and cell components. Also snake venoms are largely cytotoxic to tumor cells than normal cells. In addition to these, they have several therapeutic actions that make them an attractive option in the management of cancer. The advent of modern technologies has greatly helped in extracting and identifying new components of therapeutic interests in short time. The article highlights the importance of snake venoms in the management of cancer, so as to motivate curious researchers to devote their skills in this fascinating area. This in turn may bring hope, smile and relief to several cancer patients in future.

  7. Biotechnological applications of brown spider (Loxosceles genus) venom toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senff-Ribeiro, Andrea; Henrique da Silva, Paulo; Chaim, Olga Meiri; Gremski, Luiza Helena; Paludo, Kátia Sabrina; Bertoni da Silveira, Rafael; Gremski, Waldemiro; Mangili, Oldemir Carlos; Veiga, Silvio Sanches

    2008-01-01

    Loxoscelism (the term used to define accidents by the bite of brown spiders) has been reported worldwide. Clinical manifestations following brown spider bites are frequently associated with skin degeneration, a massive inflammatory response at the injured region, intravascular hemolysis, platelet aggregation causing thrombocytopenia and renal disturbances. The mechanisms by which the venom exerts its noxious effects are currently under investigation. The whole venom is a complex mixture of toxins enriched with low molecular mass proteins in the range of 5-40 kDa. Toxins including alkaline phosphatase, hyaluronidase, metalloproteases (astacin-like proteases), low molecular mass (5.6-7.9 kDa) insecticidal peptides and phospholipases-D (dermonecrotic toxins) have been identified in the venom. The purpose of the present review is to describe biotechnological applications of whole venom or some toxins, with especial emphasis upon molecular biology findings obtained in the last years.

  8. Component Analysis of Bee Venom from lune to September

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ki Rok Kwon

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : The aim of this study was to observe variation of Bee Venom content from the collection period. Methods : Content analysis of Bee Venom was rendered using HPLC method by standard melittin Results : Analyzing melittin content using HPLC, 478.97mg/g at june , 493.89mg/g at july, 468.18mg/g at August and 482.15mg/g was containing in Bee Venom at september. So the change of melittin contents was no significance from June to September. Conclusion : Above these results, we concluded carefully that collecting time was not important factor for the quality control of Bee Venom, restricted the period from June to September.

  9. Mastoparan, a wasp venom, and melittin, a bee venom, enhance phagocytosis in mouse peritoneal macrophages

    OpenAIRE

    一ノ瀬, 充行; 廣田, 秋彦

    1998-01-01

    To characterize the direct effects of wasp and bee venom peptides on mouse peritoneal macrophages, the effects of mastoparan and melittin on phagocytosis were examined. Mastoparan induced an enhancement of phagocytosis in a dose-dependnt manner up to 2x10^M. Melittin enhanced phagocytosis at lower concentrations, but the dose-response curve was bell-shaped. Even in Ca^-and Mg^-free solutions containing EGTA, which reduced extracellular Ca^, and BAPTA, which reduced intracellular free Ca^, pha...

  10. Multiple stressor effects in relation to declining amphibian populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    This book represents the work of several authors who participated in the symposium entitled 'Multiple Stressor Effects in Relation to Declining Amphibian Populations' convened 16-17 April, 2002, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Declines of amphibian populations of varying severity have been observed for many years, and in the last 8 to 10 years considerable progress has been made in documenting the status and distribution of a range of amphibian species. Habitat alteration and destruction are likely linked to many amphibian declines, but a variety of other factors, both anthropogenic and natural, have been observed or proposed to have caused declines or extinctions of amphibian populations. Unfortunately, determining the environmental causes for the decline of many species has proven difficult. The goals of this symposium were three-fold. First, highlight ASTM's historic role in providing a forum for the standardization of amphibian toxicity test methods and the characterization of adverse effects potentially associated with chemical stressors. Second, demonstrate through case studies the current state of technical 'tools' available to biologists, ecologists, environmental scientists and natural resource professionals for assessing amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors. And third, characterize a process that brings a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis, especially as those relate to a multiple stressor risk assessment 'mind-set.' As part of the symposium, scientists and resource management professionals from diverse fields including ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource management and policy contributed oral presentations and posters that addressed topics related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors have in those losses. The papers contained in this publication reflect the commitment of ASTM

  11. Molecular cloning of a hyaluronidase from Bothrops pauloensis venom gland

    OpenAIRE

    Castanheira, Letícia Eulalio; Rodrigues, Renata Santos; Boldrini-França, Johara; Fonseca, Fernando PP; Henrique-Silva, Flávio; Homsi-Brandeburgo, Maria I; Rodrigues, Veridiana M.

    2014-01-01

    Background Hyaluronate is one of the major components of extracellular matrix from vertebrates whose breakdown is catalyzed by the enzyme hyaluronidase. These enzymes are widely described in snake venoms, in which they facilitate the spreading of the main toxins in the victim’s body during the envenoming. Snake venoms also present some variants (hyaluronidases-like substances) that are probably originated by alternative splicing, even though their relevance in envenomation is still under inve...

  12. Immune thrombocytopenia after bee venom therapy: a case report

    OpenAIRE

    Abdulsalam, Mohammad Adel; Ebrahim, Bader Esmael; Abdulsalam, Ahmad Jasem

    2016-01-01

    Background Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a hematological disorder with an isolated decrease in number of circulating platelets. Bee venom therapy (BVT) is a form of alternative medicine. It is still being practiced in the Middle East and other parts of Asia. In BVT, acupuncture points are used to inject diluted bee venom into the body. The pharmacological basis behind BVT is not fully understood. However, it has been used to treat various medical conditions such as arthritis and low back p...

  13. IN VIVO NEUTRALIZATION OF NAJA NIGRICOLLIS VENOM BY UVARIA CHAMAE

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    Omale James

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Uvaria chamae is a well known medicinal plant in Nigerian traditional medicine for the management of many diseases, but investigations concerning its pharmacological characteristics are rare. In this study, we evaluate its venom neutralizing properties against Naja nigricollis venom in rats. Freshly collected Uvaria chamae leaves were air dried, powdered and extracted in methanol. To study the antivenom properties, albino rats were orally administered with a dose of 400 mg kg-1 body weight and one hour later, the venom was administered intraperitoneally at a dose of 0.08 mg kg-1 body weight of rats. Albino rats (male weighing between 180-200g were randomly divided into five (5 groups of three (3. Groups 1-5 received water, normal saline, venom, Uvaria chamae and venom, Uvaria chamae respectively. Blood clothing time, bleeding time, antipyretic activity, haemoglobin, RBC, WBC, creatine kinase, AST, ALP and ALT activities total protein antioxidant activity and some blood electrolytes, plasma urea and uric acid were measured. Our results showed that Uvaria chamae methanol extract neutralized some biological effects of Naja nigricollis venom. The venom increased the rectal temperature, enzyme activities, bleeding time and other blood parameters. The plant extract was able to reduce these parameters in the extract treated groups. Details of the results are discussed. From this study, it is clear that U. chamae leaf extract had antivenom activity in animal models. The above results indicate that the plant extract possess potent snake venom neutralizing capacity and could potentially be used for therapeutic purpose in case of snake bite envenomation.

  14. Venom Proteome of the Box Jellyfish Chironex fleckeri

    OpenAIRE

    Brinkman, Diane L; Ammar Aziz; Alex Loukas; Jeremy Potriquet; Jamie Seymour; Jason Mulvenna

    2012-01-01

    The nematocyst is a complex intracellular structure unique to Cnidaria. When triggered to discharge, the nematocyst explosively releases a long spiny, tubule that delivers an often highly venomous mixture of components. The box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, produces exceptionally potent and rapid-acting venom and its stings to humans cause severe localized and systemic effects that are potentially life-threatening. In an effort to identify toxins that could be responsible for the serious heal...

  15. IgY antibodies anti-Tityus caripitensis venom: purification and neutralization efficacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, Aurora; Montero, Yuyibeth; Jimenez, Eucarys; Zerpa, Noraida; Parrilla, Pedro; Malavé, Caridad

    2013-11-01

    Tityus caripitensis is responsible for most of scorpion stings related to human incidents in Northeastern Venezuela. The only treatment for scorpion envenomation is immunotherapy based on administration of scorpion anti-venom produced in horses. Avian antibodies (IgY) isolated from chicken egg yolks represent a new alternative to be applied as anti-venom therapy. For this reason, we produced IgY antibodies against T. caripitensis scorpion venom and evaluated its neutralizing capacity. The anti-scorpion venom antibodies were purified by precipitation techniques with polyethylene glycol and evaluated by Multiple Antigen Blot Assay (MABA), an indirect ELISA, and Western blot assays. The lethality neutralization was evaluated by preincubating the venom together with the anti-venom prior to testing. The IgY immunoreactivity was demonstrated by a dose-dependent inhibition in Western blot assays where antibodies pre-absorbed with the venom did not recognize the venom proteins from T. caripitensis. The anti-venom was effective in neutralizing 2LD50 doses of T. caripitensis venom (97.8 mg of IgY neutralized 1 mg of T. caripitensis venom). Our results support the future use of avian anti-scorpion venom as an alternative to conventional equine anti-venom therapy in our country. PMID:23994592

  16. Antibacterial Activity of Melittin Derived from Honey Bee Venom

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    Mohsen Momenzadeh

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background and objective: Bacterial peritonitis is one of the nosocomial infections that is due to direct invasion of bacteria to peritoneal membrane. Resistance to antibiotic is of great significance in this disease and could be led to morbidity and mortality of patients. During the past decade, tracing for natural antimicrobial peptide is more considered. Among them, melittin has been extracted from honey bee venom and its antibacterial activity is being examined. The main goal of this study was isolation of melittin from honey bee venom and evaluation of its antibacterial activity against the agents of bacterial peritonitis. Materials and methods: Honey bee venom prepared using electrical stimulation and the quality of venom confirmed by SDS-PAGE. Melittin isolated from the venom using a linear gradient of acetonitrile and C18 column by Reverse Phase-High Performance Chromatography (RP-HPLC. Minimal Inhibition and Bactericidal concentration for melittin examined on Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Results: Honey bee venom composed of twenty distinct fraction in which melittin was the major one. Melittin inhibited Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa growth at 0.39, 6.25, and 12.5 µg and was bactericide at 1.56, 25, and >50 µg respectively. Conclusion: Melittin specifically invade the corresponding bacteria and induce significant inhibitory and bactericidal activity against the main agents of bacterial peritonitis. Complementary studies in animal model would be overcome bacterial drug resistance issue specifically in bacterial peritonitis.

  17. Embryotoxicity following repetitive maternal exposure to scorpion venom

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    BN Hmed

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although it is a frequent accident in a few countries, scorpion envenomation during pregnancy remains scarcely studied. In the present study, the effects of repetitive maternal exposure to Buthus occitanus tunetanus venom are investigated and its possible embryotoxic consequences on rats. Primigravid rats received a daily intraperitoneal dose of 1 mL/kg of saline solution or 300 µg/kg of crude scorpion venom, from the 7th to the 13th day of gestation. On the 21st day, the animals were deeply anesthetized using diethyl-ether. Then, blood was collected for chemical parameter analysis. Following euthanasia, morphometric measurements were carried out. The results showed a significant increase in maternal heart and lung absolute weights following venom treatment. However, the mean placental weight per rat was significantly diminished. Furthermore, blood urea concentration was higher in exposed rats (6.97 ± 0.62 mmol/L than in those receiving saline solution (4.94 ± 0.90 mmol/L. Many organs of venom-treated rat fetuses (brain, liver, kidney and spleen were smaller than those of controls. On the contrary, fetal lungs were significantly heavier in fetuses exposed to venom (3.2 ± 0.4 g than in the others (3.0 ± 0.2 g. Subcutaneous blood clots, microphthalmia and total body and tail shortening were also observed in venom-treated fetuses. It is concluded that scorpion envenomation during pregnancy potentially causes intrauterine fetal alterations and growth impairment.

  18. Extracellular matrix molecules as targets for brown spider venom toxins

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    Veiga S.S.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Loxoscelism, the term used to describe lesions and clinical manifestations induced by brown spider's venom (Loxosceles genus, has attracted much attention over the last years. Brown spider bites have been reported to cause a local and acute inflammatory reaction that may evolve to dermonecrosis (a hallmark of envenomation and hemorrhage at the bite site, besides systemic manifestations such as thrombocytopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, hemolysis, and renal failure. The molecular mechanisms by which Loxosceles venoms induce injury are currently under investigation. In this review, we focused on the latest reports describing the biological and physiopathological aspects of loxoscelism, with reference mainly to the proteases recently described as metalloproteases and serine proteases, as well as on the proteolytic effects triggered by L. intermedia venom upon extracellular matrix constituents such as fibronectin, fibrinogen, entactin and heparan sulfate proteoglycan, besides the disruptive activity of the venom on Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm basement membranes. Degradation of these extracellular matrix molecules and the observed disruption of basement membranes could be related to deleterious activities of the venom such as loss of vessel and glomerular integrity and spreading of the venom toxins to underlying tissues.

  19. Venom proteome of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane L Brinkman

    Full Text Available The nematocyst is a complex intracellular structure unique to Cnidaria. When triggered to discharge, the nematocyst explosively releases a long spiny, tubule that delivers an often highly venomous mixture of components. The box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, produces exceptionally potent and rapid-acting venom and its stings to humans cause severe localized and systemic effects that are potentially life-threatening. In an effort to identify toxins that could be responsible for the serious health effects caused by C. fleckeri and related species, we used a proteomic approach to profile the protein components of C. fleckeri venom. Collectively, 61 proteins were identified, including toxins and proteins important for nematocyte development and nematocyst formation (nematogenesis. The most abundant toxins identified were isoforms of a taxonomically restricted family of potent cnidarian proteins. These toxins are associated with cytolytic, nociceptive, inflammatory, dermonecrotic and lethal properties and expansion of this important protein family goes some way to explaining the destructive and potentially fatal effects of C. fleckeri venom. Venom proteins and their post-translational modifications (PTMs were further characterized using toxin-specific antibodies and phosphoprotein/glycoprotein-specific stains. Results indicated that glycosylation is a common PTM of the toxin family while a lack of cross-reactivity by toxin-specific antibodies infers there is significant divergence in structure and possibly function among family members. This study provides insight into the depth and diversity of protein toxins produced by harmful box jellyfish and represents the first description of a cubozoan jellyfish venom proteome.

  20. Venom proteome of the box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, Diane L; Aziz, Ammar; Loukas, Alex; Potriquet, Jeremy; Seymour, Jamie; Mulvenna, Jason

    2012-01-01

    The nematocyst is a complex intracellular structure unique to Cnidaria. When triggered to discharge, the nematocyst explosively releases a long spiny, tubule that delivers an often highly venomous mixture of components. The box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, produces exceptionally potent and rapid-acting venom and its stings to humans cause severe localized and systemic effects that are potentially life-threatening. In an effort to identify toxins that could be responsible for the serious health effects caused by C. fleckeri and related species, we used a proteomic approach to profile the protein components of C. fleckeri venom. Collectively, 61 proteins were identified, including toxins and proteins important for nematocyte development and nematocyst formation (nematogenesis). The most abundant toxins identified were isoforms of a taxonomically restricted family of potent cnidarian proteins. These toxins are associated with cytolytic, nociceptive, inflammatory, dermonecrotic and lethal properties and expansion of this important protein family goes some way to explaining the destructive and potentially fatal effects of C. fleckeri venom. Venom proteins and their post-translational modifications (PTMs) were further characterized using toxin-specific antibodies and phosphoprotein/glycoprotein-specific stains. Results indicated that glycosylation is a common PTM of the toxin family while a lack of cross-reactivity by toxin-specific antibodies infers there is significant divergence in structure and possibly function among family members. This study provides insight into the depth and diversity of protein toxins produced by harmful box jellyfish and represents the first description of a cubozoan jellyfish venom proteome. PMID:23236347

  1. Translocations of amphibians: Proven management method or experimental technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seigel, Richard A.; Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2002-01-01

    In an otherwise excellent review of metapopulation dynamics in amphibians, Marsh and Trenham (2001) make the following provocative statements (emphasis added): If isolation effects occur primarily in highly disturbed habitats, species translocations may be necessary to promote local and regional population persistence. Because most amphibians lack parental care, they areprime candidates for egg and larval translocations. Indeed, translocations have already proven successful for several species of amphibians. Where populations are severely isolated, translocations into extinct subpopulations may be the best strategy to promote regional population persistence. We take issue with these statements for a number of reasons. First, the authors fail to cite much of the relevant literature on species translocations in general and for amphibians in particular. Second, to those unfamiliar with current research in amphibian conservation biology, these comments might suggest that translocations are a proven management method. This is not the case, at least in most instances where translocations have been evaluated for an appropriate period of time. Finally, the authors fail to point out some of the negative aspects of species translocation as a management method. We realize that Marsh and Trenham's paper was not concerned primarily with translocations. However, because Marsh and Trenham (2001) made specific recommendations for conservation planners and managers (many of whom are not herpetologists or may not be familiar with the pertinent literature on amphibians), we believe that it is essential to point out that not all amphibian biologists are as comfortable with translocations as these authors appear to be. We especially urge caution about advocating potentially unproven techniques without a thorough review of available options.

  2. Developments in amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harding, Gemma; Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette

    2016-04-01

    Captive breeding and reintroduction remain high profile but controversial conservation interventions. It is important to understand how such programs develop and respond to strategic conservation initiatives. We analyzed the contribution to conservation made by amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction since the launch of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP) in 2007. We assembled data on amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction from a variety of sources including the Amphibian Ark database and the IUCN Red List. We also carried out systematic searches of Web of Science, JSTOR, and Google Scholar for relevant literature. Relative to data collected from 1966 to 2006, the number of species involved in captive breeding and reintroduction projects increased by 57% in the 7 years since release of the ACAP. However, there have been relatively few new reintroductions over this period; most programs have focused on securing captive-assurance populations (i.e., species taken into captivity as a precaution against extinctions in the wild) and conservation-related research. There has been a shift to a broader representation of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians within programs and an increasing emphasis on threatened species. There has been a relative increase of species in programs from Central and South America and the Caribbean, where amphibian biodiversity is high. About half of the programs involve zoos and aquaria with a similar proportion represented in specialist facilities run by governmental or nongovernmental agencies. Despite successful reintroduction often being regarded as the ultimate milestone for such programs, the irreversibility of many current threats to amphibians may make this an impractical goal. Instead, research on captive assurance populations may be needed to develop imaginative solutions to enable amphibians to survive alongside current, emerging, and future threats.

  3. Alexander Mikhailovich Zakharov and his works on the venom apparatus and venoms of some poisonous snakes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cherlin Vladimir Alexandrovich

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The article gives brief biographical information about a very talented herpetologist Alexander M. Zakharov, and describes the general results of his works on the structure and function of venom glands of some poisonous snakes and their venoms. In his studies, he got the results, which are fundamentally different from the conventional concept of 30s - 70s of the XX century. Unfortunately, among physicians this concept has not changed up today. At that time it was thought that the poisons of Viperidae snakes are almost completely hemotoxic, and poisons of Elapidae (cobra are almost neurotoxic. But A.M.Zaharov found out, that poisons of both types of snakes (Viperidae and Elapidae include three groups of substances: hemotoxins, neurotoxins and non-toxic component – hyaluronidase. Each of these groups of substances is produced by independent part of venom glands and has its own special effect. Neurotoxins act on the central nervous system (mainly the respiratory center, but are greatly destroyed by means of the blood antigen properties and cannot pass through the hematoencephalic barrier. Hyaluronidase , connecting with neurotoxins, has an important property – to "smuggle" neurotoxins through the hematoencephalic barrier exactly into the target organ – the respiratory center in the central nervous system. In this case, neurotoxin enters the respiratory center not through the blood and lymph vessels, but directly through the nerve channel, through synapsis. The main function of hemotoxins is not to kill the victim, but to protect neurotoxins and hyaluronidase from the destructive activity of the victim's blood. Therefore, the target of the poisons of Viperidae and Elapidae snakes is the central nervous system of victims, but Elapidae has almost no hemotoxins. That’s why their striking effect can be achieved only by a strong increase in the amount of neurotoxins and hyaluronidase. Hemotoxins of Viperidae venoms permits to reduce the amount of

  4. Incentive or Habit Learning in Amphibians?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muzio, Rubén N.; Pistone Creydt, Virginia; Iurman, Mariana; Rinaldi, Mauro A.; Sirani, Bruno; Papini, Mauricio R.

    2011-01-01

    Toads (Rhinella arenarum) received training with a novel incentive procedure involving access to solutions of different NaCl concentrations. In Experiment 1, instrumental behavior and weight variation data confirmed that such solutions yield incentive values ranging from appetitive (deionized water, DW, leading to weight gain), to neutral (300 mM slightly hypertonic solution, leading to no net weight gain or loss), and aversive (800 mM highly hypertonic solution leading to weight loss). In Experiment 2, a downshift from DW to a 300 mM solution or an upshift from a 300 mM solution to DW led to a gradual adjustment in instrumental behavior. In Experiment 3, extinction was similar after acquisition with access to only DW or with a random mixture of DW and 300 mM. In Experiment 4, a downshift from DW to 225, 212, or 200 mM solutions led again to gradual adjustments. These findings add to a growing body of comparative evidence suggesting that amphibians adjust to incentive shifts on the basis of habit formation and reorganization. PMID:22087217

  5. Incentive or habit learning in amphibians?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rubén N Muzio

    Full Text Available Toads (Rhinella arenarum received training with a novel incentive procedure involving access to solutions of different NaCl concentrations. In Experiment 1, instrumental behavior and weight variation data confirmed that such solutions yield incentive values ranging from appetitive (deionized water, DW, leading to weight gain, to neutral (300 mM slightly hypertonic solution, leading to no net weight gain or loss, and aversive (800 mM highly hypertonic solution leading to weight loss. In Experiment 2, a downshift from DW to a 300 mM solution or an upshift from a 300 mM solution to DW led to a gradual adjustment in instrumental behavior. In Experiment 3, extinction was similar after acquisition with access to only DW or with a random mixture of DW and 300 mM. In Experiment 4, a downshift from DW to 225, 212, or 200 mM solutions led again to gradual adjustments. These findings add to a growing body of comparative evidence suggesting that amphibians adjust to incentive shifts on the basis of habit formation and reorganization.

  6. Neotropical Amphibian Declines Affect Stream Ecosystem Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connelly, S.; Pringle, C. M.; Bixby, R. J.; Whiles, M. R.; Lips, K. R.; Brenes, R.; Colon-Gaud, J. C.; Kilham, S.; Hunte-Brown, M.

    2005-05-01

    Global declines of amphibians are well documented, yet effects of these dramatic losses on ecosystem structure and function are poorly understood. As part of a larger collaborative project, we compared two upland Panamanian streams. Both streams are biologically and geologically similar; however, one stream (Fortuna) has recently experienced almost complete extirpation of stream-dwelling frogs, while the other (Cope) still has intact populations. We experimentally excluded tadpoles from localized areas in each stream. We then compared chlorophyll a, algal community composition, ash-free dry mass (AFDM), inorganic matter, and insect assemblages in control and exclusion areas. Additionally, we sampled the natural substrate of both streams monthly for chlorophyll a, algal community composition, AFDM, and inorganic matter. At Cope, chlorophyll a, AFDM, and inorganic matter were greater in areas where tadpoles were excluded than in their presence. Numbers of dominant algal species (e.g., Nupela praecipua and Eunotia siolii) were greater in the exclusion versus control treatments. Monthly sampling of natural substrate indicated higher chlorophyll a and AFDM at Cope compared to Fortuna. Our data suggest that stream-dwelling anuran larvae have significant impacts on algal communities. These results also have implications for predicting the relevance of short-term experimental manipulations to long-term, whole-stream processes.

  7. Study of the Influence of Gamma Radiation on Certain Pharmacological and Biochemical Action s of Leiurus Quinquestriatus Scorpion Venom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unlike the amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles, scorpions have no back bone, as they are invertebrates. Scorpions belong to the phylum arthropoda, their bodies are segmented and their legs are jointed. They belong to the class arachnida, because they have eight legs, two pedipalps, two chelicerae and a body composed of eighteen segments. The most important species of Buthidae family are Buthotus tamulus, Leiurus quinquestriatus, Androctonus crassicauda, Androctonus australis, Tityus serrulatus, and Centruroides suffusus (Minton, 2010). Scorpions are found in East Africa, Middle East, India, as well as Central and South America. Classification of scorpions from Africa and Middle East, has been summarized by Vachon, (1966). Unlike snakes, all scorpions are venomous. The venom is injected by means of a stinger found at the tip of the telson, the terminal structure of the tail. The smallest adults may range from approximately 2 to 3 cm and the largest between 15 to 25 cm (Bucherl, 1971). Scorpions have quite variable life spans. The age range appears to be approximately 4–25 years. Scorpions prefer to live in areas where the temperatures range from 20 °C to 37 °C, but may survive from freezing temperatures to the desert heat (Hadley, 1970; Hannah's et al., 2006). The death stalker (Leiurus quinquestriatus), is a member of the Buthidae family. It is also known as Palestine yellow scorpion, Omdurman scorpion, Israeli desert scorpion and numerous other colloquial names. To eliminate confusion, especially with potentially dangerous species, the scientific name is normally used to refer to them. The name Leiurus quinquestriatus roughly translates into English as five-striped smooth-tail. Other species of the genus Leiurus are often referred to as deathstalkersas well (Werness, 2004; Minton, 2010).

  8. Biochemical and pharmacological study of venom of the wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ZH Liu

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The wolf spider Lycosa singoriensis is a large and venomous spider distributed throughout northwestern China. Like other spider venoms, the wolf spider venom is a chemical cocktail. Its protein content is 0.659 mg protein/mg crude venom as determined by the Lowry method. MALDI-TOF analysis revealed that the venom peptides are highly diverse and may be divided into three groups characterized by three independent molecular ranges: 2,000 to 2,500 Da, 4,800 to 5,500 Da and 7,000 to 8,000 Da, respectively. This molecular distribution differs substantially from those of most spider venoms studied so far. This wolf spider venom has low neurotoxic action on mice, but it can induce hemolysis of human erythrocytes. Furthermore, the venom shows antimicrobial activity against prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

  9. Using a Novel Ontology to Inform the Discovery of Therapeutic Peptides from Animal Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romano, Joseph D; Tatonetti, Nicholas P

    2016-01-01

    Venoms and venom-derived compounds constitute a rich and largely unexplored source of potentially therapeutic compounds. To facilitate biomedical research, it is necessary to design a robust informatics infrastructure that will allow semantic computation of venom concepts in a standardized, consistent manner. We have designed an ontology of venom-related concepts - named Venom Ontology - that reuses an existing public data source: UniProt's Tox-Prot database. In addition to describing the ontology and its construction, we have performed three separate case studies demonstrating its utility: (1) An exploration of venom peptide similarity networks within specific genera; (2) A broad overview of the distribution of available data among common taxonomic groups spanning the known tree of life; and (3) An analysis of the distribution of venom complexity across those same taxonomic groups. Venom Ontology is publicly available on BioPortal at http://bioportal.bioontology.org/ontologies/CU-VO. PMID:27570672

  10. Anti-venom potential of aqueous extract of stem bark of Mangifera indica L. against Daboia russellii (Russell's viper) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhananjaya, B L; Zameer, F; Girish, K S; D'Souza, Cletus J M

    2011-06-01

    Several plant extracts rich in pharmacologically active compounds have shown to antagonize venom of several species. Mangifera indica has been used against snakebite by the traditional healers. However, there is paucity of scientific data in support. In this study, we evaluated the antivenom potential of aqueous extract of stem bark of M. indica against D. russellii venom-induced pharmacological effects such as life myotoxicity, edema, LD50 etc. The extract inhibited the phospholipase, protease, hyaluronidase, 5'nucleotidase, ATPase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase activities with varying IC50 values. It significantly inhibited both metalloproteases and serine proteases activities. Further, the extract significantly reduced the myotoxicity of the venom, as evident by the reduction of serum creatin kinase and lactate dehydrogenase activities. Though the extract completely inhibited in vitro PLA2 activity, it was unable to completely inhibit in situ hemolytic and in vivo edema-inducing activities, usually brought about by PLA2s. In lethality studies, co-injection of the venom preincubated with the extract showed higher protection than the independent injection of venom, followed by the extract in the mice. However, in both the cases the extract -a cocktail of inhibitors significantly increased the survival time, when compared to that of mice injected (i.p) with the venom alone. These results encourage further studies on the potential use of cocktail of inhibitors in improving the treatment of snake envenomation. Further, this study substantiates the use of M. indica as an antidote against snakebite by the traditional healers.

  11. Investigating the Influence of Environmental Factors on Pesticide Exposure in Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental factors such as temporal weather patterns and soil characterization coupled with pesticide application rates are known to influence exposure and subsequent absorption of these compounds in amphibians. Amphibians are a unique class of vertebrates due to their varied ...

  12. Amphibian populations in the terrestrial environment: Is there evidence of declines of terrestrial forest amphibians in northwestern California?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, H.H.; Fellers, G.M.; Lind, A.J.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide; however the vast majority are species associated with aquatic habitats. Information on the status and trends of terrestrial amphibians is almost entirely lacking. Here we use data collected across a 12-yr period (sampling from 1984-86 and from 1993-95) to address the question of whether evidence exists for declines among terrestrial amphibians in northwestern California forests. The majority of amphibians, both species and relative numbers, in these forests are direct-developing salamanders of the family Plethodontidae. We examined amphibian richness and evenness, and the relative abundances of the four most common species of plethodontid salamanders. We examined evidence of differences between years in two ecological provinces (coastal and interior) and across young, mature, and late seral forests and with reference to a moisture gradient from xeric to hydric within late seral forests. We found evidence of declines in species richness across years on late seral mesic stands and in the coastal ecological province, but these differences appeared to be caused by differences in the detection of rarer species, rather than evidence of an overall pattern. We also found differences among specific years in numbers of individuals of the most abundant species, Ensatina eschscholtzii, but these differences also failed to reflect a consistent pattern of declines between the two decadal sample periods. Results showing differences in richness, evenness, and relative abundances along both the seral and moisture continua were consistent with previous research. Overall, we found no compelling evidence of a downward trend in terrestrial plethodontid salamanders. We believe that continued monitoring of terrestrial salamander populations is important to understanding mechanisms of population declines in amphibian species. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  13. Peptidomics of Three Bothrops Snake Venoms: Insights Into the Molecular Diversification of Proteomes and Peptidomes*

    OpenAIRE

    Tashima, Alexandre K.; Zelanis, André; Kitano, Eduardo S.; Ianzer, Danielle; Melo, Robson L.; Rioli, Vanessa; Sant'anna, Sávio S.; Schenberg, Ana C. G.; Camargo, Antônio C. M.; Serrano, Solange M. T.

    2012-01-01

    Snake venom proteomes/peptidomes are highly complex and maintenance of their integrity within the gland lumen is crucial for the expression of toxin activities. There has been considerable progress in the field of venom proteomics, however, peptidomics does not progress as fast, because of the lack of comprehensive venom sequence databases for analysis of MS data. Therefore, in many cases venom peptides have to be sequenced manually by MS/MS analysis or Edman degradation. This is critical for...

  14. Technetium-99m labeling of tityustoxin and venom from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The tityustoxin, the most toxic fraction from scorpion Tityus serrulatus venom, has been used as a tool in several neurochemical and neuropharmacological studies. Biological activities of labeled and unlabeled tityustoxin and venom were compared. The samples were labeled in the presence of stannous chloride and sodium borohydride with a yield of 60-70% for the venom and 75-85% for tityustoxin and then chromatographed in Sephadex G-10. Biological activities of tityustoxin and venom were preserved after labeling

  15. Venom Variation during Prey Capture by the Cone Snail, Conus textile

    OpenAIRE

    Cecilia A Prator; Murayama, Kellee M.; Schulz, Joseph R.

    2014-01-01

    Observations of the mollusc-hunting cone snail Conus textile during feeding reveal that prey are often stung multiple times in succession. While studies on the venom peptides injected by fish-hunting cone snails have become common, these approaches have not been widely applied to the analysis of the injected venoms from mollusc-hunters. We have successfully obtained multiple injected venom samples from C. textile individuals, allowing us to investigate venom compositional variation during pre...

  16. Evolution of the Toxoglossa Venom Apparatus as Inferred by Molecular Phylogeny of the Terebridae

    OpenAIRE

    Holford, Mandë; Puillandre, Nicolas; Terryn, Yves; Cruaud, Corinne; Olivera, Baldomero; Bouchet, Philippe

    2008-01-01

    Toxoglossate marine gastropods, traditionally assigned to the families Conidae, Terebridae, and Turridae, are one of the most populous animal groups that use venom to capture their prey. These marine animals are generally characterized by a venom apparatus that consists of a muscular venom bulb and a tubular venom gland. The toxoglossan radula, often compared with a hypodermic needle for its use as a conduit to inject toxins into prey, is considered a major anatomical breakthrough that assist...

  17. Venoms of Heteropteran Insects: A Treasure Trove of Diverse Pharmacological Toolkits

    OpenAIRE

    Andrew A Walker; Christiane Weirauch; Fry, Bryan G; Glenn F. King

    2016-01-01

    The piercing-sucking mouthparts of the true bugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera) have allowed diversification from a plant-feeding ancestor into a wide range of trophic strategies that include predation and blood-feeding. Crucial to the success of each of these strategies is the injection of venom. Here we review the current state of knowledge with regard to heteropteran venoms. Predaceous species produce venoms that induce rapid paralysis and liquefaction. These venoms are powerfully insec...

  18. Intraspecific variations in the venom peptidome of the ant Odontomachus haematodus (formicidae: ponerinae) from French Guiana

    OpenAIRE

    Dejean, Alain (collab.); Escoubas,Pierre; Orivel, Jérôme

    2015-01-01

    Ant venoms are complex cocktails of toxins employed to subdue prey and to protect the colony from predators and microbial pathogens. Although the extent of ant venom peptide diversity remains largely unexplored, previous studies have revealed the presence of numerous bioactive peptides in most stinging ant venoms. We investigated the venom peptidome of the ponerine ant Odontomachus haematodus using LC-MS analysis and then verified whether the division of labor in the colonies and their geogra...

  19. Production and packaging of a biological arsenal: Evolution of centipede venoms under morphological constraint

    OpenAIRE

    Undheim, Eivind A.B.; Hamilton, Brett R.; Kurniawan, Nyoman D.; Bowlay, Greg; Cribb, Bronwen W.; Merritt, David J.; Fry, Bryan G; Glenn F. King; Venter, Deon J.

    2015-01-01

    Venom peptides have attracted considerable attention because of their value as pharmacological tools and their potential for development as novel pharmaceuticals and bioinsecticides. There is also a growing interest in venoms as model evolutionary systems, particularly for understanding antagonistic coevolutionary processes. We previously demonstrated that although centipede venoms are rich in novel proteins and peptides, there are considerable differences in venom complexity between high-ord...

  20. In vitro hemolytic activity of Bothrops lanceolatus (fer-de-lance) venom

    OpenAIRE

    LJ Martins; PMF de Araújo; Bon, C.; S. HYSLOP; AL de Araújo

    2009-01-01

    Bothrops lanceolatus venom contains a variety of enzymatic and biological activities. The present work investigated the hemolytic activity of this venom and its phospholipase A2 (PLA2). Bothrops lanceolatus venom (6.7 µg/mL) caused indirect hemolysis of cow, horse, rat and sheep erythrocytes, with horse erythrocytes being the most sensitive; no direct hemolysis was observed. Hemolysis in sheep erythrocytes was concentration-dependent (5-11.7 µg/mL) and markedly attenuated by heating the venom...

  1. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, E W; Leite, C A C; McKenzie, D J; Wang, T

    2010-05-01

    Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG) located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  2. A multilocus timescale for the origin of extant amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    San Mauro, Diego

    2010-08-01

    One of the most hotly debated topics in vertebrate evolution is the origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia). The recent contribution of molecular data is shedding new light on this debate, but many important questions still remain unresolved. I have assembled a large and comprehensive multilocus dataset (the largest to date in terms of number and heterogeneity of sequence characters) combining mitogenomic and nuclear information from 23 genes for a sufficiently dense taxon sampling with the key major lineages of extant amphibians. This dataset has been used to infer a robust phylogenetic framework and molecular timescale for the origin of extant amphibians employing the most recent phylogenetic and dating methods, as well as several alternative calibration schemes. The monophyly of each extant amphibian order and the sister group relationship between frogs and salamanders (Batrachia hypothesis) are all strongly supported. Dating analyses (all methods and calibration schemes used) suggest that the origin of extant amphibians (divergence between caecilian and batrachians) occurred in the Late Carboniferous, around 315 Mya, and the divergence between frogs and salamanders occurred in the Early Permian, around 290 Mya. These age estimates are more consistent with the fossil record than previous older estimates, and more in line with the Temnospondyli or the Lepospondyli hypotheses of lissamphibian ancestry (although the polyphyly hypothesis cannot be completely ruled out).

  3. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, T B; Falso, P; Gallipeau, S; Stice, M

    2010-03-15

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis.

  4. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Fish and amphibians utilise a suction/force pump to ventilate gills or lungs, with the respiratory muscles innervated by cranial nerves, while reptiles have a thoracic, aspiratory pump innervated by spinal nerves. However, fish can recruit a hypobranchial pump for active jaw occlusion during hypoxia, using feeding muscles innervated by anterior spinal nerves. This same pump is used to ventilate the air-breathing organ in air-breathing fishes. Some reptiles retain a buccal force pump for use during hypoxia or exercise. All vertebrates have respiratory rhythm generators (RRG located in the brainstem. In cyclostomes and possibly jawed fishes, this may comprise elements of the trigeminal nucleus, though in the latter group RRG neurons have been located in the reticular formation. In air-breathing fishes and amphibians, there may be separate RRG for gill and lung ventilation. There is some evidence for multiple RRG in reptiles. Both amphibians and reptiles show episodic breathing patterns that may be centrally generated, though they do respond to changes in oxygen supply. Fish and larval amphibians have chemoreceptors sensitive to oxygen partial pressure located on the gills. Hypoxia induces increased ventilation and a reflex bradycardia and may trigger aquatic surface respiration or air-breathing, though these latter activities also respond to behavioural cues. Adult amphibians and reptiles have peripheral chemoreceptors located on the carotid arteries and central chemoreceptors sensitive to blood carbon dioxide levels. Lung perfusion may be regulated by cardiac shunting and lung ventilation stimulates lung stretch receptors.

  5. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, T B; Falso, P; Gallipeau, S; Stice, M

    2010-03-15

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis. PMID:20190117

  6. Why Does Amphibian Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) Not Occur Everywhere? An Exploratory Study in Missouri Ponds

    OpenAIRE

    Strauss, Alex; Smith, Kevin G.

    2013-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a globally emerging pathogen that has caused widespread amphibian population declines, extirpations, and extinctions. However, Bd does not occur in all apparently suitable amphibian populations, even within regions where it is widespread, and it is often unclear why Bd occurs in some habitats but not others. In this study, we rigorously surveyed the amphibian and invertebrate biodiversity of 29 ponds in Missouri, screened r...

  7. Differential Properties of Venom Peptides and Proteins in Solitary vs. Social Hunting Wasps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Si Hyeock Lee

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The primary functions of venoms from solitary and social wasps are different. Whereas most solitary wasps sting their prey to paralyze and preserve it, without killing, as the provisions for their progeny, social wasps usually sting to defend their colonies from vertebrate predators. Such distinctive venom properties of solitary and social wasps suggest that the main venom components are likely to be different depending on the wasps’ sociality. The present paper reviews venom components and properties of the Aculeata hunting wasps, with a particular emphasis on the comparative aspects of venom compositions and properties between solitary and social wasps. Common components in both solitary and social wasp venoms include hyaluronidase, phospholipase A2, metalloendopeptidase, etc. Although it has been expected that more diverse bioactive components with the functions of prey inactivation and physiology manipulation are present in solitary wasps, available studies on venom compositions of solitary wasps are simply too scarce to generalize this notion. Nevertheless, some neurotoxic peptides (e.g., pompilidotoxin and dendrotoxin-like peptide and proteins (e.g., insulin-like peptide binding protein appear to be specific to solitary wasp venom. In contrast, several proteins, such as venom allergen 5 protein, venom acid phosphatase, and various phospholipases, appear to be relatively more specific to social wasp venom. Finally, putative functions of main venom components and their application are also discussed.

  8. Preparation of cobra (Naja naja) venom toxoid using gamma-radiations. Part I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Detoxification of venom by radiation was investigated. Two concentrations i.e. 0.01% of venom solution were irradiated with different doses of gamma-radiations from cobalt-60 source. The results obtained indicate that the toxicity of venom is markedly attenuated by gamma-radiation. (author)

  9. Intraspecific Variation of Centruroides Edwardsii Venom from Two Regions of Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián Estrada-Gómez

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available We report the first description studies, partial characterization, and intraspecific difference of Centruroides edwardsii, Gervais 1843, venom. C. edwardsii from two Colombian regions (Antioquia and Tolima were evaluated. Both venoms showed hemolytic activity, possibly dependent of enzymatic active phospholipases, and neither coagulant nor proteolytic activities were observed. Venom electrophoretic profile showed significant differences between C. edwardsii venom from both regions. A high concentration of proteins with molecular masses between 31 kDa and 97.4 kDa, and an important concentration close or below 14.4 kDa were detected. RP-HPLC retention times between 38.2 min and 42.1 min, showed bands close to 14.4 kDa, which may correspond to phospholipases. RP-HPLC venom profile showed a well conserved region in both venoms between 7 and 17 min, after this, significant differences were detected. From Tolima region venom, 50 well-defined peaks were detected, while in the Antioquia region venom, 55 well-defined peaks were detected. Larvicidal activity was only detected in the C. edwardsii venom from Antioquia. No antimicrobial activity was observed using complete venom or RP-HPLC collected fractions of both venoms. Lethally activity (carried out on female albino swiss mice was detected at doses over 19.2 mg/kg of crude venom. Toxic effects included distress, excitability, eye irritation and secretions, hyperventilation, ataxia, paralysis, and salivation.

  10. Qualitative risk analysis of introducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis to the UK through the importation of live amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peel, Alison J; Hartley, Matt; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2012-03-20

    The international amphibian trade is implicated in the emergence and spread of the amphibian fungal disease chytridiomycosis, which has resulted in amphibian declines and extinctions globally. The establishment of the causal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), in the UK could negatively affect the survival of native amphibian populations. In recognition of the ongoing threat that it poses to amphibians, Bd was recently included in the World Organisation for Animal Health Aquatic Animal Health Code, and therefore is in the list of international notifiable diseases. Using standardised risk analysis guidelines, we investigated the likelihood that Bd would be introduced to and become established in wild amphibians in the UK through the importation of live amphibians. We obtained data on the volume and origin of the amphibian trade entering the UK and detected Bd infection in amphibians being imported for the pet and private collection trade and also in amphibians already held in captive pet, laboratory and zoological collections. We found that current systems for recording amphibian trade into the UK underestimate the volume of non-European Union trade by almost 10-fold. We identified high likelihoods of entry, establishment and spread of Bd in the UK and the resulting major overall impact. Despite uncertainties, we determined that the overall risk estimation for the introduction of Bd to the UK through the importation of live amphibians is high and that risk management measures are required, whilst ensuring that negative effects on legal trade are minimised.

  11. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  12. progress and prospects for studies on chinese amphibians

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    this work summarizes the history and progress of the studies on chinese amphibians since they first appeared in the chinese literature.a wide range of research has been carried out,including the history of the definition of amphibians,faunal surveys,systematic research,ecological research,biochemical research (isozyme and other proteins or peptides,chromosomes,dna),anatomical research,embryological research,phylogenetic and zoogeographical research,and many others such as ultrastructure of organs,crossbreeding test,regeneration of organs,abnormality survey,acoustics,fossils,sperm ultrastructure and parasites.in addition,the prospects for studies on chinese amphibians in future are proposed in this paper.

  13. Amphibians of the Simbruini Mountains (Latium, Central Italy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierangelo Crucitti

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Little attention has been paid to the herpetological fauna of the Simbruini Mountains Regional Park, Latium (Central Italy. In this study, we surveyed 50 sites in the course of about ten years of field research, especially during the period 2005-2008. Nine amphibian species, four Caudata and five Anura, 60.0% out of the 15 amphibian species so far observed in Latium, were discovered in the protected area: Salamandra salamandra, Salamandrina perspicillata, Lissotriton vulgaris, Triturus carnifex, Bombina pachypus, Bufo balearicus, Bufo bufo, Rana dalmatina, Rana italica. Physiography of sites has been detailed together with potential threatening patterns. For each species the following topics have been discussed; ecology of sites, altitudinal distribution, phenology, sintopy. Salamandra salamandra and Bombina pachypus are at higher risk. The importance of the maintenance of artificial/natural water bodies for the conservation management of amphibian population of this territory is discussed.

  14. The invasive chytrid fungus of amphibians paralyzes lymphocyte responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fites, J Scott; Ramsey, Jeremy P; Holden, Whitney M; Collier, Sarah P; Sutherland, Danica M; Reinert, Laura K; Gayek, A Sophia; Dermody, Terence S; Aune, Thomas M; Oswald-Richter, Kyra; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2013-10-18

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causes chytridiomycosis and is a major contributor to global amphibian declines. Although amphibians have robust immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen is impaired. Because inhibition of host immunity is a common survival strategy of pathogenic fungi, we hypothesized that B. dendrobatidis evades clearance by inhibiting immune functions. We found that B. dendrobatidis cells and supernatants impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced apoptosis; however, fungal recognition and phagocytosis by macrophages and neutrophils was not impaired. Fungal inhibitory factors were resistant to heat, acid, and protease. Their production was absent in zoospores and reduced by nikkomycin Z, suggesting that they may be components of the cell wall. Evasion of host immunity may explain why this pathogen has devastated amphibian populations worldwide.

  15. Global Amphibian Extinction Risk Assessment for the Panzootic Chytrid Fungus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew C. Fisher

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Species are being lost at increasing rates due to anthropogenic effects, leading to the recognition that we are witnessing the onset of a sixth mass extinction. Emerging infectious disease has been shown to increase species loss and any attempts to reduce extinction rates need to squarely confront this challenge. Here, we develop a procedure for identifying amphibian species that are most at risk from the effects of chytridiomycosis by combining spatial analyses of key host life-history variables with the pathogen's predicted distribution. We apply our rule set to the known global diversity of amphibians in order to prioritize pecies that are most at risk of loss from disease emergence. This risk assessment shows where limited conservation funds are best deployed in order to prevent further loss of species by enabling ex situ amphibian salvage operations and focusing any potential disease mitigation projects.

  16. The Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative in the Pacific Northwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians have been disappearing from many locations around the world with reports of declines increasing in recent decades. Some of the most dramatic declines have occurred in areas that were thought to be protected from human disturbance. For example, the once-common boreal toad has virtually disappeared from Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Although there has been debate on whether these declines represent a short-term fluctuation in populations or major sustained losses, there is now general scientific consensus that something really is amiss with amphibian populations.

  17. Amphibian decline: An integrated analysis of multiple stressor effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, G.; Krest, S.K.; Sparling, D. W.; Linder, G.; Krest, S.K.; Sparling, D.W.

    2003-01-01

    Capturing the attention and imagination of the public and the scientific community alike, the mysterious decline in amphibian populations drew scientists and resource managers from ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource policy to a SETAC–Johnson Foundation workshop. Facilitating environmental stewardship, increasing capacity of the sciences to explain complex stressors, and educating the public on relationships among communities of all types motivated these experts to address amphibian decline and the role of various stressors in these losses.

  18. Phylogenetic signals in the climatic niches of the world's amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Rahbek, Carsten; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2010-01-01

    are also ecologically similar has often been made, although the prevalence of such a phylogenetic signal in ecological niches remains heavily debated. Here, we provide a global analysis of phylogenetic niche relatedness for the world's amphibians. In particular, we assess which proportion of the variance...... amphibian orders and across biogeographical regions. To our knowledge, this is the first study providing a comprehensive analysis of the phylogenetic signal in species climatic niches for an entire clade across the world. Even though our results do not provide a strong test of the niche conservatism...

  19. Equilibrium of global amphibian species distributions with climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Munguí­a, Mariana; Rahbek, Carsten; Rangel, Thiago F.;

    2012-01-01

    for a complete lineage across its entire distribution. We measure departures of equilibrium with contemporary climate for the distributions of the world amphibian species. Specifically, we fitted bioclimatic envelopes for 5544 species using three presence-only models. We then measured the proportion...... not be at equilibrium with contemporary climate. On average, amphibians occupied 30% to 57% of their potential distributions. Although patterns differed across regions, there were no significant differences among lineages. Species in the Neotropic, Afrotropics, Indo-Malay, and Palaearctic occupied a smaller proportion...

  20. Can a Single Amphibian Species Be a Good Biodiversity Indicator?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sewell

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Although amphibians have been widely promoted as indicators of biodiversity and environmental change, rigorous tests are lacking. Here key indicator criteria are distilled from published papers, and a species that has been promoted as a bioindicator, the great crested newt, is tested against them. Although a link was established between the presence of great crested newts and aquatic plant diversity, this was not repeated with the diversity of macroinvertebrates. Equally, amphibians do not meet many of the published criteria of bioindicators. Our research suggests that a suite of indicators, rather than a single species, will usually be required.

  1. Honeybee Venom Proteome Profile of Queens and Winter Bees as Determined by a Mass Spectrometric Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen L. Danneels

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS. Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings.

  2. Honeybee venom proteome profile of queens and winter bees as determined by a mass spectrometric approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danneels, Ellen L; Van Vaerenbergh, Matthias; Debyser, Griet; Devreese, Bart; de Graaf, Dirk C

    2015-11-01

    Venoms of invertebrates contain an enormous diversity of proteins, peptides, and other classes of substances. Insect venoms are characterized by a large interspecific variation resulting in extended lists of venom compounds. The venom composition of several hymenopterans also shows different intraspecific variation. For instance, venom from different honeybee castes, more specifically queens and workers, shows quantitative and qualitative variation, while the environment, like seasonal changes, also proves to be an important factor. The present study aimed at an in-depth analysis of the intraspecific variation in the honeybee venom proteome. In summer workers, the recent list of venom proteins resulted from merging combinatorial peptide ligand library sample pretreatment and targeted tandem mass spectrometry realized with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-ICR MS/MS). Now, the same technique was used to determine the venom proteome of queens and winter bees, enabling us to compare it with that of summer bees. In total, 34 putative venom toxins were found, of which two were never described in honeybee venoms before. Venom from winter workers did not contain toxins that were not present in queens or summer workers, while winter worker venom lacked the allergen Api m 12, also known as vitellogenin. Venom from queen bees, on the other hand, was lacking six of the 34 venom toxins compared to worker bees, while it contained two new venom toxins, in particularly serine proteinase stubble and antithrombin-III. Although people are hardly stung by honeybees during winter or by queen bees, these newly identified toxins should be taken into account in the characterization of a putative allergic response against Apis mellifera stings. PMID:26529016

  3. Snake venomics and antivenomics of Bothrops atrox venoms from Colombia and the Amazon regions of Brazil, Perú and Ecuador suggest the occurrence of geographic variation of venom phenotype by a trend towards paedomorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez, Vitelbina; Cid, Pedro; Sanz, Libia; De La Torre, Pilar; Angulo, Yamileth; Lomonte, Bruno; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J

    2009-11-01

    The venom proteomes of Bothrops atrox from Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Perú were characterized using venomic and antivenomic strategies. Our results evidence the existence of two geographically differentiated venom phenotypes. The venom from Colombia comprises at least 26 different proteins belonging to 9 different groups of toxins. PI-metalloproteinases and K49-PLA(2) molecules represent the most abundant toxins. On the other hand, the venoms from Brazilian, Ecuadorian, and Peruvian B. atrox contain predominantly PIII-metalloproteinases. These toxin profiles correlate with the venom phenotypes of adult and juvenile B. asper from Costa Rica, respectively, suggesting that paedomorphism represented a selective trend during the trans-Amazonian southward expansion of B. atrox through the Andean Corridor. The high degree of crossreactivity of a Costa Rican polyvalent (Bothrops asper, Lachesis stenophrys, Crotalus simus) antivenom against B. atrox venoms further evidenced the close evolutionary kinship between B. asper and B. atrox. This antivenom was more efficient immunodepleting proteins from the venoms of B. atrox from Brazil, Ecuador, and Perú than from Colombia. Such behaviour may be rationalized taking into account the lower content of poorly immunogenic toxins, such as PLA(2) molecules and PI-SVMPs in the paedomorphic venoms. The immunological profile of the Costa Rican antivenom strongly suggests the possibility of using this antivenom for the management of snakebites by B. atrox in Colombia and the Amazon regions of Ecuador, Perú and Brazil. PMID:19665598

  4. Mechanisms of virus resistance and antiviral activity of snake venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JVR Rivero

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Viruses depend on cell metabolism for their own propagation. The need to foster an intimate relationship with the host has resulted in the development of various strategies designed to help virus escape from the defense mechanisms present in the host. Over millions of years, the unremitting battle between pathogens and their hosts has led to changes in evolution of the immune system. Snake venoms are biological resources that have antiviral activity, hence substances of significant pharmacological value. The biodiversity in Brazil with respect to snakes is one of the richest on the planet; nevertheless, studies on the antiviral activity of venom from Brazilian snakes are scarce. The antiviral properties of snake venom appear as new promising therapeutic alternative against the defense mechanisms developed by viruses. In the current study, scientific papers published in recent years on the antiviral activity of venom from various species of snakes were reviewed. The objective of this review is to discuss the mechanisms of resistance developed by viruses and the components of snake venoms that present antiviral activity, particularly, enzymes, amino acids, peptides and proteins.

  5. A perspective on toxicology of Conus venom peptides

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Palanisamy; Satheesh; Kumar; Dhanabalan; Senthil; Kumar; Sundaresan; Umamaheswari

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionarily unique and ecologically diverse family Conidae presents fundamental opportunities for marine pharmacology research and drug discovery.The focus of this investigation is to summarize the worldwide distribution of Conus and their species diversity with special reference to the Indian coast.In addition,this study will contribute to understanding the structural properties of conotoxin and therapeutic application of Conus venom peptides.Cone snails can inject a mix of various conotoxins and these venoms are their major weapon for prey capture,and may also have other biological purposes,and some of these conotoxins fatal to humans.Conns venoms contain a remarkable diversity of pharmacologically active small peptides;their targets are an iron channel and receptors in the neuromuscular system.Interspecific divergence is pronounced in venom peptide genes,which is generally attributed to their species specific biotic interactions.There is a notable interspecific divergence observed in venom peptide genes,which can be justified as of biotic interactions that stipulate species peculiar habitat and ecology of cone snails.There are several conopeptides used in clinical trials and one peptide(Ziconotide) has received FDA approval for treatment of pain.This perspective provides a comprehensive overview of the distribution of cone shells and focus on the molecular approach in documenting their taxonomy and diversity with special reference to geographic distribution of Indian cone snails,structure and properties of conopeptide and their pharmacological targets and future directions.

  6. A perspective on toxicology of Conus venom peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Palanisamy Satheesh; Kumar, Dhanabalan Senthil; Umamaheswari, Sundaresan

    2015-05-01

    The evolutionarily unique and ecologically diverse family Conidae presents fundamental opportunities for marine pharmacology research and drug discovery. The focus of this investigation is to summarize the worldwide distribution of Conus and their species diversity with special reference to the Indian coast. In addition, this study will contribute to understanding the structural properties of conotoxin and therapeutic application of Conus venom peptides. Cone snails can inject a mix of various conotoxins and these venoms are their major weapon for prey capture, and may also have other biological purposes, and some of these conotoxins fatal to humans. Conus venoms contain a remarkable diversity of pharmacologically active small peptides; their targets are an iron channel and receptors in the neuromuscular system. Interspecific divergence is pronounced in venom peptide genes, which is generally attributed to their species specific biotic interactions. There is a notable interspecific divergence observed in venom peptide genes, which can be justified as of biotic interactions that stipulate species peculiar habitat and ecology of cone snails. There are several conopeptides used in clinical trials and one peptide (Ziconotide) has received FDA approval for treatment of pain. This perspective provides a comprehensive overview of the distribution of cone shells and focus on the molecular approach in documenting their taxonomy and diversity with special reference to geographic distribution of Indian cone snails, structure and properties of conopeptide and their pharmacological targets and future directions. PMID:26003592

  7. Facing Hymenoptera Venom Allergy: From Natural to Recombinant Allergens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amilcar Perez-Riverol

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Along with food and drug allergic reactions, a Hymenoptera insect Sting (Apoidea, Vespidae, Formicidae is one of the most common causes of anaphylaxis worldwide. Diagnoses of Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA and specific immunotherapy (SIT have been based on the use of crude venom extracts. However, the incidence of cross-reactivity and low levels of sensibility during diagnosis, as well as the occurrence of nonspecific sensitization and undesired side effects during SIT, encourage the search for novel allergenic materials. Recombinant allergens are an interesting approach to improve allergy diagnosis and SIT because they circumvent major problems associated with the use of crude venom. Production of recombinant allergens depends on the profound molecular characterization of the natural counterpart by combining some “omics” approaches with high-throughput screening techniques and the selection of an appropriate system for heterologous expression. To date, several clinically relevant allergens and novel venom toxins have been identified, cloned and characterized, enabling a better understanding of the whole allergenic and envenoming processes. Here, we review recent findings on identification, molecular characterization and recombinant expression of Hymenoptera venom allergens and on the evaluation of these heterologous proteins as valuable tools for tackling remaining pitfalls on HVA diagnosis and immunotherapy.

  8. Proteomic characterization of the thermostable toxins from Naja naja venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DV Binh

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Naja naja snake venom presents abundant thermostable peptides. Many of them possess useful pharmacological activity that may be employed for drug development. For the proteomic characterization of such toxins, in the present study, Naja naja venom solution was heated up to 100°C for 10, 30, 60, 120, 180 and 300 minutes and protein fractions of non-heated and heated venom were analyzed by two-dimensional nano-liquid chromatography coupled online with tandem mass spectrometry. After heating for 300 minutes, a total of 32 peptides were still detected in the supernatant. The identified peptides belong to the following groups: cardiotoxins, neurotoxins and cytotoxins. It was found that thermostable peptides are able to preserve their analgesic activity after a long heating time in formalin test. Mice injected with 15 μg/g of 60-minute heated venom or with 25 μg/g of 300-minute heated venom revealed even a better analgesic activity than those treated with lidocaine.

  9. Characterization of Fibrinolytic Proteases from Gloydius blomhoffii siniticus Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suk Ho Choi

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : This study was undertaken to identify fibrinolytic proteases from Gloydius blomhoffii siniticus venom and to characterize a major fibrinolytic protease purified from the venom. Methods: The venom was subjected to chromatography using columns of Q-Sepharose and Sephadex G-75. The molecular weights of fibrinolytic proteases showing fibrinolytic zone in fibrin plate assay were determined in SDS-PAGE (Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis The effects of inhibitors and metal ions on fibrinolytic protease and the proteolysis patterns of fibrinogen, gelatin, and bovine serum albumin were investigated. Results : 1 The fibrinolytic fractions of the three peaks isolated from Gloydius blomhoffii siniticus venom contained two polypeptides of 46 and 59 kDa and three polypeptides of 32, 18, and 15 kDa and a major polypeptide of 54 kDa, respectively. 2 The fibrinolytic activity of the purified protease of 54 kDA was inhibited by metal chelators, such as EDTA, EGTA, and 1,10-phenanthroline, and disulfhydryl-reducing compounds, such as dithiothreitol and cysteine. 3 Calcium chloride promoted the fibrinolytic activity of the protease, but mercuric chloride and cobalt(II chloride inhibited it. 4 The fibrinolytic protease cleaved preferentially A-chain and slowly B-chain of fibrinogen. It also hydrolyzed gelatin but not bovine serum albumin. Conclusions: The Gloydius blomhoffii siniticus venom contained more than three fibrinolytic proteases. The major fibrinolytic protease was a metalloprotease which hydrolyzed both fibrinogen and gelatin, but not bovine serum albumin.

  10. Comparative venom gland transcriptome surveys of the saw-scaled vipers (Viperidae: Echis reveal substantial intra-family gene diversity and novel venom transcripts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wüster Wolfgang

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Venom variation occurs at all taxonomical levels and can impact significantly upon the clinical manifestations and efficacy of antivenom therapy following snakebite. Variation in snake venom composition is thought to be subject to strong natural selection as a result of adaptation towards specific diets. Members of the medically important genus Echis exhibit considerable variation in venom composition, which has been demonstrated to co-evolve with evolutionary shifts in diet. We adopt a venom gland transcriptome approach in order to investigate the diversity of toxins in the genus and elucidate the mechanisms which result in prey-specific adaptations of venom composition. Results Venom gland transcriptomes were created for E. pyramidum leakeyi, E. coloratus and E. carinatus sochureki by sequencing ~1000 expressed sequence tags from venom gland cDNA libraries. A standardised methodology allowed a comprehensive intra-genus comparison of the venom gland profiles to be undertaken, including the previously described E. ocellatus transcriptome. Blast annotation revealed the presence of snake venom metalloproteinases, C-type lectins, group II phopholipases A2, serine proteases, L-amino oxidases and growth factors in all transcriptomes throughout the genus. Transcripts encoding disintegrins, cysteine-rich secretory proteins and hyaluronidases were obtained from at least one, but not all, species. A representative group of novel venom transcripts exhibiting similarity to lysosomal acid lipase were identified from the E. coloratus transcriptome, whilst novel metallopeptidases exhibiting similarity to neprilysin and dipeptidyl peptidase III were identified from E. p. leakeyi and E. coloratus respectively. Conclusion The comparison of Echis venom gland transcriptomes revealed substantial intrageneric venom variation in representations and cluster numbers of the most abundant venom toxin families. The expression profiles of established

  11. Studies of the necrotic actions of the venoms of several Australian spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, R K; Wright, L G

    1991-01-01

    1. Raw venoms from a number of Australian Araneomorph spiders were found to cause epidermal disruption in cultured skin from both mice and humans. 2. The more potent ones also caused loss of epidermal cell-cell adhesion of mouse skin in vivo. 3. Raw venoms from three Mygalomorph species did not have these actions. 4. Venom gland extracts from the Araneomorph species were also ineffective. 5. It was concluded that where spider venoms appear to possess necrogenic activity the most likely reason for this is contamination of the venoms with digestive tract secretions. PMID:1676958

  12. Bee Venom Phospholipase A2: Yesterday’s Enemy Becomes Today’s Friend

    OpenAIRE

    Gihyun Lee; Hyunsu Bae

    2016-01-01

    Bee venom therapy has been used to treat immune-related diseases such as arthritis for a long time. Recently, it has revealed that group III secretory phospholipase A2 from bee venom (bee venom group III sPLA2) has in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory effects. A growing number of reports have demonstrated the therapeutic effects of bee venom group III sPLA2. Notably, new experimental data have shown protective immune responses of bee venom group III sPLA2 against a wide range of diseases inc...

  13. Mechanisms controlling venom expulsion in the western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Bruce A; Kardong, Kenneth V

    2007-01-01

    Although many studies have documented variation in the amount of venom expended during bites of venomous snakes, the mechanistic source of this variation remains uncertain. This study used experimental techniques to examine how two different features of the venom delivery system, the muscle surrounding the venom gland (the Compressor Glandulae in the rattlesnake) and the fang sheath, could influence venom flow in the western diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox. Differential contraction of the Compressor Glandulae explained only approximately 30% of the variation in venom flow. Lifting (compression) of the fang sheath as occurs during a normal strike produced marked increases in venom flow; these changes were closely correlated and exceed in magnitude by almost 10 x those recorded from the Compressor Glandulae alone. These results suggest that variation in these two aspects of the venom delivery system--both in terms of magnitude and temporal patterning--explain most of the observed variation in venom injection. The lack of functional or mechanical links between the Compressor Glandulae and the fang sheath, and the lack of skeletal or smooth muscle within the fang sheath, make it unlikely that variation in venom flow is under direct neural control. Instead, differential venom injection results from differences in the pressurization by the Compressor Glandulae, the gate keeping effects of the fang sheath and enclosed soft-tissue chambers, and by differences in the pressure returned by peripheral resistance of the target tissue.

  14. Analysis of Protein Composition and Bioactivity of Neoponera villosa Venom (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pessoa, Wallace Felipe Blohem; Silva, Ludimilla Carvalho Cerqueira; de Oliveira Dias, Leila; Delabie, Jacques Hubert Charles; Costa, Helena; Romano, Carla Cristina

    2016-01-01

    Ants cause a series of accidents involving humans. Such accidents generate different reactions in the body, ranging from a mild irritation at the bite site to anaphylactic shock, and these reactions depend on the mechanism of action of the venom. The study of animal venom is a science known as venomics. Through venomics, the composition of the venom of several ant species has already been characterized and their biological activities described. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the protein composition and biological activities (hemolytic and immunostimulatory) of the venom of Neoponera villosa (N. villosa), an ant widely distributed in South America. The protein composition was evaluated by proteomic techniques, such as two-dimensional electrophoresis. To assess the biological activity, hemolysis assay was carried out and cytokines were quantified after exposure of macrophages to the venom. The venom of N. villosa has a profile composed of 145 proteins, including structural and metabolic components (e.g., tubulin and ATPase), allergenic and immunomodulatory proteins (arginine kinase and heat shock proteins (HSPs)), protective proteins of venom (superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase) and tissue degradation proteins (hyaluronidase and phospholipase A2). The venom was able to induce hemolysis in human erythrocytes and also induced release of both pro-inflammatory cytokines, as the anti-inflammatory cytokine release by murine macrophages. These results allow better understanding of the composition and complexity of N. villosa venom in the human body, as well as the possible mechanisms of action after the bite. PMID:27110765

  15. Intersexual variations in Northern (Missulena pruinosa) and Eastern (M. bradleyi) mouse spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzig, Volker; Khalife, Ali A; Chong, Youmie; Isbister, Geoffrey K; Currie, Bart J; Churchill, Tracey B; Horner, Suzanne; Escoubas, Pierre; Nicholson, Graham M; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2008-06-01

    Venoms of both sexes of Australian Northern (Missulena pruinosa) and Eastern (Missulena bradleyi) mouse spiders were studied in order to determine intersexual variations in venom yield, composition and bioactivity. Females of both species yielded more venom than males. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry data further indicate a substantial degree of intersexual variation in the venom composition of both species. In a cricket (Acheta domestica) acute toxicity assay, only small intersexual differences were observed, but M. bradleyi venom was found to be considerably more potent than M. pruinosa venom. In the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation, male but not female M. bradleyi venom induced large and sustained muscle contractions with fasciculation and decreased twitch height that could be reversed by CSL funnel-web spider antivenom. In contrast, venoms of both sexes of M. pruinosa did not induce significant effects in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. We therefore conclude that female M. bradleyi venom and venoms from male and female M. pruinosa appear to contain few, if any, orthologs of delta-missulenatoxin-Mb1a, the toxin responsible for the effects of male M. bradleyi venom in vertebrates. These findings are consistent with clinical reports that mouse spiders, particularly species other than male M. bradleyi, do not appear to be a major medical problem in humans.

  16. Antigenic Cross-Reactivity Anti-Birtoxin Antibody against Androctonus crassicauda Venom

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    SuhandanAdigüzel Van-Zoelen

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Antivenom is still widely used in the treatment of envenomation as there are no vaccines or other effective agents available against animal venoms. Recently, neurotoxins named birtoxin family have been described from Parabuthus transvaalicus and Androctonus crassicauda. The aim of the present study was to test the antibirtoxinantibodies for their ability to neutralize the lethal effects of A. crassicauda scorpion venom.Methods: SDS-PAGE and Western blotting used the presence of components from A. crassicauda and P.transvaalicus scorpion venoms and to determine the degree of cross-reactivity. The Minimum Lethal Dose (MLD of venom was assessed by subcutaneously (sc injections in mice.Results: The MLD of the A. crassicauda venom was 35 μg/ 20g mouse by sc injection route. Western blotting showed the presence of components from A. crassicauda and P. transvaalicus scorpion venoms strongly cross react with the A. crassicauda antivenom. However, Western blotting of the A. crassicauda scorpion venom using the Refik Saydam Public Health Agency (RSPHA generated antibody showed that not all the venom components cross reacted with the anti-birtoxin antibody. The antibodies only cross reacted with components falling under the 19 kDa protein size of A. crassicauda venom.Conclusion: The bioassays and Western blotting of A. crassicauda venom with the anti-birtoxin antibodies produced against a synthetic peptide showed that these antibodies cross reacted but did not neutralize the venom of A. crassicauda.

  17. The Triterpenoid Betulin Protects against the Neuromuscular Effects of Bothrops jararacussu Snake Venom In Vivo

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    Miriéle Cristina Ferraz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available We confirmed the ability of the triterpenoid betulin to protect against neurotoxicity caused by Bothrops jararacussu snake venom in vitro in mouse isolated phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND preparations and examined its capability of in vivo protection using the rat external popliteal/sciatic nerve-tibialis anterior (EPSTA preparation. Venom caused complete, irreversible blockade in PND (40 μg/mL, but only partial blockade (~30% in EPSTA (3.6 mg/kg, i.m. after 120 min. In PND, preincubation of venom with commercial bothropic antivenom (CBA attenuated the venom-induced blockade, and, in EPSTA, CBA given i.v. 15 min after venom also attenuated the blockade (by ~70% in both preparations. Preincubation of venom with betulin (200 μg/mL markedly attenuated the venom-induced blockade in PND; similarly, a single dose of betulin (20 mg, i.p., 15 min after venom virtually abolished the venom-induced decrease in contractility. Plasma creatine kinase activity was significantly elevated 120 min after venom injection in the EPSTA but was attenuated by CBA and betulin. These results indicate that betulin given i.p. has a similar efficacy as CBA given i.v. in attenuating the neuromuscular effects of B. jararacussu venom in vivo and could be a useful complementary measure to antivenom therapy for treating snakebite.

  18. The Triterpenoid Betulin Protects against the Neuromuscular Effects of Bothrops jararacussu Snake Venom In Vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraz, Miriéle Cristina; de Oliveira, Jhones Luiz; de Oliveira Junior, Joel Reis; Cogo, José Carlos; Dos Santos, Márcio Galdino; Franco, Luiz Madaleno; Puebla, Pilar; Ferraz, Helena Onishi; Ferraz, Humberto Gomes; da Rocha, Marisa Maria Teixeira; Hyslop, Stephen; San Feliciano, Arturo; Oshima-Franco, Yoko

    2015-01-01

    We confirmed the ability of the triterpenoid betulin to protect against neurotoxicity caused by Bothrops jararacussu snake venom in vitro in mouse isolated phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) preparations and examined its capability of in vivo protection using the rat external popliteal/sciatic nerve-tibialis anterior (EPSTA) preparation. Venom caused complete, irreversible blockade in PND (40 μg/mL), but only partial blockade (~30%) in EPSTA (3.6 mg/kg, i.m.) after 120 min. In PND, preincubation of venom with commercial bothropic antivenom (CBA) attenuated the venom-induced blockade, and, in EPSTA, CBA given i.v. 15 min after venom also attenuated the blockade (by ~70% in both preparations). Preincubation of venom with betulin (200 μg/mL) markedly attenuated the venom-induced blockade in PND; similarly, a single dose of betulin (20 mg, i.p., 15 min after venom) virtually abolished the venom-induced decrease in contractility. Plasma creatine kinase activity was significantly elevated 120 min after venom injection in the EPSTA but was attenuated by CBA and betulin. These results indicate that betulin given i.p. has a similar efficacy as CBA given i.v. in attenuating the neuromuscular effects of B. jararacussu venom in vivo and could be a useful complementary measure to antivenom therapy for treating snakebite. PMID:26633987

  19. [Influence of electromagnetic radiation on toxicity of Vipera lebetina obtusa venom].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abiev, G A; Babaev, E I; Topchieva, Sh A; Chumburidze, T B; Nemsitsveridze, N G

    2009-11-01

    The aim of the article was to study the effect of electromagnetic radiation on toxicity of Vipera lebetina obtusa venom. It was found that mice intoxicated with snake venom, with moderate to high exposure to electromagnetic radiation and mice intoxicated with venom, which had not been exposed to the radiation showed the same symptoms of intoxication and death. At the same time, the longevity of mice intoxicated with venom exposed to electromagnetic radiation was higher. The longevity of mice in control group was 25+/-5 min. The longevity of mice intoxicated with exposed to electromagnetic radiation snake venom was from 29 to 60 min. The research showed that the longevity of mice intoxicated with snake venom rose with the level of electromagnetic radiation intensity the snake was exposed to. Accordingly, snake venom, with exposure to high intensity electromagnetic radiation is less toxic.

  20. Experimental ophitoxemia produced by the opisthoglyphous lora snake (Philodryas olfersii) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Lemoine, Karel; Navarrete, Luis; Girón, María E; Aguilar, Irma

    2006-01-01

    Several colubrid snakes produce venomous oral secretions. In this work, the venom collected from Venezuelan opisthoglyphous (rear-fanged) Philodryas olfersii snake was studied. Different proteins were present in its venom and they were characterized by 20% SDS-PAGE protein electrophoresis. The secretion exhibited proteolytic (gelatinase) activity, which was partially purified on a chromatography ionic exchange mono Q2 column. Additionally, the haemorrhagic activity of Philodryas olfersii venom on chicken embryos, mouse skin and peritoneum was demonstrated. Neurotoxic symptoms were demonstrated in mice inoculated with Philodryas olfersii venom. In conclusion, Philodryas olfersii venom showed proteolytic, haemorrhagic, and neurotoxic activities, thus increasing the interest in the high toxic action of Philodryas venom. PMID:16699649

  1. Evaluation of antivenoms in the neutralization of hyperalgesia and edema induced by Bothrops jararaca and Bothrops asper snake venoms

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    Picolo G.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Neutralization of hyperalgesia induced by Bothrops jararaca and B. asper venoms was studied in rats using bothropic antivenom produced at Instituto Butantan (AVIB, 1 ml neutralizes 5 mg B. jararaca venom and polyvalent antivenom produced at Instituto Clodomiro Picado (AVCP, 1 ml neutralizes 2.5 mg B. aspar venom. The intraplantar injection of B. jararaca and B. asper venoms caused hyperalgesia, which peaked 1 and 2 h after injection, respectively. Both venoms also induced edema with a similar time course. When neutralization assays involving the independent injection of venom and antivenom were performed, the hyperalgesia induced by B. jararaca venom was neutralized only when bothropic antivenom was administered iv 15 min before venom injection, whereas edema was neutralized when antivenom was injected 15 min or immediately before venom injection. On the other hand, polyvalent antivenom did not interfere with hyperalgesia or edema induced by B. asper venom, even when administered prior to envenomation. The lack of neutralization of hyperalgesia and edema induced by B. asper venom is not attributable to the absence of neutralizing antibodies in the antivenom, since neutralization was achieved in assays involving preincubation of venom and antivenom. Cross-neutralization of AVCP or AVIB against B. jararaca and B. asper venoms, respectively, was also evaluated. Only bothropic antivenom partially neutralized hyperalgesia induced by B. asper venom in preincubation experiments. The present data suggest that hyperalgesia and edema induced by Bothrops venoms are poorly neutralized by commercial antivenoms even when antibodies are administered immediately after envenomation.

  2. The venom gland transcriptome of the Desert Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii: towards an understanding of venom composition among advanced snakes (Superfamily Colubroidea

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    Mackessy Stephen P

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Snake venoms are complex mixtures of pharmacologically active proteins and peptides which belong to a small number of superfamilies. Global cataloguing of the venom transcriptome facilitates the identification of new families of toxins as well as helps in understanding the evolution of venom proteomes. Results We have constructed a cDNA library of the venom gland of a threatened rattlesnake (a pitviper, Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii (Desert Massasauga, and sequenced 576 ESTs. Our results demonstrate a high abundance of serine proteinase and metalloproteinase transcripts, indicating that the disruption of hemostasis is a principle mechanism of action of the venom. In addition to the transcripts encoding common venom proteins, we detected two varieties of low abundance unique transcripts in the library; these encode for three-finger toxins and a novel toxin possibly generated from the fusion of two genes. We also observed polyadenylated ribosomal RNAs in the venom gland library, an interesting preliminary obsevation of this unusual phenomenon in a reptilian system. Conclusion The three-finger toxins are characteristic of most elapid venoms but are rare in viperid venoms. We detected several ESTs encoding this group of toxins in this study. We also observed the presence of a transcript encoding a fused protein of two well-characterized toxins (Kunitz/BPTI and Waprins, and this is the first report of this kind of fusion in a snake toxin transcriptome. We propose that these new venom proteins may have ancillary functions for envenomation. The presence of a fused toxin indicates that in addition to gene duplication and accelerated evolution, exon shuffling or transcriptional splicing may also contribute to generating the diversity of toxins and toxin isoforms observed among snake venoms. The detection of low abundance toxins, as observed in this and other studies, indicates a greater compositional similarity of venoms (though

  3. Improved sensitivity to venom specific-immunoglobulin E by spiking with the allergen component in Japanese patients suspected of Hymenoptera venom allergy

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    Naruo Yoshida

    2015-07-01

    Conclusions: The measurement of sIgE following spiking of rVes v 5 and rPol d 5 by conventional testing in Japanese subjects with sIgE against hornet and paper wasp venom, respectively, improved the sensitivity for detecting Hymenoptera venom allergy. Improvement testing for measuring sIgE levels against hornet and paper wasp venom has potential for serologically elucidating Hymenoptera allergy in Japan.

  4. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection of amphibians in the Doñana National Park, Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidalgo-Vila, Judit; Díaz-Paniagua, Carmen; Marchand, Marc A; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2012-03-20

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the non-hyphal, zoosporic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emerging infectious disease recognised as a cause of recent amphibian population declines and extinctions worldwide. The Doñana National Park (DNP) is located in southwestern Spain, a country with widespread Bd infection. This protected area has a great diversity of aquatic habitats that constitute important breeding habitats for 11 native amphibian species. We sampled 625 amphibians in December 2007 and February to March 2008, months that correspond to the early and intermediate breeding seasons for amphibians, respectively. We found 7 of 9 sampled species to be infected with Bd and found differences in prevalence between sampling periods. Although some amphibians tested had higher intensities of infection than others, all animals sampled were apparently healthy and, so far, there has been no evidence of either unusually high rates of mortality or amphibian population declines in the DNP.

  5. Slow dynamics of the amphibian tympanic membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergevin, Christopher; Meenderink, Sebastiaan W. F.; van der Heijden, Marcel; Narins, Peter M.

    2015-12-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that delays associated with evoked otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) largely originate from filter delays of resonant elements in the inner ear. However, one vertebrate group is an exception: Anuran (frogs and toads) amphibian OAEs exhibit relatively long delays (several milliseconds), yet relatively broad tuning. These delays, also apparent in auditory nerve fiber (ANF) responses, have been partially attributed to the middle ear (ME), with a total forward delay of ˜0.7 ms (˜30 times longer than in gerbil). However, ME forward delays only partially account for the longer delays of OAEs and ANF responses. We used scanning laser Doppler vibrometery to map surface velocity over the tympanic membrane (TyM) of anesthetized bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana). Our main finding is a circularly-symmetric wave on the TyM surface, starting at the outer edges of the TyM and propagating inward towards the center (the site of the ossicular attachment). This wave exists for frequencies ˜0.75-3 kHz, overlapping the range of bullfrog hearing (˜0.05-1.7 kHz). Group delays associated with this wave varied from 0.4 to 1.2 ms and correlated with with TyM diameter, which ranged from ˜6-16 mm. These delays correspond well to those from previous ME measurements. Presumably the TyM waves stem from biomechanical constraints of semi-aquatic species with a relatively large tympanum. We investigated some of these constraints by measuring the pressure ratio across the TyM (˜10-30 dB drop, delay of ˜0.35 ms), the effects of ossicular interruption, the changes due to physiological state of TyM (`dry-out'), and by calculating the middle-ear input impedance. In summary, we found a slow, inward-traveling wave on the TyM surface that accounts for a substantial fraction of the relatively long otoacoustic and neurophysiological delays previously observed in the anuran inner ear.

  6. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Yunhua; Song, Bo; Mo, Guoxiang; Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  7. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunhua Zhong

    Full Text Available Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle. This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  8. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Yunhua; Song, Bo; Mo, Guoxiang; Yuan, Mingwei; Li, Hongli; Wang, Ping; Yuan, Minglong; Lu, Qiumin

    2014-01-01

    Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin) was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana) and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle). This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation. PMID:25329070

  9. Spinal processing of bee venom-induced pain and hyperalgesia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jun CHEN

    2008-01-01

    Subcutaneous injection of bee venom causes long-term neural activation and hypersensitization in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, which contributes to the development and maintenance of various pain-related behaviors. The unique behavioral 'pheno-types' of nociception and hypersensitivity identified in the rodent bee venom test are believed to reflect a complex pathological state of inflammatory pain and might be appropriate to the study of phenotype-based mechanisms of pain and hyperalgesia. In this review, the spinal processing of the bee venom-induced different 'phenotypes' of pain and hyperalgesia will be described. The accumulative electrophysiological, pharmacological, and behavioral data strongly suggest that different 'phenotypes' of pain and hyperalgesia are mediated by different spinal signaling pathways. Unraveling the phenotype-based mechanisms of pain might be useful in development of novel therapeutic drugs against complex clinic pathological pain.

  10. Effects of Mucuna pruriens protease inhibitors on Echis carinatus venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope-Onyekwere, Nnadozie Stanley; Ogueli, Godwin Ifeanyi; Cortelazzo, Alessio; Cerutti, Helena; Cito, Annarita; Aguiyi, John C; Guerranti, Roberto

    2012-12-01

    The medicinal plant Mucuna pruriens, with reputed anti-snake venom properties has been reported to contain a kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor. This study was undertaken to further evaluate the protease inhibitory potential of gpMuc, a multiform glycoprotein, and other protein fractions from M. pruriens seeds against trypsin, chymotrypsin, Echis carinatus snake venom, ecarin and thrombin. The results showed that gpMuc inhibited both trypsin and chymotrypsin activities and was thermally stable, maintaining its trypsin inhibitory activity at temperatures of up to 50°C. Its structural conformation was also maintained at pH ranges of 4-7. Immunoreactivity study confirms that it contains protease-recognizing epitope on one of its isoforms. The whole protein extract of M. pruriens seeds inhibited prothrombin activation by ecarin and whole E. carinatus venom, and also thrombin-like activity using chromogenic assay. PMID:22447581

  11. Cross reactivity of three antivenoms against North American snake venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Elda E; Ramírez, María Susana; Galán, Jacob A; López, Gonzalo; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Pérez, John C

    2003-03-01

    The antivenom in the United States today is in short supply, expensive and may not even be the most effective in neutralizing venoms from snakes in certain geographical locations. The ED(50) is considered to be the best indicator of antivenom efficacy, however, other tests are needed. In this study, three antivenoms (Antivipmyn (Fab(2)H), Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab (Ovine) (FabO) and UCV (FabV) were used to test the effectiveness of neutralization of eight venoms (Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus, Bothrops asper, Crotalus adamanteus, C. durissus durissus, C. horridus atricaudatus, C. h. horridus, C. atrox, and C. molossus molossus). Four different assays were used to study the efficacy of the antivenoms: the antihemorrhagic, antigelatinase, antifibrinolytic and antihide powder azure. Fab(2)H antivenom was more effective in neutralizing the enzymatic activities of these eight venoms than FabO and FabV antivenoms. PMID:12565754

  12. Antifungal Activity of Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom against Clinically Isolated Candida albicans

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    Seung-Bae Lee

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the antifungal effect of bee venom (BV and sweet bee venom (SBV against Candida albicans (C. albicans clinical isolates. Methods: In this study, BV and SBV were examined for antifungal activities against the Korean Collection for Type Cultures (KCTC strain and 10 clinical isolates of C. albicans. The disk diffusion method was used to measure the antifungal activity and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC assays were performed by using a broth microdilution method. Also, a killing curve assay was conducted to investigate the kinetics of the anti- fungal action. Results: BV and SBV showed antifungal activity against 10 clinical isolates of C. albicans that were cultured from blood and the vagina by using disk diffusion method. The MIC values obtained for clinical isolates by using the broth microdilution method varied from 62.5 μg/ mL to 125 μg/mL for BV and from 15.63 μg/mL to 62.5 μg/mL for SBV. In the killing-curve assay, SBV behaved as amphotericin B, which was used as positive control, did. The antifungal efficacy of SBV was much higher than that of BV. Conclusion: BV and SBV showed antifungal activity against C. albicans clinical strains that were isolated from blood and the vagina. Especially, SBV might be a candidate for a new antifungal agent against C. albicans clinical isolates.

  13. Preformulation Studies of Bee Venom for the Preparation of Bee Venom-Loaded PLGA Particles

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    Min-Ho Park

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available It is known that allergic people was potentially vulnerable to bee venom (BV, which can induce an anaphylactic shock, eventually leading to death. Up until recently, this kind of allergy was treated only by venom immunotherapy (VIT and its efficacy has been recognized worldwide. This treatment is practiced by subcutaneous injections that gradually increase the doses of the allergen. This is inconvenient for patients due to frequent injections. Poly (D,L-lactide-co-glycolide (PLGA has been broadly studied as a carrier for drug delivery systems (DDS of proteins and peptides. PLGA particles usually induce a sustained release. In this study, the physicochemical properties of BV were examined prior to the preparation of BV-loaded PLGA nanoparticles NPs. The content of melittin, the main component of BV, was 53.3%. When protected from the light BV was stable at 4 °C in distilled water, during 8 weeks. BV-loaded PLGA particles were prepared using dichloromethane as the most suitable organic solvent and two min of ultrasonic emulsification time. This study has characterized the physicochemical properties of BV for the preparation BV-loaded PLGA NPs in order to design and optimize a suitable sustained release system in the future.

  14. Rayleigh instability of the inverted one-cell amphibian embryo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nouri, Comron; Luppes, Roel; Veldman, Arthur E.P.; Tuszynski, Jack A.; Gordon, Richard

    2008-01-01

    The one-cell amphibian embryo is modeled as a rigid spherical shell containing equal volumes of two immiscible fluids with different densities and viscosities and a surface tension between them. The fluids represent denser yolk in the bottom hemisphere and clearer cytoplasm and the germinal vesicle

  15. Glyphosate applications on arable fields considerably coincide with migrating amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Gert; Graef, Frieder; Pfeffer, Holger

    2013-01-01

    Glyphosate usage is increasing worldwide and the application schemes of this herbicide are currently changing. Amphibians migrating through arable fields may be harmed by Glyphosate applied to field crops. We investigated the population-based temporal coincidence of four amphibian species with Glyphosate from 2006 to 2008. Depending on a) age- and species-specific main migration periods, b) crop species, c) Glyphosate application mode for crops, and d) the presumed DT50 value (12 days or 47 days) of Glyphosate, we calculated up to 100% coincidence with Glyphosate. The amphibians regularly co-occur with pre-sowing/pre-emerging Glyphosate applications to maize in spring and with stubble management prior to crop sowing in late summer and autumn. Siccation treatment in summer coincides only with early pond-leaving juveniles. We suggest in-depth investigations of both acute and long-term effects of Glyphosate applications on amphibian populations not only focussed on exposure during aquatic periods but also terrestrial life stages.

  16. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse and interesting group of organisms. The four activities described in this article take students' curiosity into the realm of scientific understanding. The activities involve the concepts of species identification; animal adaptations, communication, and habitat; and conservation. (Contains 1 table and 2…

  17. Preliminary checklist of amphibians and reptiles from Baramita, Guyana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R.P.; MacCulloch, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    We provide an initial checklist of the herpetofauna of Baramita, a lowland rainforest site in the Northwest Region of Guyana. Twenty-five amphibian and 28 reptile species were collected during two separate dry-season visits. New country records for two species of snakes are documented, contributing to the knowledge on the incompletely known herpetofauna of Guyana.

  18. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martel, An; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Blooi, Mark; Bert, Wim; Ducatelle, Richard; Fisher, Matthew C; Woeltjes, Antonius; Bosman, Wilbert; Chiers, Koen; Bossuyt, Franky; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-17

    The current biodiversity crisis encompasses a sixth mass extinction event affecting the entire class of amphibians. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the major drivers of global amphibian population decline and extinction and is thought to be caused by a single species of aquatic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. However, several amphibian population declines remain unexplained, among them a steep decrease in fire salamander populations (Salamandra salamandra) that has brought this species to the edge of local extinction. Here we isolated and characterized a unique chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., from this salamander population. This chytrid causes erosive skin disease and rapid mortality in experimentally infected fire salamanders and was present in skin lesions of salamanders found dead during the decline event. Together with the closely related B. dendrobatidis, this taxon forms a well-supported chytridiomycete clade, adapted to vertebrate hosts and highly pathogenic to amphibians. However, the lower thermal growth preference of B. salamandrivorans, compared with B. dendrobatidis, and resistance of midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) to experimental infection with B. salamandrivorans suggest differential niche occupation of the two chytrid fungi.

  19. Expanding Distribution of Lethal Amphibian Fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Martel, An; Asselberghs, Johan; Bales, Emma K; Beukema, Wouter; Bletz, Molly C; Dalbeck, Lutz; Goverse, Edo; Kerres, Alexander; Kinet, Thierry; Kirst, Kai; Laudelout, Arnaud; Marin da Fonte, Luis F; Nöllert, Andreas; Ohlhoff, Dagmar; Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Speybroeck, Jeroen; Spikmans, Frank; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Veith, Michael; Vences, Miguel; Wagner, Norman; Pasmans, Frank; Lötters, Stefan

    2016-07-01

    Emerging fungal diseases can drive amphibian species to local extinction. During 2010-2016, we examined 1,921 urodeles in 3 European countries. Presence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans at new locations and in urodeles of different species expands the known geographic and host range of the fungus and underpins its imminent threat to biodiversity.

  20. Quaternary climate changes explain diversity among reptiles and amphibians

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bastos Araujo, Miguel; Nogués-Bravo, David; Diniz-Filho, Alexandre F.;

    2008-01-01

    debated without reaching consensus. Here, we test the proposition that European species richness of reptiles and amphibians is driven by climate changes in the Quaternary. We find that climate stability between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and the present day is a better predictor of species richness...

  1. Factors contributing to amphibian road mortality in a wetland

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Haijun GU; Qiang DAI; Qian WANG; Yuezhao WANG

    2011-01-01

    To understand road characteristics and landscape features associated with high road mortality of amphibians in Zoige Wetland National Nature Reserve,we surveyed road mortality along four major roads after rainfall in May and September 2007.Road mortality of three species,Rana kukunoris,Nanorana pleskei and Bufo minshanicus,was surveyed across 225 transects (115 in May and 110 in September).Transects were 100 m long and repeated every two kilometers along the four major roads.We used model averaging to assess factors that might determine amphibian road mortality.We recorded an average of 24.6 amphibian road mortalities per kilometer in May and 19.2 in September.Among road characteristics,road width was positively associated with road morality for R.kukunori and B.minshanicus.Traffic volume also increased the road mortality of B.minshanicus in September.Of the landscape features measured,area proportions of three types of grassland (wet,mesic and dry) within 1 km of the roads,particularly that of wet grassland,significantly increased road mortality for R.kukunori and total mortality across all three species.To most effectively reduce road mortality of amphibians in the Zoige wetlands,we suggest better road design such as avoiding wet grasslands,minimizing road width,underground passes and traffic control measures.The implementation of public transit in the area would reduce traffic volume,and hence mortality [Current Zoology 57 (6):768-774,2011].

  2. Salmonella Infections Caused by Reptiles and Amphibians in Childcare Centers

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2013-02-07

    Dr. Neil Vora, an EIS Officer at CDC, discusses his article about Salmonella infections in childcare centers caused by reptiles and amphibians.  Created: 2/7/2013 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 2/7/2013.

  3. On the worrying fate of Data Deficient amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nori, Javier; Loyola, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    The 'Data Deficient' (DD) category of the IUCN Red List assembles species that cannot be placed in another category due to insufficient information. This process generates uncertainty about whether these species are safe or actually in danger. Here, we give a global overview on the current situation of DD amphibian species (almost a quarter of living amphibians) considering land-use change through habitat modification, the degree of protection of each species and the socio-political context of each country harboring DD species. We found that DD amphibians have, on average, 81% of their ranges totally outside protected areas. Worryingly, more than half of DD species have less than 1% of their distribution represented in protected areas. Furthermore, the percentage of overlap between species' range and human-modified landscapes is high, at approximately 58%. Many countries harboring a large number of DD species show a worrying socio-political trend illustrated by substantial, recent incremental increases in the Human Development Index and lower incremental increases in the establishment of protected areas. Most of these are African countries, which are located mainly in the central and southern regions of the continent. Other countries with similar socio-political trends are in southeastern Asia, Central America, and in the northern region of South America. This situation is concerning, but it also creates a huge opportunity for considering DD amphibians in future conservation assessments, planning, and policy at different levels of government administration.

  4. Emerging contaminants and their potential effects on amphibians and reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serious threats to the health and sustainability of global amphibian populations have been well documented over the last few decades. Encroachment upon and destruction of primary habitat is the most critical threat, but some species have disappeared while their habitat remains. Additional stressor...

  5. AMPHIBIAN DECLINE, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND LOCAL POPULATION ADAPTATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amphibian population declines have been noted on both local and global scales. Causes for these declines are unknown although many hypotheses have been offered. In areas adjacent to human development, loss of habitat is a fairly well accepted cause. However in isolated, seemingl...

  6. Examining the evidence for chytridiomycosis in threatened amphibian species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Heard

    Full Text Available Extinction risks are increasing for amphibians due to rising threats and minimal conservation efforts. Nearly one quarter of all threatened/extinct amphibians in the IUCN Red List is purportedly at risk from the disease chytridiomycosis. However, a closer look at the data reveals that Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the causal agent has been identified and confirmed to cause clinical disease in only 14% of these species. Primary literature surveys confirm these findings; ruling out major discrepancies between Red List assessments and real-time science. Despite widespread interest in chytridiomycosis, little progress has been made between assessment years to acquire evidence for the role of chytridiomycosis in species-specific amphibian declines. Instead, assessment teams invoke the precautionary principle when listing chytridiomycosis as a threat. Precaution is valuable when dealing with the world's most threatened taxa, however scientific research is needed to distinguish between real and predicted threats in order to better prioritize conservation efforts. Fast paced, cost effective, in situ research to confirm or rule out chytridiomycosis in species currently hypothesized to be threatened by the disease would be a step in the right direction. Ultimately, determining the manner in which amphibian conservation resources are utilized is a conversation for the greater conservation community that we hope to stimulate here.

  7. Effects of terrestrial buffer zones on amphibians on golf courses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly J Puglis

    Full Text Available A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi and green frogs (Rana clamitans in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they were reared in. Larval survival of both species was affected by the presence of a buffer zone, with increased survival for cricket frogs and decreased survival for green frogs when reared in ponds with buffer zones. No marked cricket frog juveniles were recovered at any golf course pond in the following year, suggesting that most animals died or migrated. In a separate study, we released cricket frogs in a terrestrial pen and allowed them to choose between mown and unmown grass. Cricket frogs had a greater probability of using unmown versus mown grass. Our results suggest that incorporating buffer zones around ponds can offer suitable habitat for some amphibian species and can improve the quality of the aquatic environment for some sensitive local amphibians.

  8. ESTIMATION OF UV-B EXPOSURE IN AMPHIBIAN AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estimation of ultraviolet radiation B (UV-B; 280 to 320 nm wavelenghts) dose is essential for determining whether UV-B contributes to amphibian population declines and malformations. UV-B dose in wetlands is effected by location, time of day and year, atmospheric levels of ozone,...

  9. Measuring the meltdown: drivers of global amphibian extinction and decline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Navjot S Sodhi

    Full Text Available Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545 or had increased (n = 28. These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation.

  10. Effects of terrestrial buffer zones on amphibians on golf courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puglis, Holly J; Boone, Michelle D

    2012-01-01

    A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they were reared in. Larval survival of both species was affected by the presence of a buffer zone, with increased survival for cricket frogs and decreased survival for green frogs when reared in ponds with buffer zones. No marked cricket frog juveniles were recovered at any golf course pond in the following year, suggesting that most animals died or migrated. In a separate study, we released cricket frogs in a terrestrial pen and allowed them to choose between mown and unmown grass. Cricket frogs had a greater probability of using unmown versus mown grass. Our results suggest that incorporating buffer zones around ponds can offer suitable habitat for some amphibian species and can improve the quality of the aquatic environment for some sensitive local amphibians.

  11. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC50) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species. - Salt toxicity is presented as a mechanism affecting the distribution of amphibians and structure of amphibian communities in roadside wetlands

  12. Preliminary amphibian surveys : Baca National Wildlife Refuge : July & August, 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report summarizes an initial amphibian survey effort on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge, conducted on 7/17/15, 7/24/15, and 8/28/15. The main emphasis of...

  13. The effects of hybridization on divergent venom phenotypes: Characterization of venom from Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus × Crotalus oreganus helleri hybrids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Cara Francesca; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-09-15

    Hybridization between divergent species can be analyzed to elucidate expression patterns of distinct parental characteristics, as well as to provide information about the extent of reproductive isolation between species. A known hybrid cross between two rattlesnakes with highly divergent venom phenotypes provided the opportunity to examine occurrence of parental venom characteristics in the F1 hybrids as well as ontogenetic shifts in the expression of these characters as the hybrids aged. Although venom phenotypes of adult rattlesnake venoms are known for many species, the effect of hybridization on phenotype inheritance is not well understood, and effects of hybridization on venom ontogeny have not yet been investigated. The current study investigates both phenomena resulting from the hybridization of a male snake with type I degradative venom, Crotalus oreganus helleri (Southern Pacific Rattlesnake), and a female snake with type II highly toxic venom, Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mojave Rattlesnake). SDS-PAGE, enzymology, Western blot and reversed phase HPLC (RP-HPLC) were used to characterize the venom of the C. o. helleri male, the C. s. scutulatus female and their two hybrid offspring as they aged. In general, Crotalus o. helleri × C. s. scutulatus hybrid venoms appeared to exhibit overlapping parental venom profiles, and several different enzyme activity patterns. Both hybrids expressed C. o. helleri father-specific myotoxins as well as C. s. scutulatus mother-specific Mojave toxin. Snake venom metalloprotease activity displayed apparent sex-influenced expression patterns, while hybrid serine protease activities were intermediate to parental activities. The C. s. scutulatus × C. o. helleri hybrid male's venom profile provided the strongest evidence that type I and type II venom characteristics are expressed simultaneously in hybrid venoms, as this snake contained distinctive characteristics of both parental species. However, the possibility of

  14. Comparison of phylogeny, venom composition and neutralization by antivenom in diverse species of bothrops complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa, Leijiane F; Nicolau, Carolina A; Peixoto, Pedro S; Bernardoni, Juliana L; Oliveira, Sâmella S; Portes-Junior, José Antonio; Mourão, Rosa Helena V; Lima-dos-Santos, Isa; Sano-Martins, Ida S; Chalkidis, Hipócrates M; Valente, Richard H; Moura-da-Silva, Ana M

    2013-01-01

    In Latin America, Bothrops snakes account for most snake bites in humans, and the recommended treatment is administration of multispecific Bothrops antivenom (SAB--soro antibotrópico). However, Bothrops snakes are very diverse with regard to their venom composition, which raises the issue of which venoms should be used as immunizing antigens for the production of pan-specific Bothrops antivenoms. In this study, we simultaneously compared the composition and reactivity with SAB of venoms collected from six species of snakes, distributed in pairs from three distinct phylogenetic clades: Bothrops, Bothropoides and Rhinocerophis. We also evaluated the neutralization of Bothrops atrox venom, which is the species responsible for most snake bites in the Amazon region, but not included in the immunization antigen mixture used to produce SAB. Using mass spectrometric and chromatographic approaches, we observed a lack of similarity in protein composition between the venoms from closely related snakes and a high similarity between the venoms of phylogenetically more distant snakes, suggesting little connection between taxonomic position and venom composition. P-III snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are the most antigenic toxins in the venoms of snakes from the Bothrops complex, whereas class P-I SVMPs, snake venom serine proteinases and phospholipases A2 reacted with antibodies in lower levels. Low molecular size toxins, such as disintegrins and bradykinin-potentiating peptides, were poorly antigenic. Toxins from the same protein family showed antigenic cross-reactivity among venoms from different species; SAB was efficient in neutralizing the B. atrox venom major toxins. Thus, we suggest that it is possible to obtain pan-specific effective antivenoms for Bothrops envenomations through immunization with venoms from only a few species of snakes, if these venoms contain protein classes that are representative of all species to which the antivenom is targeted. PMID

  15. Comparison of phylogeny, venom composition and neutralization by antivenom in diverse species of bothrops complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leijiane F Sousa

    Full Text Available In Latin America, Bothrops snakes account for most snake bites in humans, and the recommended treatment is administration of multispecific Bothrops antivenom (SAB--soro antibotrópico. However, Bothrops snakes are very diverse with regard to their venom composition, which raises the issue of which venoms should be used as immunizing antigens for the production of pan-specific Bothrops antivenoms. In this study, we simultaneously compared the composition and reactivity with SAB of venoms collected from six species of snakes, distributed in pairs from three distinct phylogenetic clades: Bothrops, Bothropoides and Rhinocerophis. We also evaluated the neutralization of Bothrops atrox venom, which is the species responsible for most snake bites in the Amazon region, but not included in the immunization antigen mixture used to produce SAB. Using mass spectrometric and chromatographic approaches, we observed a lack of similarity in protein composition between the venoms from closely related snakes and a high similarity between the venoms of phylogenetically more distant snakes, suggesting little connection between taxonomic position and venom composition. P-III snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs are the most antigenic toxins in the venoms of snakes from the Bothrops complex, whereas class P-I SVMPs, snake venom serine proteinases and phospholipases A2 reacted with antibodies in lower levels. Low molecular size toxins, such as disintegrins and bradykinin-potentiating peptides, were poorly antigenic. Toxins from the same protein family showed antigenic cross-reactivity among venoms from different species; SAB was efficient in neutralizing the B. atrox venom major toxins. Thus, we suggest that it is possible to obtain pan-specific effective antivenoms for Bothrops envenomations through immunization with venoms from only a few species of snakes, if these venoms contain protein classes that are representative of all species to which the antivenom is

  16. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Jason L; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount of

  17. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason L Brown

    Full Text Available Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling

  18. A study of bacterial contamination of rattlesnake venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Garcia-Lima

    1987-03-01

    Full Text Available The authors studied the bacterial contamination of rattlesnake venom isolated from snakes in captivity and wild snakes caught recently. The captive snakes showed a relatively high incidence of bacterial contamination of their venom.Os autores estudaram a contaminação bacteriana do veneno dë cascavéis mantidas em cativeiro e das recentemente capturadas. Verificaram que os venenos dos animais cativos apresentaram alta incidência de contaminação e os tidos como recentemente capturados estavam com baixa contaminação aparente.

  19. Venom Down Under: Dynamic Evolution of Australian Elapid Snake Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy N. W. Jackson

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite the unparalleled diversity of venomous snakes in Australia, research has concentrated on a handful of medically significant species and even of these very few toxins have been fully sequenced. In this study, venom gland transcriptomes were sequenced from eleven species of small Australian elapid snakes, from eleven genera, spanning a broad phylogenetic range. The particularly large number of sequences obtained for three-finger toxin (3FTx peptides allowed for robust reconstructions of their dynamic molecular evolutionary histories. We demonstrated that each species preferentially favoured different types of α-neurotoxic 3FTx, probably as a result of differing feeding ecologies. The three forms of α-neurotoxin [Type I (also known as (aka: short-chain, Type II (aka: long-chain and Type III] not only adopted differential rates of evolution, but have also conserved a diversity of residues, presumably to potentiate prey-specific toxicity. Despite these differences, the different α-neurotoxin types were shown to accumulate mutations in similar regions of the protein, largely in the loops and structurally unimportant regions, highlighting the significant role of focal mutagenesis. We theorize that this phenomenon not only affects toxin potency or specificity, but also generates necessary variation for preventing/delaying prey animals from acquiring venom-resistance. This study also recovered the first full-length sequences for multimeric phospholipase A2 (PLA2 ‘taipoxin/paradoxin’ subunits from non-Oxyuranus species, confirming the early recruitment of this extremely potent neurotoxin complex to the venom arsenal of Australian elapid snakes. We also recovered the first natriuretic peptides from an elapid that lack the derived C-terminal tail and resemble the plesiotypic form (ancestral character state found in viper venoms. This provides supporting evidence for a single early recruitment of natriuretic peptides into snake venoms. Novel

  20. Bioactive Mimetics of Conotoxins and other Venom Peptides

    OpenAIRE

    Duggan, Peter J.; Kellie L Tuck

    2015-01-01

    Ziconotide (Prialt®), a synthetic version of the peptide ω-conotoxin MVIIA found in the venom of a fish-hunting marine cone snail Conus magnus, is one of very few drugs effective in the treatment of intractable chronic pain. However, its intrathecal mode of delivery and narrow therapeutic window cause complications for patients. This review will summarize progress in the development of small molecule, non-peptidic mimics of Conotoxins and a small number of other venom peptides. This will incl...

  1. Bioactive Mimetics of Conotoxins and other Venom Peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duggan, Peter J; Tuck, Kellie L

    2015-10-01

    Ziconotide (Prialt®), a synthetic version of the peptide ω-conotoxin MVIIA found in the venom of a fish-hunting marine cone snail Conus magnus, is one of very few drugs effective in the treatment of intractable chronic pain. However, its intrathecal mode of delivery and narrow therapeutic window cause complications for patients. This review will summarize progress in the development of small molecule, non-peptidic mimics of Conotoxins and a small number of other venom peptides. This will include a description of how some of the initially designed mimics have been modified to improve their drug-like properties. PMID:26501323

  2. Bioactive Mimetics of Conotoxins and other Venom Peptides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J. Duggan

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Ziconotide (Prialt®, a synthetic version of the peptide ω-conotoxin MVIIA found in the venom of a fish-hunting marine cone snail Conus magnus, is one of very few drugs effective in the treatment of intractable chronic pain. However, its intrathecal mode of delivery and narrow therapeutic window cause complications for patients. This review will summarize progress in the development of small molecule, non-peptidic mimics of Conotoxins and a small number of other venom peptides. This will include a description of how some of the initially designed mimics have been modified to improve their drug-like properties.

  3. Distribution of 131 I- labeled Bothrops erythromelas venom in mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bothrops erythromelas is responsible for many snake bites in northeastern Brazil. In the present study we determined the in vivo distribution of the venom following its subcutaneous injection into mice. B. erythromelas venom and albumin were labeled individually with 131 I by the chloramine T method, and separated in a Sephacryl S-200 column. The efficiency of labeling was 68%.Male Swiss mice (40-45 g), which had been provided with drinking water containing 0.05% KI over a period of 10 days prior to the experiment, were inoculated dorsally (sc) with 0.3 ml (2.35 x 105 cpm/mouse) of 131 I-venom (N = 42), 131 -albumin or 131 I (controls, N = 28 each). Thirty minutes and 1,3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 h after inoculation, the animals were perfused with 0.85% Na Cl and skin and various organs were collected in order to determine radioactivity content. There was a high rate of venom absorption int he skin (51%) within the first 30 min compared to albumin (20.1%) and free iodine (8.2%). Up to the third hour after injection there was a tendency for venom and albumin to concentrate in the stomach ( 3 rd h),small intestine (3 rd h) and large intestine (6th h). Both control groups had more radioactivity in the digestive tract, especially in the stomach, but these levels decreased essentially to baseline by 12-18 h postinjection. In the kidneys, the distribution profiles of venom, albumin and iodine were similar. Counts at 30 min postinjection were low in all three groups (1.37, 1.86 and 0.77, respectively), and diminished to essentially 0% by 12-18 h. Albumin tended to concentrate in muscle until the 3 rd h postinjection (1.98%).There was a low binding of labeled venom in the liver (B. erythromelas venom does not specifically target most internal organs. That is, the systemic effects of envenomation ar mainly due to an indirect action. (author)

  4. Deaths From Bites and Stings of Venomous Animals

    OpenAIRE

    Ennik, Franklin

    1980-01-01

    Data abstracted from 34 death certificates indicate that the three venomous animal groups most often responsible for human deaths in California from 1960 through 1976 were Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants and the like) (56 percent), snakes (35 percent) and spiders (6 percent). An average incidence of 2.0 deaths per year occurred during these 17 years, or an average death rate of 0.01 per 100,000 population per year. Nearly three times more males than females died of venomous animal bites and st...

  5. Biodistribution studies of bee venom and spider toxin using radiotracers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. M. Yonamine

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available The use of radiotracers allows the understanding of the bioavailability process, biodistribution, and kinetics of any molecule labelled with an isotope, which does not alter the molecule's biological properties. In this work, technetium-99m and iodine-125 were chosen as radiotracers for biodistribution studies in mice using bee (Apis mellifera venom and a toxin (PnTX2-6 from the Brazilian "armed" spider (Phoneutria nigriventer venom. Incorporated radioactivity was measured in the blood, brain, heart, lung, liver, kidney, adrenal gland, spleen, stomach, testicle, intestine, muscle, and thyroid gland. Results provided the blood kinetic parameter, and different organs distribution rates.

  6. Animal venoms/toxins and the complement system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tambourgi, Denise V; van den Berg, Carmen W

    2014-10-01

    Nature is a wealthy source of agents that have been shown to be beneficial to human health, but nature is also a rich source of potential dangerous health damaging compounds. This review will summarise and discuss the agents from the animal kingdom that have been shown to interact with the human complement (C) system. Most of these agents are toxins found in animal venoms and animal secretions. In addition to the mechanism of action of these toxins, their contribution to the field of complement, their role in human pathology and the potential benefit to the venomous animal itself will be discussed. Potential therapeutic applications will also be discussed.

  7. Inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park in 2002-04. Objectives for this inventory were to: 1) Inventory and document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at DEVA, primarily within priority sampling areas, with the goal of documenting at least 90% of the species present; 2) document (through collection or museum specimen and literature review) one voucher specimen for each species identified; 3) provide a GIS-referenced list of sensitive species that are federally or state listed, rare, or worthy of special consideration that occur within priority sampling locations; 4) describe park-wide distribution of federally- or state-listed, rare, or special concern species; 5) enter all species data into the National Park Service NPSpecies database; and 6) provide all deliverables as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys, road driving, and pitfall trapping. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 37 species during our surveys, including two species new to the park. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we recorded three additional species from DEVA, elevating the documented species list to 40 (four amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 92% for Death Valley and an inventory completeness of 73% for amphibians and 95% for reptiles. Key Words: Amphibians, reptiles, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, San Bernardino County, Esmeralda County, Nye County, California, Nevada, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, inventory, NPSpecies.

  8. Projected climate impacts for the amphibians of the western hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawler, Joshua J.; Shafer, Sarah L.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Blaustein, Andrew R.

    2010-01-01

    Given their physiological requirements, limited dispersal abilities, and hydrologically sensitive habitats, amphibians are likely to be highly sensitive to future climatic changes. We used three approaches to map areas in the western hemisphere where amphibians are particularly likely to be affected by climate change. First, we used bioclimatic models to project potential climate-driven shifts in the distribution of 413 amphibian species based on 20 climate simulations for 2071–2100. We summarized these projections to produce estimates of species turnover. Second, we mapped the distribution of 1099 species with restricted geographic ranges. Finally, using the 20 future climate-change simulations, we mapped areas that were consistently projected to receive less seasonal precipitation in the coming century and thus were likely to have altered microclimates and local hydrologies. Species turnover was projected to be highest in the Andes Mountains and parts of Central America and Mexico, where, on average, turnover rates exceeded 60% under the lower of two emissions scenarios. Many of the restricted-range species not included in our range-shift analyses were concentrated in parts of the Andes and Central America and in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Much of Central America, southwestern North America, and parts of South America were consistently projected to experience decreased precipitation by the end of the century. Combining the results of the three analyses highlighted several areas in which amphibians are likely to be significantly affected by climate change for multiple reasons. Portions of southern Central America were simultaneously projected to experience high species turnover, have many additional restricted-range species, and were consistently projected to receive less precipitation. Together, our three analyses form one potential assessment of the geographic vulnerability of amphibians to climate change and as such provide broad-scale guidance for directing

  9. Bioaccumulation and maternal transfer of mercury and selenium in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergeron, Christine M; Bodinof, Catherine M; Unrine, Jason M; Hopkins, William A

    2010-04-01

    Amphibian population declines have been documented worldwide and environmental contaminants are believed to contribute to some declines. Maternal transfer of bioaccumulated contaminants to offspring may be an important and overlooked mechanism of impaired reproductive success that affects amphibian populations. Mercury (Hg) is of particular concern due to its ubiquity in the environment, known toxicity to other wildlife, and complex relationships with other elements, such as selenium (Se). The objectives of the present study were to describe the relationships between total Hg (THg), methlymercury (MMHg), and Se in three amphibian species (Plethodon cinereus, Eurycea bislineata cirrigera, and Bufo americanus) along a Hg-polluted river and floodplain, and to determine if B. americanus maternally transfers Hg and Se to its eggs in a tissue residue-dependent manner. Total Hg and MMHg concentrations in all species spanned two orders of magnitude between the reference and contaminated areas, while Se concentrations were generally low in all species at both sites. Strong positive relationships between THg and MMHg in tissues of all species were observed throughout. Both Hg and Se were maternally transferred from females to eggs in B. americanus, but the percentage of the females' Hg body burden transferred to eggs was low compared with Se. In addition, Hg concentrations appeared to positively influence the amount of Se transferred from female to eggs. The present study is the first to confirm a correlation between Hg concentrations in female carcass and eggs in amphibians and among the first to describe co-transference of Se and Hg in an anamniotic vertebrate. The results suggest future work is needed to determine whether maternal transfer of Hg has transgenerational implications for amphibian progeny.

  10. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The smartphones mobility and its pervasiveness are beginning to transform practices in biodiversity conservation. The integrated functionalities of a smartphone have created for the public and biodiversity specialists means to identify, gather and record biodiversity data while simultaneously creating knowledge portability in the digital forms of mobile guides. Smartphones enable beginners to recreate the delight of species identification usually reserved for specialist with years of experience. Currently, the advent of Android platform has enabled stakeholders in biodiversity to harness the ubiquity of this platform and create various types of mobile application or ''apps'' for use in biodiversity research and conservation. However, there is an apparent lack of application devoted to the identification in herpetofauna or amphibian science. Amphibians are a large class of animals with many different species still unidentified under this category. Here we describe the development of an app called Amphibian Recognition Android Application (ARAA) to identify frog amphibian species as well as an accompanying field guide. The app has the amphibian taxonomic key which assists the users in easy and rapid species identification, thus facilitating the process of identification and recording of species occurrences in conservation work. We will also present an overview of the application work flow and how it is designed to meet the needs a conservationist. As this application is still in its beta phase, further research is required to improve the application to include tools such automatic geolocation and geotagging, participative sensing via crowdsourcing and automated identification via image capture. We believe that the introduction of this app will create an impetus to the awareness of nature via species identification

  11. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parveen, B.; H, Chew T.; Shamsir, M. S.; Ahmad, N.

    2014-02-01

    The smartphones mobility and its pervasiveness are beginning to transform practices in biodiversity conservation. The integrated functionalities of a smartphone have created for the public and biodiversity specialists means to identify, gather and record biodiversity data while simultaneously creating knowledge portability in the digital forms of mobile guides. Smartphones enable beginners to recreate the delight of species identification usually reserved for specialist with years of experience. Currently, the advent of Android platform has enabled stakeholders in biodiversity to harness the ubiquity of this platform and create various types of mobile application or "apps" for use in biodiversity research and conservation. However, there is an apparent lack of application devoted to the identification in herpetofauna or amphibian science. Amphibians are a large class of animals with many different species still unidentified under this category. Here we describe the development of an app called Amphibian Recognition Android Application (ARAA) to identify frog amphibian species as well as an accompanying field guide. The app has the amphibian taxonomic key which assists the users in easy and rapid species identification, thus facilitating the process of identification and recording of species occurrences in conservation work. We will also present an overview of the application work flow and how it is designed to meet the needs a conservationist. As this application is still in its beta phase, further research is required to improve the application to include tools such automatic geolocation and geotagging, participative sensing via crowdsourcing and automated identification via image capture. We believe that the introduction of this app will create an impetus to the awareness of nature via species identification.

  12. Inhibition of toxic activities of Bothrops asper venom and other crotalid snake venoms by a novel neutralizing mixture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borkow, G; Gutierrez, J M; Ovadia, M

    1997-12-01

    The majority of snake bites in Central America are caused by Bothrops asper, whose venom induce complex local effects such as myonecrosis, edema and especially hemorrhage. These effects are only partially neutralized by the clinically used antivenom, even when administered rapidly after envenomation. Recently we screened 49 substances for antihemorrhagic activity and found that a mixture composed of CaNa2, EDTA, a B. asper serum fraction (natural antidote), and the currently used horse polyvalent antiserum is highly effective in the neutralization of local and systemic hemorrhage developing after B. asper envenomation (Borkow et al., Toxicon 35, 865-877, 1997). In the present study we screened the best six antihemorrhagic compounds for their capacity to neutralize the lethal activity in mice and the proteolytic, hemolytic, and antiattachment activities in vitro of the venom. The compounds tested included the currently used horse antivenom, rabbit antiserum against whole B. asper venom or against heated venom, B. asper and Natrix tessellata serum fractions, and CaNa2 EDTA. The constituents of the antihemorrhagic mixture were also the best inhibitors of the other examined toxic activities. Importantly, the mixture effectively neutralized toxic activities of an additional nine venoms from snakes abundant in Central America. This work suggests that the polyvalent antivenom used in Central America could be enriched with a B. asper serum fraction producing a more effective antivenom. In addition, the local application of CaNa2 EDTA to neutralize hemorrhagic toxins, immediately after a snake bite, may provide rapid inhibition of local damage caused by the venoms. PMID:9439739

  13. Some aspects of the venom proteome of the Colubridae snake Philodryas olfersii revealed from a Duvernoy's (venom) gland transcriptome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ching, Ana T C; Rocha, Marisa M T; Paes Leme, Adriana F; Pimenta, Daniel C; de Fátima D Furtado, Maria; Serrano, Solange M T; Ho, Paulo L; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M

    2006-08-01

    We investigated the putative toxins of Philodryas olfersii (Colubridae), a representative of a family of snakes neglected in venom studies despite their growing medical importance. Transcriptomic data of the venom gland complemented by proteomic analysis of the gland secretion revealed the presence of major toxin classes from the Viperidae family, including serine proteases, metalloproteases, C-type lectins, Crisps, and a C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP). Interestingly, the phylogenetic analysis of the CNP precursor showed it as a linker between two related precursors found in Viperidae and Elapidae snakes. We suggest that these precursors constitute a monophyletic group derived from the vertebrate CNPs. PMID:16857193

  14. Survival of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on bare hands and gloves: hygiene implications for amphibian handling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Diana; Webb, Rebecca; Berger, Lee; Speare, Rick

    2008-11-20

    Hygiene protocols for handling amphibians in the field and in laboratories have been proposed to decrease the transmission of chytridiomycosis caused by infection with the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which is responsible for global amphibian declines. However, these protocols are mainly based on theoretical principles. The aim of this study was to develop an evidence-based approach to amphibian handling hygiene protocols by testing the survival of B. dendrobatidis on human hands and various gloves. Bare or gloved human fingers were exposed to cultured zoospores and zoosporangia of B. dendrobatidis. Survival of B. dendrobatidis on hands and gloves was tested for up to 10 min post-exposure by inoculation onto tryptone/gelatin hydrolysate/lactose (TGhL) agar plates. The effects of repeated hand washings with water and with 70% ethanol and of washing gloves with water were also tested. Bare human skin demonstrated a fungicidal effect on B. dendrobatidis by 2 min and killed 100% of cells by 6 min, but this killing effect was reduced by repeated washing with water and ethanol. Nitrile gloves killed all B. dendrobatidis on contact, but washing in water decreased this effect. Latex and polyethylene gloves had no killing effect, and B. dendrobatidis survived for over 6 min. The killing effect of vinyl gloves varied with brands and batches. These results support the use of an unused pair of gloves for each new amphibian handled in either the field or the laboratory, and if this is not possible, bare hands are a preferable, although imperfect, alternative to continual use of the same pair of gloves.

  15. An Isoflavone from Dipteryx alata Vogel is Active against the in Vitro Neuromuscular Paralysis of Bothrops jararacussu Snake Venom and Bothropstoxin I, and Prevents Venom-Induced Myonecrosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriéle C. Ferraz

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Snakebite is a neglected disease and serious health problem in Brazil, with most bites being caused by snakes of the genus Bothrops. Although serum therapy is the primary treatment for systemic envenomation, it is generally ineffective in neutralizing the local effects of these venoms. In this work, we examined the ability of 7,8,3'-trihydroxy-4'-methoxyisoflavone (TM, an isoflavone from Dipteryx alata, to neutralize the neurotoxicity (in mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations and myotoxicity (assessed by light microscopy of Bothrops jararacussu snake venom in vitro. The toxicity of TM was assessed using the Salmonella microsome assay (Ames test. Incubation with TM alone (200 μg/mL did not alter the muscle twitch tension whereas incubation with venom (40 μg/mL caused irreversible paralysis. Preincubation of TM (200 μg/mL with venom attenuated the venom-induced neuromuscular blockade by 84% ± 5% (mean ± SEM; n = 4. The neuromuscular blockade caused by bothropstoxin-I (BthTX-I, the major myotoxic PLA2 of this venom, was also attenuated by TM. Histological analysis of diaphragm muscle incubated with TM showed that most fibers were preserved (only 9.2% ± 1.7% were damaged; n = 4 compared to venom alone (50.3% ± 5.4% of fibers damaged; n = 3, and preincubation of TM with venom significantly attenuated the venom-induced damage (only 17% ± 3.4% of fibers damaged; n = 3; p < 0.05 compared to venom alone. TM showed no mutagenicity in the Ames test using Salmonella strains TA98 and TA97a with (+S9 and without (−S9 metabolic activation. These findings indicate that TM is a potentially useful compound for antagonizing the neuromuscular effects (neurotoxicity and myotoxicity of B. jararacussu venom.

  16. Venom lethality and diet: differential responses of natural prey and model organisms to the venom of the saw-scaled vipers (Echis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, D P; Barlow, A; Wüster, W

    2012-01-01

    The composition of snake venoms shows a high degree of variation at all taxonomic levels, and natural selection for diet has been implicated as a potential cause. Saw-scaled vipers (Echis) provide a good model for studying this phenomenon. The venoms of arthropod feeding species of Echis are significantly more toxic to natural scorpion prey than those of species which feed predominantly upon vertebrate prey. Although testing venom activity on natural prey is important for our understanding of the evolution of venom, natural prey species are often difficult to obtain in sufficient numbers for toxinological work. In order to test the viability of using cheaper and more easily available model organisms for toxicity assessments in evolutionary research, and the extent to which toxicity of arthropod-eating Echis venoms is increased to arthropods in general or targeted to certain groups, we conducted median lethal dosage (LD(50)) and time to death trials using the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) as a model arthropod, rarely consumed by wild Echis. The venoms of arthropod specialist Echis were found to be significantly more toxic to locusts than the venom of a vertebrate feeding outgroup (Bitis arietans), and one arthropod specialist venom was found to be more toxic than those species which feed upon arthropods infrequently or not at all. The venoms of arthropod specialists were also found to cause death and incapacitation faster than the vertebrate feeding outgroup. Despite some similarity of trends, there are considerable differences between the response of natural prey (scorpions) and a model arthropod (locust) to the venoms of Echis species. This suggests that when possible, natural prey rather than convenient model organisms should be used to gain an understanding of the functional significance of variation in venom composition in snakes. PMID:22079297

  17. Inhibition of hemorrhagic and edematogenic activities of snake venoms by a broad-spectrum protease inhibitor, murinoglobulin; the effect on venoms from five different genera in Viperidae family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro Filho, Wilker; Sugiki, Masahiko; Yoshida, Etsuo; Maruyama, Masugi

    2003-08-01

    In order to obtain basic data on the effect of broad-spectrum protease inhibitor against local symptoms of Viperidae snake envenomation, inhibitory capacity of rat murinoglobulin on local hemorrhagic and edematogenic activities of venoms from Crotalus atrox, Bothrops jararaca, Lachesis muta muta, Trimeresurus flavoviridis and Echis carinatus sochureki were examined. Murinoglobulin, pre-incubated with the crude venoms at 37 degrees C for 15 min, inhibited hemorrhagic activity of all five venoms to various extents. The activity of C. atrox was almost completely inhibited at the murinoglobulin/venom ratio (w/w) of 20. The activity of B. jararaca, Lachesis muta muta and T. flavoviridis venoms was considerably inhibited at the ratio of 20 (77.2, 80.0 and 86.2% inhibition, respectively), however some of the activity still remained even at the ratio of 40 (84.2, 79.8 and 86.2% inhibition, respectively). Among the five venoms, E. c. sochureki venom is quite resistant to murinoglobulin treatment and statistically significant inhibition was only found at the ratio of 40 (64.1% inhibition). Fibrinolytic and gelatinase activities were more susceptible to murinoglobulin inhibition. The treatment at the ratios of 10 and 20 almost completely inhibited respectively the fibrinolytic and the gelatinase activities of all the venoms. Murinoglobulin treatment also significantly inhibited the edematogenic activity of L. muta muta, T. flavoviridis and Echis carinatus sochureki. The treatment of murinoglobulin at the ratio of 40 considerably suppressed the swelling up to 60 min after subcutaneous injection of L. muta muta and E. c. sochureki venoms, and up to 30 min after T. flavoviridis venom injection. Murinoglobulin is a potent inhibitor against local effects of multiple snake venoms in Viperidae family. PMID:12906888

  18. Biological and immunological properties of the venom of Bothrops alcatraz, an endemic species of pitviper from Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furtado, M F D

    2005-06-01

    Bothrops alcatraz is a new pitviper species derived from the Bothrops jararaca group, whose natural habitat is situated in Alcatrazes Archipelago, a group of marine islands near São Paulo State coast in Brazil. Herein, the biological and biochemical properties of venoms of four adult specimens of B. alcatraz were examined comparatively to a reference pool of Bothrops jararaca venom. Both venoms showed similar activities and electrophoretic patterns, but B. alcatraz venom showed three protein bands of molecular masses of 97, 80 and 38 kDa that were not present in B. jararaca reference venom. The i.p. median lethal dose of B. alcatraz venom ranged from 5.1 to 6.6 mg/kg, while it was 1.5 mg/kg for B. jararaca venom. The minimum hemorrhagic dose of B. jararaca venom was 0.63, whereas 2.28 mug/mouse for B. alcatraz venom. In contrast, B. alcatraz venom was more potent in regard to procoagulant and proteolytic activities. These differences were supported by western blotting and neutralization tests, employing commercial bothropic antivenom, which showed that hemorrhagic and lethal activities of B. alcatraz venom were less effectively inhibited than B. jararaca venom. Such results evidence that B. alcatraz shows quantitative and qualitative differences in venom composition in comparison with its B. jararaca relatives, which might represent an optimization of venom towards a specialized diet. PMID:16002343

  19. Determining with SEM, structure of the venom apparatus in the tube web spider, Segestria florentina (Araneae: Segestriidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suna Cebesoy

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present study was to describe functional morphological features of venom apparatus in the tube web spider, Segestria florentina (Rossi, 1790 (Araneae: Segestriidae by using scanning electron microscope (SEM. The venom apparatus is situated in the anterior part of the prosoma, and is composed of a pair of venom glands and chelicerae. The chelicera of S. florentina has two parts: basal segment and a movable articulated apical segment (fang. The cheliceral fang rests in a groove on the basal segment of chelicerae. A venom hole is located on the subterminal part of each fang. A pair of venom glands is completely separate but similar to each other within the prosoma. Each venom gland is surrounded by striated muscle bundles, such as with the capsules. The venom, produced in the venom glands, is carried by venom ducts passing throughout the chelicerae. Each venom gland has its own venom duct, chelicera and fang. The venom is excreted from the venom pore on the subterminal part of the fang by means of muscular contractions covering the venom gland.

  20. Comparative Studies of the Venom of a New Taipan Species, Oxyuranus temporalis, with Other Members of Its Genus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel M. Barber

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Taipans are highly venomous Australo-Papuan elapids. A new species of taipan, the Western Desert Taipan (Oxyuranus temporalis, has been discovered with two specimens housed in captivity at the Adelaide Zoo. This study is the first investigation of O. temporalis venom and seeks to characterise and compare the neurotoxicity, lethality and biochemical properties of O. temporalis venom with other taipan venoms. Analysis of O. temporalis venom using size-exclusion and reverse-phase HPLC indicated a markedly simplified “profile” compared to other taipan venoms. SDS-PAGE and agarose gel electrophoresis analysis also indicated a relatively simple composition. Murine LD50 studies showed that O. temporalis venom is less lethal than O. microlepidotus venom. Venoms were tested in vitro, using the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. Based on t90 values, O. temporalis venom is highly neurotoxic abolishing indirect twitches far more rapidly than other taipan venoms. O. temporalis venom also abolished responses to exogenous acetylcholine and carbachol, indicating the presence of postsynaptic neurotoxins. Prior administration of CSL Taipan antivenom (CSL Limited neutralised the inhibitory effects of all taipan venoms. The results of this study suggest that the venom of the O. temporalis is highly neurotoxic in vitro and may contain procoagulant toxins, making this snake potentially dangerous to humans.

  1. Review and synthesis of the effects of climate change on amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiming; Cohen, Jeremy M; Rohr, Jason R

    2013-06-01

    Considerable progress has been made in understanding the responses of amphibians to climate change, with successful research carried out on climate change-associated shifts in amphibian phenology, elevational distributions and amphibian-parasite interactions. We review and synthesize the literature on this topic, emphasizing acutely lethal, sublethal, indirect and positive effects of climate change on amphibians, and major research gaps. For instance, evidence is lacking on poleward shifts in amphibian distributions and on changes in body sizes and morphologies of amphibians in response to climate change. We have limited information on amphibian thermal tolerances, thermal preferences, dehydration breaths, opportunity costs of water conserving behaviors and actual temperature and moisture ranges amphibians experience. Even when much of this information is available, there remains little evidence that climate change is acutely lethal to amphibians. This suggests that if climate change is contributing to declines, it might be through effects that are not acutely lethal, indirect, or both, but evidence in support of this suggestion is necessary. In fact, evidence that climate change is directly contributing to amphibian declines is weak, partly because researchers have not often ruled out alternative hypotheses, such as chytrid fungus or climate-fungus interactions. Consequently, we recommend that amphibian-climate research shift from primarily inductive, correlational approach as to studies that evaluate alternative hypotheses for declines. This additional rigor will require interdisciplinary collaborations, estimates of costs and benefits of climate change to amphibian fitness and populations, and the integration of correlative field studies, experiments on 'model' amphibian species, and mathematical and functional, physiological models.

  2. Coral snake venoms: mode of action and pathophysiology of experimental envenomation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswald Vital Brazil

    1987-06-01

    Full Text Available Coral snakes, the New World Elapidae, are included in the genera Micniroides and Micrurus. The genus Mlcrurus comprises nearly all coral snake species and those which are responsible for human snake-bite accidents. The following generalizations concerning the effects induced by their venoms, and their venom-properties can be made. Coral snake venoms are neurotoxic, producing loss of muscle strenght and death by respiratory paralysis. Local edema and necrosis are not induced nor blood coagulation or hemorrhages. Proteolysis activity is absent or of very low grade. They display phospholipase A2 activity. Nephrotoxic effects are not evoked. The main toxins from elapid venoms are postsynaptic and presynaptic neurotoxins and cardiotoxins. Phospholipases A2 endowed with myonecrotic or cardiotoxin-like properties are important toxic components from some elapid venoms. The mode of action of Micrurus frontalis, M. lemniscatus, M. corallinus and M. fulvius venoms has been investigated in isolated muscle preparations and is here discussed. It is shown that while M. frontalis and M. lemniscatus venoms must contain only neurotoxins that act at the cholinergic end-plate receptor (postsynaptic neurotoxins, M. corallinus venom also inhibits evoked acetylcholine release by the motor nerve endings (presynaptic neurotoxin-like effect and M. fulvius induces muscle fiber membrane depolarization (cardiotoxin-like effect. The effects produced by M. corallinus and M. fulvius venoms in vivo in dogs and M. frontalis venom in dogs and monkeys are also reported.

  3. Effect of gamma irradiation on toxicity and immunogenicity of Androctonus australis hector venom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abib, L. [Univ. des Sciences et de la Technologie, Lab. de Biologie Cellulaire et Moleculaire, Faculte des Sciences Biologiques, Houari Boumedienne, Bab Ezzouar (Algeria); Laraba-Djebari, F. [Univ. des Sciences et de la Technologie, Lab. de Biologie Cellulaire et Moleculaire, Faculte des Sciences Biologiques, Houari Boumedienne, Bab Ezzouar, Alger (Algeria); Institut Pasteur d' Algerie, Lab. de Recherche et de Developpement sur les Venins, Alger (Algeria); E-mail: flaraba@ibnsina.ands.dz

    2003-12-01

    An investigation was made of the radiosensitivity of the toxic and immunological properties of Androctonus australis hector venom. This venom was irradiated with two doses of gamma rays (1 and 2 kGy) from a {sup 60}Co source. The results showed that venom toxicity was abolished for the two radiation doses (1 and 2 kGy) with, respectively, 10 and 25 times its initial LD50 value. However, irradiated venoms were immunogenic, and the antibodies elicited by them were able to recognize the native venom by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antisera raised against these toxoids (1 and 2 kGy) had a higher neutralizing capacity and immunoreactivity against all components of native venom than did the antiserum produced against the native venom. The antiserum of rabbits immunized with 2-kGy-irradiated venom was more efficient than 1-kGy-irradiated toxoid antiserum. Indeed, in vivo protection assays showed that the mice immunized with 2-kGy-irradiated venom resisted lethal doses (i.p.) of A. australis hector venom. (author)

  4. Adaptive evolution of the venom-targeted vWF protein in opossums that eat pitvipers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharon A Jansa

    Full Text Available The rapid evolution of venom toxin genes is often explained as the result of a biochemical arms race between venomous animals and their prey. However, it is not clear that an arms race analogy is appropriate in this context because there is no published evidence for rapid evolution in genes that might confer toxin resistance among routinely envenomed species. Here we report such evidence from an unusual predator-prey relationship between opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae and pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae. In particular, we found high ratios of replacement to silent substitutions in the gene encoding von Willebrand Factor (vWF, a venom-targeted hemostatic blood protein, in a clade of opossums known to eat pitvipers and to be resistant to their hemorrhagic venom. Observed amino-acid substitutions in venom-resistant opossums include changes in net charge and hydrophobicity that are hypothesized to weaken the bond between vWF and one of its toxic snake-venom ligands, the C-type lectin-like protein botrocetin. Our results provide the first example of rapid adaptive evolution in any venom-targeted molecule, and they support the notion that an evolutionary arms race might be driving the rapid evolution of snake venoms. However, in the arms race implied by our results, venomous snakes are prey, and their venom has a correspondingly defensive function in addition to its usual trophic role.

  5. Recruitment and diversification of an ecdysozoan family of neuropeptide hormones for black widow spider venom expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCowan, Caryn; Garb, Jessica E

    2014-02-25

    Venoms have attracted enormous attention because of their potent physiological effects and dynamic evolution, including the convergent recruitment of homologous genes for venom expression. Here we provide novel evidence for the recruitment of genes from the Crustacean Hyperglycemic Hormone (CHH) and arthropod Ion Transport Peptide (ITP) superfamily for venom expression in black widow spiders. We characterized latrodectin peptides from venom gland cDNAs from the Western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus), the brown widow (Latrodectus geometricus) and cupboard spider (Steatoda grossa). Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences with homologs from other spider, scorpion and wasp venom cDNAs, as well as CHH/ITP neuropeptides, show latrodectins as derived members of the CHH/ITP superfamily. These analyses suggest that CHH/ITP homologs are more widespread in spider venoms, and were recruited for venom expression in two additional arthropod lineages. We also found that the latrodectin 2 gene and nearly all CHH/ITP genes include a phase 2 intron in the same position, supporting latrodectin's placement within the CHH/ITP superfamily. Evolutionary analyses of latrodectins suggest episodes of positive selection along some sequence lineages, and positive and purifying selection on specific codons, supporting its functional importance in widow venom. We consider how this improved understanding of latrodectin evolution informs functional hypotheses regarding its role in black widow venom as well as its potential convergent recruitment for venom expression across arthropods.

  6. ADP is a vasodilator component from Lasiodora sp. mygalomorph spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horta, C C; Rezende, B A; Oliveira-Mendes, B B R; Carmo, A O; Capettini, L S A; Silva, J F; Gomes, M T; Chávez-Olórtegui, C; Bravo, C E S; Lemos, V S; Kalapothakis, E

    2013-09-01

    Members of the spider genus Lasiodora are widely distributed in Brazil, where they are commonly known as caranguejeiras. Lasiodora spider venom is slightly harmful to humans. The bite of this spider causes local pain, edema and erythema. However, Lasiodora sp. spider venom may be a source of important pharmacological tools. Our research group has described previously that Lasiodora sp. venom produces bradycardia in the isolated rat heart. In the present work, we sought to evaluate the vascular effect of Lasiodora sp. venom and to isolate the vasoactive compounds from the venom. The results showed that Lasiodora spider venom induced a concentration-dependent vasodilation in rat aortic rings, which was dependent on the presence of a functional endothelium and abolished by the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitor L-NAME. Western blot experiments revealed that the venom also increased endothelial NOS function by increasing phosphorylation of the Ser¹¹⁷⁷ residue. Assay-directed fractionation isolated a vasoactive fraction from Lasiodora sp. venom. Mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) assays identified a mixture of two compounds: adenosine diphosphate (ADP, approximately 90%) and adenosine monophosphate (AMP, approximately 10%). The vasodilator effects of Lasiodora sp. whole venom, as well as ADP, were significantly inhibited by suramin, which is a purinergic P2-receptor antagonist. Therefore, the results of the present work indicate that ADP is a main vasodilator component of Lasiodora sp. spider venom.

  7. Brown spider (Loxosceles intermedia) venom triggers endothelial cells death by anoikis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowatzki, Jenifer; Sene, Reginaldo Vieira; Paludo, Katia Sabrina; Rizzo, Luiz Eduardo; Souza-Fonseca-Guimarães, Fernando; Veiga, Silvio Sanches; Nader, Helena Bonciani; Franco, Célia Regina C; Trindade, Edvaldo S

    2012-09-01

    Brown spider (Loxosceles sp.) venom affects the endothelium of vessels and triggers disruptive activity in the subendothelial matrix. The vascular disorders observed after venom exposure include leukocyte and platelet activation, disseminated intravascular coagulation, an increase in vessel permeability and hemorrhage into the dermis. In this study, we report additional evidence regarding the mechanism of endothelial cell cytotoxicity induced by Loxosceles intermedia venom. Exposure to venom led to endothelial cell detachment in a time-dependent manner. Loss of cell anchorage and cell-cell adhesion following venom exposure was accompanied by changes in the distribution of the α₅β₁ integrin and VE-cadherin. An ultrastructural analysis of cells treated with venom revealed morphological alterations characteristic of apoptosis. Moreover, after venom exposure, the ratio between Bax and Bcl-2 proteins was disturbed in favor of Bax. In addition, late apoptosis was only observed in cells detached by the action of venom. Accordingly, there was no increase in apoptosis when cells were exposed to L. intermedia venom in suspension, suggesting that the loss of cell anchorage provides the signal to initiate apoptosis. Thus, L. intermedia venom likely triggers endothelial cell death indirectly through an apoptotic mechanism known as anoikis.

  8. Neuromuscular action of venom from the South American colubrid snake Philodryas patagoniensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carreiro da Costa, Roberta S; Prudêncio, Luiz; Ferrari, Erika Fonseca; Souza, Gustavo H M F; de Mello, Sueli Moreira; Prianti Júnior, Antonio Carlos Guimarães; Ribeiro, Wellington; Zamunér, Stella Regina; Hyslop, Stephen; Cogo, José Carlos

    2008-07-01

    Snakes of the opisthoglyphous genus Philodryas are widespread in South America and cause most bites by colubrids in this region. In this study, we examined the neurotoxic and myotoxic effects of venom from Philodryas patagoniensis in biventer cervicis and phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations and we compared the biochemical activities of venoms from P. patagoniensis and Philodryas olfersii. Philodryas patagoniensis venom (40 microg/mL) had no effect on mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparations but caused time-dependent neuromuscular blockade of chick biventer cervicis preparations. This blockade was not reversed by washing. The highest concentration of venom tested (40 microg/mL) significantly reduced (pPhilodryas venoms had low esterase and phospholipase A(2) but high proteolytic activities compared to the pitviper Bothrops jararaca. SDS-PAGE showed that the Philodryas venoms had similar electrophoretic profiles, with most proteins having a molecular mass of 25-80 kDa. Both of the Philodryas venoms cross-reacted with bothropic antivenom in ELISA, indicating the presence of proteins immunologically related to Bothrops venoms. RP-HPLC of P. patagoniensis venom yielded four major peaks, each of which contained several proteins, as shown by SDS-PAGE. These results indicate that P. patagoniensis venom has neurotoxic and myotoxic components that may contribute to the effects of envenoming by this species. PMID:18455482

  9. Venom variation in hemostasis of the southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri): isolation of hellerase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, Ana Maria; Guerrero, Belsy; Cantu, Bruno; Cantu, Esteban; Rodríguez-Acosta, Alexis; Pérez, John C; Galán, Jacob A; Tao, Andy; Sánchez, Elda E

    2009-04-01

    Envenomations by the southern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri) are the most common snakebite accidents in southern California. Intraspecies venom variation may lead to unresponsiveness to antivenom therapy. Even in a known species, venom toxins are recognized as diverse in conformity with interpopulational, seasonal, ontogenetic and individual factors. Five venoms of individual C. oreganus helleri located in Riverside and San Bernardino counties of southern California were studied for their variation in their hemostatic activity. The results demonstrated that Riverside 2 and San Bernardino 1 venoms presented the highest lethal activity without hemorrhagic activity. In contrast, San Bernardino 2 and 3 venoms had the highest hemorrhagic and fibrinolytic activities with low lethal and coagulant activities. Riverside 1, Riverside 2 and San Bernardino 1 venoms presented a significant thrombin-like activity. San Bernardino 2 and 3 venoms presented an insignificant thrombin-like activity. In relation to the fibrinolytic activity, San Bernardino 3 venom was the most active on fibrin plates, which was in turn neutralized by metal chelating inhibitors. These results demonstrate the differences amongst C. oreganus helleri venoms from close localities. A metalloproteinase, hellerase, was purified by anionic and cationic exchange chromatographies from San Bernardino 3 venom. Hellerase exhibited the ability to break fibrin clots in vitro, which can be of biomedically importance in the treatment of heart attacks and strokes.

  10. [Toxicity of venoms from snakes of medical importance in México].

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Roodt, Adolfo R; Estévez-Ramírez, Judith; Paniagua-Solís, Jorge F; Litwin, Silvana; Carvajal-Saucedo, Alejandro; Dolab, Jorge A; Robles-Ortiz, Luis E; Alagón, Alejandro

    2005-01-01

    The characterization of the toxic activities of snake venoms is necessary to understand the physiopathology of the envenomation and to test the potency of the antivenoms used to treat this pathology. Because of the lack of data on the toxic activities of venoms from Mexican snakes of medical importance, we studied the venoms from Bothrops asper, Athropoides nummifrr, Agkistrodon billineatus, Crotalus durissus durissus, Crotalus basiliscus, Crotalus scutulatus, Crotalus atrox and Micrurus nigrocinctus. The studies performed were: SDS-PAOE, determination of lethal potency, hemorrhagic, necrotizing, coagulation on plasma and fibrinogen, phospholipasic and fibri(noge)nolytic activities. In addition we studied the neutralizing capacity of the toxic activities of an antivenom currently used for the treatment of snakebites in Mexico. The venom from viperids showed important hemorrhagic, necrotizing, coagulative on plasma, prothrombinic, fibrinogenolytic and phospholipase activities. The venoms with the highest lethal potency were those of Micrurus nigrocinctus and Crotalus scutulatus; however, the viperine venom that globally displayed the most potent toxic activities was from Bothrops asper. All the venoms showed toxic activities of similar range to those described for other American venomous snakes. The activity on plasma or fibrinogen varied widely among the different venoms but all displayed capacity to act on the coagulation system. The antivenom tested not only neutralized the lethality B. asper venom but also its other toxic activities. PMID:15754746

  11. Ontogenetic variability of Bothrops atrox and Bothrops asper snake venoms from Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saldarriaga, Mónica María; Otero, Rafael; Núñez, Vitelbina; Toro, Maria Fabiola; Díaz, Abel; Gutiérrez, José María

    2003-09-15

    The lancehead snakes Bothrops asper and Bothrops atrox inflict 70-90% of the 3000 bites reported every year in Colombia. In this work, the venoms of B. atrox from Meta (Villavicencio, 33 specimens) and B. asper from Antioquia (San Carlos, 45 specimens), all of them born in captivity, were obtained at different ages (0-6 months; 1, 2 and 3-years old) and compared in terms of their pharmacological and immunochemical characteristics. A conspicuous ontogenetic variability was observed in venom samples from both species. Venoms from newborn and juvenile specimens showed higher lethal, hemorrhagic, edema-forming and coagulant activities, whereas venoms from 3-year old specimens showed higher indirect hemolytic, i.e. phospholipase A2 activity, being more significant in the case of B. asper. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of whole venom for both species evidenced a predominance of high mol. mass bands in the venoms from specimens of <1 year of age, with a change towards bands having lower mol. mass as snakes aged. Gel filtration chromatography showed five peaks in the venoms of B. asper of <6 months and in those from 3-year old specimens. Venom of adult specimens showed a higher number of peaks with indirect hemolytic activity than venom of newborn specimens. Polyvalent antivenom produced in Costa Rica recognized all the bands of both venoms from specimens at all ages tested, when assayed by Western blotting. PMID:14505941

  12. Coagulant and anticoagulant activities of Bothrops lanceolatus (Fer de lance) venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lôbo de Araújo, A; Kamiguti, A; Bon, C

    2001-01-01

    Bothrops lanceolatus venom contains caseinolytic, phospholipase, esterase and haemorrhagic activities. We have investigated the coagulant and anticoagulant actions of B. lanceolatus venom on human citrated plasma and on purified plasma components. Although B. lanceolatus venom up to 50 microg/ml was unable to clot citrated plasma, at concentrations > or = 5 microg/ml the venom dose-dependently clotted purified human fibrinogen, indicating the presence of a thrombin-like enzyme. Human plasma (final concentration > or = 12.5%) dose-dependently inhibited the venom-induced fibrinogen clotting. This finding suggested that endogenous plasma protease inhibitors can affect the venom's action on fibrinogen. To investigate this possibility, B. lanceolatus venom was incubated with different plasma protease inhibitors and the activity on fibrinogen tested. alpha(2)-Macroglobulin and alpha(1)-antitrypsin did not interfere with the coagulant activity of the venom whereas the antithrombin-III/heparin complex partially inhibited this activity. A non-toxic, acidic phospholipase A(2) purified from B. lanceolatus venom prolonged the activated partial thromboplastin time in human plasma from 39.7+/-0.5 s (control with saline) to 60.2+/-0.9 s with 50 microg of PLA(2) (p<0.001), suggesting an anticoagulant activity associated with this enzyme. This anticoagulant activity may account for some of the effects of the venom on blood coagulation. PMID:10978756

  13. Fluorometric assay using naphthylamide substrates for assessing novel venom peptidase activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasparello-Clemente, Elaine; Silveira, Paulo Flávio

    2002-11-01

    In the present study we examined the feasibility of using the fluorometry of naphthylamine derivatives for revealing peptidase activities in venoms of the snakes Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops alternatus, Bothrops atrox, Bothrops moojeni, Bothrops insularis, Crotalus durissus terrificus and Bitis arietans, of the scorpions Tityus serrulatus and Tityus bahiensis, and of the spiders Phoneutria nigriventer and Loxosceles intermedia. Neutral aminopeptidase (APN) and prolyl-dipeptidyl aminopeptidase IV (DPP IV) activities were presented in all snake venoms, with the highest levels in B. alternatus. Although all examined peptidase activities showed relatively low levels in arthropod venoms, basic aminopeptidase (APB) activity from P. nigriventer venom was the exception. Compared to the other peptidase activities, relatively high levels of acid aminopeptidase (APA) activity were restricted to B. arietans venom. B. arietans also exhibited a prominent content of APB activity which was lower in other venoms. Relatively low prolyl endopeptidase and proline iminopeptidase activities were, respectively, detectable only in T. bahiensis and B. insularis. Pyroglutamate aminopeptidase activity was undetectable in all venoms. All examined peptidase activities were undetectable in T. serrulatus venom. In this study, the specificities of a diverse array of peptidase activities from representative venoms were demonstrated for the first time, with a description of their distribution which may contribute to guiding further investigations. The expressive difference between snake and arthropod venoms was indicated by APN and DPP IV activities while APA and APB activities distinguished the venom of B. arietans from those of Brazilian snakes. The data reflected the relatively uniform qualitative distribution of the peptidase activities investigated, together with their unequal quantitative distribution, indicating the evolutionary divergence in the processing of peptides in these different

  14. A pharmacological and biochemical examination of the geographical variation of Chironex fleckeri venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Kelly L; Isbister, Geoffrey K; McGowan, Sheena; Konstantakopoulos, Nicki; Seymour, Jamie E; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2010-02-15

    Chironex fleckeri (box jellyfish) are found in the northern tropical waters of Australia. Although C. fleckeri have a wide geographical distribution and are able to swim large distances, adults tend to stay in small restricted areas. Clinical data shows that deaths from envenoming have not been recorded in Western Australia, yet numerous fatalities have occurred in Northern Territory and Queensland waters. One explanation for this discrepancy is a geographical variation in venom composition. This study examined the pharmacological and biochemical profiles of C. fleckeri venom from different geographical locations and seasons. Venoms were screened for cytotoxicity using a rat aortic smooth muscle cell line (A7r5). While all venoms caused concentration-dependent cytotoxicity, differences were seen in the potency of venoms from Mission Beach and Weipa, when collected in different seasons, as indicated by IC(50) values. Similarly venoms collected within the same season, from different locations around Australia, displayed marked differences in venom composition as shown by size exclusion HPLC and SDS-PAGE profiles which indicated the absence or reduced quantity of 'peaks' in some venoms. Based on IC(50) data obtained from the cell assay, the effects of the most potent (i.e. from Weipa in 2006) and the least potent (i.e. from Broome in 2007) venoms were examined in anesthetised rats. Both venoms at 10 microg/kg (i.v.) caused a transient hypertensive phase followed by cardiovascular collapse. However, at 4 microg/kg (i.v.) venom from Weipa 2006 caused a transient hypertensive phase followed by a transient decrease in MAP while venom from Broome 2007 only caused a small transient increase in MAP. This study demonstrates that there is considerable geographical variation in the composition of C. fleckeri venoms which is most distinct between specimens from western and eastern Australia and may explain the geographical variation in reported deaths. PMID:19945518

  15. Detoxification of snake venom using ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    It is generally recognized that energy absorbed by ionizing radiation (gamma rays) can inactivate biological material in tow ways. A direct effects occurs when the primary event, i.e., ionization, is produced in the molecule itself. This is the case when a compound is irradiated in dry state. When a compound is irradiated in a solution, the indirect effect joins the direct. Since water is the most abundant constituent of biological material, it is important to consider the species produced by excitation and ionization of water itself, and the reaction of these species with the target molecules of biological importance. This indirect effect results from the reactions among the studied molecules and the products of radiation interaction with water or other solvents. Highly reactive compounds, the so-called free radicals, which are formed many reactions among themselves, with the dissolved gas, and with other molecules in the solution. With water, the excitation is less important than ionization which is followed within picosecond by the formation of free hydroxyl radicals and hydrated electrons. Alexander and Hamilton showed that irradiation of proteins has revealed damage to aminoacid side chains, production of new groups, splitting of peptide bonds and formation of intramolecular and intermolecular cross-links. With these results it would be possible to use ionizing radiation to change those proteins molecules in order to improve some of their properties according to the necessity. On the other hand, it is recognized that venoms in general are poorly immunogenic, yet fairly toxic. This cause problems because serotherapy is the treatment of choice in snakebite envenomations, and horse antivenom availability is dependent upon. (author)

  16. Detoxification of snake venom using ionizing radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rogero, J.R.; Nascimento, N. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Supervisao de Radiobiologia

    1995-07-01

    It is generally recognized that energy absorbed by ionizing radiation (gamma rays) can inactivate biological material in tow ways. A direct effects occurs when the primary event, i.e., ionization, is produced in the molecule itself. This is the case when a compound is irradiated in dry state. When a compound is irradiated in a solution, the indirect effect joins the direct. Since water is the most abundant constituent of biological material, it is important to consider the species produced by excitation and ionization of water itself, and the reaction of these species with the target molecules of biological importance. This indirect effect results from the reactions among the studied molecules and the products of radiation interaction with water or other solvents. Highly reactive compounds, the so-called free radicals, which are formed many reactions among themselves, with the dissolved gas, and with other molecules in the solution. With water, the excitation is less important than ionization which is followed within picosecond by the formation of free hydroxyl radicals and hydrated electrons. Alexander and Hamilton showed that irradiation of proteins has revealed damage to aminoacid side chains, production of new groups, splitting of peptide bonds and formation of intramolecular and intermolecular cross-links. With these results it would be possible to use ionizing radiation to change those proteins molecules in order to improve some of their properties according to the necessity. On the other hand, it is recognized that venoms in general are poorly immunogenic, yet fairly toxic. This cause problems because serotherapy is the treatment of choice in snakebite envenomations, and horse antivenom availability is dependent upon. (author)

  17. Toxins from Crotalus durissus terrificus venom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phospholipase A, crotapotin and crotamine were purified from the venom of crotalus durissus terrificus. Molecular weigths were respectively estimated in 13400, 8300 and 4880. By sephadex gel filtration, stable complex is formed by interaction (1:1 molar ratio) of Phospholipase A (LD=0,55mg/Kg, in mice) and crotapotin, obtaining an increase in the toxicity of Phospholipase A in 10 fold to LD50=0,05mg/Kg. These facts indicate crotoxin as a product of 1:1 molar ratio interaction of crotapotin and Phospholipase A. By sephadex gel filtration an unstable complex is formed by interaction of crotapotin and crotamine (LD50=0,8mg/Kg, in mice), increasing the toxicity of crotamine approximately 4 fold to LD50=0,2mg/Kg. In tritium-hydrogen exchange experiments, the back exchange kinetic of these tritium labelled proteins were measured in gel filtration columns of sephadex G 25 'coarse' showing for Phospholipase A two clearly distinguishable kinetic classes of exchangeable hydrogens. From the exchangeable hydrogens only 68% were rapidly exchanged and the occurrence of hydrogens envolved in alpha-helix was practically absent. Crotapotin has no hydrogens of alpha-helix and 83% of exchangeable hydrogens were rapidly exchanged with solvent. Crotamine, after a initial heating in tritiated water showed that 31% of exchangeable hydrogens were slowly exchanged with solvent. After 18 hours of heating, that number diminished for 11%. Crotoxin showed three exponential classes of exchangeable hydrogens and about 26 protons have alpha-helix characteristic exchange rate. A possible conformational change after Phospholipase A - crotapotin interaction is suggested. (Author)

  18. Natural Inhibitors of Snake Venom Metalloendopeptidases: History and Current Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, Viviane A.; Gomes-Neto, Francisco; Perales, Jonas; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C.; Valente, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    The research on natural snake venom metalloendopeptidase inhibitors (SVMPIs) began in the 18th century with the pioneering work of Fontana on the resistance that vipers exhibited to their own venom. During the past 40 years, SVMPIs have been isolated mainly from the sera of resistant animals, and characterized to different extents. They are acidic oligomeric glycoproteins that remain biologically active over a wide range of pH and temperature values. Based on primary structure determination, mammalian plasmatic SVMPIs are classified as members of the immunoglobulin (Ig) supergene protein family, while the one isolated from muscle belongs to the ficolin/opsonin P35 family. On the other hand, SVMPIs from snake plasma have been placed in the cystatin superfamily. These natural antitoxins constitute the first line of defense against snake venoms, inhibiting the catalytic activities of snake venom metalloendopeptidases through the establishment of high-affinity, non-covalent interactions. This review presents a historical account of the field of natural resistance, summarizing its main discoveries and current challenges, which are mostly related to the limitations that preclude three-dimensional structural determinations of these inhibitors using “gold-standard” methods; perspectives on how to circumvent such limitations are presented. Potential applications of these SVMPIs in medicine are also highlighted. PMID:27571103

  19. Sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for Taiwan cobra venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yu-Ping; Yu, Yi-Jung; Hung, Dong-Zong

    2002-08-01

    Poisonous snake bite victims usually have difficulty identifying the species, and clinical manifestations alone are not reliable because of overlapping symptoms. Thus, it is important to develop a quick and reliable mean of identifying the snake responsible. We describe the development of a sandwich-ELISA method for detection of venom in biological samples and apply it to a case of snakebite to confirm the clinical diagnosis. The sandwich-ELISA takes 6 h to complete. Cobra venom antigen gave positive absorbance at about 500 pg/ml. Good linearity with R2 values over 0.99 were observed in dilution series of 1:100 ng/mL of cobra venom in calf serum and human urine. A snakebite initially thought to be Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus was proven cobra with a serum venom level up to 288 ngmL 3 h after envenoming. Sandwich-ELISA provides a rapid and accurate method for clinical identification and evaluation of toxic antigens circulating in individuals bitten by the Taiwan cobra snake. PMID:12136964

  20. Factor V activation and inactivation by venom proteases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosing, J; Govers-Riemslag, J W; Yukelson, L; Tans, G

    2001-01-01

    Blood coagulation factor V is a single-chain glycoprotein with M(r) = 330,000 which plays an important role in the procoagulant and anticoagulant pathways. Thrombin activates factor V into factor Va, a two-chain molecule which is composed of a heavy (M(r) = 105,000) and a light chain (M(r) = 71,000/74,000). Factor Va accelerates factor Xa-catalysed prothrombin activation more than 1,000-fold and under physiological conditions the cofactor activity of factor Va in prothrombin activation is down-regulated by activated protein C. Factor V can also be activated by a wide variety of snake venoms (e.g. from Vipera species, Naja naja oxiana, Bothrops atrox) and by proteases present in the bristles of a South American caterpillar (Lonomia achelous). Some venoms, notably of Vipera lebetina turanica and Lonomia achelous, contain proteases that are able to inactivate factor V or factor Va. Venom factor V activators are excellent tools in studying the structure-function relationship of factor V(a) and they are also used in diagnostic tests for quantification of plasma factor V levels and for the screening of defects in the protein C pathway. In this review, the structural and functional properties of animal venom factor V activators and inactivators is described. PMID:11910191

  1. Bites and stings from venomous animals: a global overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, J

    2000-02-01

    Venomous and poisonous animals are a significant cause of global morbidity and mortality. This Seminar will cover selected aspects of these animals, their venoms/poisons, and their clinical impact on humankind, from a global perspective, but with a distinctive Australian flavor and a clinical emphasis. Venomous snakes are found throughout most of the world, including many oceans, and have evolved a variety of highly effective toxins and methods of delivery. Their impact on humans is considerable, most current data suggesting they cause in excess of 3 million bites per year with more than 150,000 deaths. Particularly in the rural tropics, snakebite morbidity and mortality has a significant human medical and economic toll. The major groups of snakes causing bites are the vipers, the elapids (cobra type), the sea snakes, the side-fanged vipers, and the back-fanged colubrids. Australian venomous snakes are nearly all elapids and have evolved some of the most toxic of all snake venoms. Their effects include potent procoagulants and anticoagulants, neurotoxins, myotoxins, and nephrotoxins, but a distinct absence of the major local necrotoxins found in some non-Australian elapids and many vipers. The effect of these toxins on humans is not limited to envenoming, for the toxins are proving invaluable as research tools and diagnostic agents, and may even have a future as precursors of therapeutic agents. Because of the high toxicity and diversity of Australian elapids, a variety of monovalent antivenoms have been developed. There is also a venom detection kit to determine the type of snake and allow targeted antivenom therapy. The kit has also increased information available on diagnostic patterns of envenoming for each species. Australia is also home to the world's most lethal spiders, the funnel webs of eastern Australia, as well as the red back spider, the single most common reason for antivenom treatment in Australia. The latter spiders have been accidently exported to

  2. An investigation of the coagulant activity of the venom of the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus) from Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamiguti, A S; Theakston, R D; Tomy, S C

    1988-10-01

    Unlike the venom of Echis carinatus from India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Iran and Oman, Saudi Arabian E. carinatus venom is a poor activator of prothrombin. However, it possesses similar defibrinogenating activity to the other venoms. This is because the venom from Saudi Arabian snakes contains a calcium-dependent factor X activator. It is suggested that in future studies of the coagulant activity of venoms, the determination of plasma coagulant activity should be carried out in the presence of added calcium ions. This applies particularly to those venoms which do not act on plasma or fibrinogen, but which do cause in vivo defibrinogenation. PMID:3257079

  3. Viper venom induced inflammation with Montivipera xanthina (Gray, 1849) and the anti-snake venom activities of Artemisia absinthium L. in rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nalbantsoy, Ayse; Erel, Sura Baykan; Köksal, Cinel; Göçmen, Bayram; Yıldız, Mehmet Zülfü; Karabay Yavaşoğlu, Nefise Ülkü

    2013-04-01

    The present study was conducted to explore the characterization of Montivipera xanthina crude venom partially by in vitro and in vivo and the anti-snake venom activities of Artemisia absinthium L. in comparison with carrageenan-induced acute inflammation model in rats. The LD50 value was estimated as 8.78 mg/kg within 24 h by different venom doses administrated intraperitoneally in mice. The IC50 value was 0.43 ± 0.18 μg/ml after 48 h treatment while the calculated value was 0.73 ± 0.10 μg/ml for the culture media totally refreshed after 2 h treatment with venom. Wistar rats were treated intraperitoneally with A. absinthium extract, 30 min before venom or carrageenan was injected subplantarly into the left hind paw. Intraperitoneal administration of 25 and 50 mg/kg extract was inhibited venom induced paw swelling at 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 h (p in vivo toxicity and inflammatory actions and in vitro cytotoxic actions of crude M. xanthina venom were performed as a first report and inhibition of venom-induced inflammation by methanolic extract of A. absinthium was described.

  4. Comparison of Treatment Effects and Allergic responses to stiff neck between Sweet Bee Venom and Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture (A pilot study, Double blind, Randomized Controlled Clinical Trail

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyoung-hee Lee

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Objective : The purpose of this study is to investigate the difference of treatment effects and allergic responses to stiff neck between Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture and Sweet Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture. Methods : Forty one patients who felt stiff neck were randomly divided into two groups, a Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture group(group Ⅰ and a Sweet Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture group(group Ⅱ. Evaluations of the treatment effects were made before and after a treatment using Visual Analog Scale(VAS, Neck Disability Index(NDI, Clinical Evaluation Grade(CEG. The comparison of allergic responses was measured with VAS. The obtained data were analyzed and compared with SPSS. Results : The group Ⅰ and group Ⅱ showed significant improvement(p<0.05 according to the VAS, NDI, CEG. And the differences between the two groups were insignificant according to VAS, NDI, CEG. But allergic responses such as localized edema, localized itching were significantly lower in group Ⅱ than group Ⅰ. Conclusions : It seems that there are no big different treatment effects between the two groups. Sweet Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture appears to be more effective measurement against allergic reactions than the Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture. Further studies are needed for the comparison of Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture and Sweet Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture.

  5. Combined venomics, venom gland transcriptomics, bioactivities, and antivenomics of two Bothrops jararaca populations from geographic isolated regions within the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves-Machado, Larissa; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Jorge, Roberta Jeane B; Leitão-De-Araújo, Moema; Alves, Maria Lúcia M; Alvares, Diego Janisch; De Miranda, Joari; Nowatzki, Jenifer; de Morais-Zani, Karen; Fernandes, Wilson; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico; Fernández, Julián; Zingali, Russolina B; Gutiérrez, José María; Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Calvete, Juan J

    2016-03-01

    Bothrops jararaca is a slender and semi-arboreal medically relevant pit viper species endemic to tropical and subtropical forests in southern Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina (Misiones). Within its geographic range, it is often abundant and is an important cause of snakebite. Although no subspecies are currently recognized, geographic analyses have revealed the existence of two well-supported B. jararaca clades that diverged during the Pliocene ~3.8Mya and currently display a southeastern (SE) and a southern (S) Atlantic rainforest (Mata Atlântica) distribution. The spectrum, geographic variability, and ontogenetic changes of the venom proteomes of snakes from these two B. jararaca phylogroups were investigated applying a combined venom gland transcriptomic and venomic analysis. Comparisons of the venom proteomes and transcriptomes of B. jararaca from the SE and S geographic regions revealed notable interpopulational variability that may be due to the different levels of population-specific transcriptional regulation, including, in the case of the southern population, a marked ontogenetic venom compositional change involving the upregulation of the myotoxic PLA2 homolog, bothropstoxin-I. This population-specific marker can be used to estimate the proportion of venom from the southern population present in the B. jararaca venom pool used for the Brazilian soro antibotrópico (SAB) antivenom production. On the other hand, the southeastern population-specific D49-PLA2 molecules, BinTX-I and BinTX-II, lend support to the notion that the mainland ancestor of Bothrops insularis was originated within the same population that gave rise to the current SE B. jararaca phylogroup, and that this insular species endemic to Queimada Grande Island (Brazil) expresses a pedomorphic venom phenotype. Mirroring their compositional divergence, the two geographic B. jararaca venom pools showed distinct bioactivity profiles. However, the SAB antivenom manufactured in Vital Brazil

  6. Combined venomics, venom gland transcriptomics, bioactivities, and antivenomics of two Bothrops jararaca populations from geographic isolated regions within the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves-Machado, Larissa; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Jorge, Roberta Jeane B; Leitão-De-Araújo, Moema; Alves, Maria Lúcia M; Alvares, Diego Janisch; De Miranda, Joari; Nowatzki, Jenifer; de Morais-Zani, Karen; Fernandes, Wilson; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita Mitico; Fernández, Julián; Zingali, Russolina B; Gutiérrez, José María; Corrêa-Netto, Carlos; Calvete, Juan J

    2016-03-01

    Bothrops jararaca is a slender and semi-arboreal medically relevant pit viper species endemic to tropical and subtropical forests in southern Brazil, Paraguay, and northern Argentina (Misiones). Within its geographic range, it is often abundant and is an important cause of snakebite. Although no subspecies are currently recognized, geographic analyses have revealed the existence of two well-supported B. jararaca clades that diverged during the Pliocene ~3.8Mya and currently display a southeastern (SE) and a southern (S) Atlantic rainforest (Mata Atlântica) distribution. The spectrum, geographic variability, and ontogenetic changes of the venom proteomes of snakes from these two B. jararaca phylogroups were investigated applying a combined venom gland transcriptomic and venomic analysis. Comparisons of the venom proteomes and transcriptomes of B. jararaca from the SE and S geographic regions revealed notable interpopulational variability that may be due to the different levels of population-specific transcriptional regulation, including, in the case of the southern population, a marked ontogenetic venom compositional change involving the upregulation of the myotoxic PLA2 homolog, bothropstoxin-I. This population-specific marker can be used to estimate the proportion of venom from the southern population present in the B. jararaca venom pool used for the Brazilian soro antibotrópico (SAB) antivenom production. On the other hand, the southeastern population-specific D49-PLA2 molecules, BinTX-I and BinTX-II, lend support to the notion that the mainland ancestor of Bothrops insularis was originated within the same population that gave rise to the current SE B. jararaca phylogroup, and that this insular species endemic to Queimada Grande Island (Brazil) expresses a pedomorphic venom phenotype. Mirroring their compositional divergence, the two geographic B. jararaca venom pools showed distinct bioactivity profiles. However, the SAB antivenom manufactured in Vital Brazil

  7. The Current and Historical Distribution of Special Status Amphibians at the Livermore Site and Site 300

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattem, M V; Paterson, L; Woollett, J

    2008-08-20

    65 surveys were completed in 2002 to assess the current distribution of special status amphibians at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Livermore Site and Site 300. Combined with historical information from previous years, the information presented herein illustrates the dynamic and probable risk that amphibian populations face at both sites. The Livermore Site is developed and in stark contrast to the mostly undeveloped Site 300. Yet both sites have significant issues threatening the long-term sustainability of their respective amphibian populations. Livermore Site amphibians are presented with a suite of challenges inherent of urban interfaces, most predictably the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), while Site 300's erosion issues and periodic feral pig (Sus scrofa) infestations reduce and threaten populations. The long-term sustainability of LLNL's special status amphibians will require active management and resource commitment to maintain and restore amphibian habitat at both sites.

  8. Neutralization of the haemorrhagic activities of viperine snake venoms and venom metalloproteinases using synthetic peptide inhibitors and chelators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howes, J-M; Theakston, R D G; Laing, G D

    2007-04-01

    Envenoming by the West African saw-scaled viper, Echis ocellatus resembles that of most vipers, in that it results in local blistering, necrosis and sometimes life-threatening systemic haemorrhage. While effective against systemic envenoming, current antivenoms have little or no effect against local tissue damage. The major mediators of local venom pathology are the zinc-dependant snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). The high degree of structural and functional homology between SVMPs and their mammalian relatives the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) suggests that substrate/inhibitor interactions between these subfamilies are likely to be analogous. In this study, four recently developed MMP inhibitors (MMPIs) (Marimastat, AG-3340, CGS-270 23A and Bay-12 9566) are evaluated in addition to three metal ion chelators (EDTA, TPEN and BAPTA) for their ability to inhibit the haemorrhagic activities of the medically important E. ocellatus venom and one of its haemorrhagic SVMPs, EoVMP2. As expected, the metal ion chelators significantly inhibited the haemorrhagic activities of both whole E. ocellatus venom and EoVMP2, while the synthetic MMPIs show more variation in their efficacies. These variations suggest that individual MMPIs show specificity towards SVMPs and that their application to the neutralization of local haemorrhage may require a synthetic MMPI mixture, ensuring that a close structural component for each SVMP is represented. PMID:17196631

  9. Conservation genetics and genomics of amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, H Bradley; Gidiş, Müge; McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Neal, Kevin M; Oyamaguchi, Hilton M; Tellez, Marisa; Toffelmier, Erin M

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles as a group are often secretive, reach their greatest diversity often in remote tropical regions, and contain some of the most endangered groups of organisms on earth. Particularly in the past decade, genetics and genomics have been instrumental in the conservation biology of these cryptic vertebrates, enabling work ranging from the identification of populations subject to trade and exploitation, to the identification of cryptic lineages harboring critical genetic variation, to the analysis of genes controlling key life history traits. In this review, we highlight some of the most important ways that genetic analyses have brought new insights to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Although genomics has only recently emerged as part of this conservation tool kit, several large-scale data sources, including full genomes, expressed sequence tags, and transcriptomes, are providing new opportunities to identify key genes, quantify landscape effects, and manage captive breeding stocks of at-risk species.

  10. Special Issue: Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Gregory Chinchar

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Although viruses infecting and affecting humans are the focus of considerable research effort, viruses that target other animal species, including cold-blooded vertebrates, are receiving increased attention. In part this reflects the interests of comparative virologists, but increasingly it is based on the impact that many viruses have on ecologically and commercially important animals. Frogs and other amphibians are sentinels of environmental health and their disappearance following viral or fungal (chytrid infection is a cause for alarm. Likewise, because aquaculture and mariculture are providing an increasingly large percentage of the “seafood” consumed by humans, viral agents that adversely impact the harvest of cultured fish and amphibians are of equal concern. [...

  11. Early 1900 s detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Jonathan J; Cheng, Tina L; Bataille, Arnaud; Pessier, Allan P; Waldman, Bruce; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa), collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of these positive specimens revealed mild hyperkeratosis - a non-specific host response commonly found in Bd-infected frogs - but no Bd zoospores or zoosporangia. Our results indicate that Bd was present in Korea more than 100 years ago, consistent with hypotheses suggesting that Korean amphibians may be infected by endemic Asian Bd strains.

  12. Congenital malformations of the vertebral column in ancient amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witzmann, F; Rothschild, B M; Hampe, O; Sobral, G; Gubin, Y M; Asbach, P

    2014-04-01

    Temnospondyls, the largest group of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic amphibians, primitively possess rhachitomous vertebrae with multipartite centra (consisting of one horse-shoe-shaped inter- and paired pleurocentra). In a group of temnospondyls, the stereospondyls, the intercentra became pronounced and disc-like, whereas the pleurocentra were reduced. We report the presence of congenital vertebral malformations (hemi, wedge and block vertebrae) in Permian and Triassic temnospondyls, showing that defects of formation and segmentation in the tetrapod vertebral column represent a fundamental failure of somitogenesis that can be followed throughout tetrapod evolution. This is irrespective of the type of affected vertebra, that is, rhachitomous or stereospondylous, and all components of the vertebra can be involved (intercentrum, pleurocentrum and neural arch), either together or independently on their own. This is the oldest known occurrence of wedge vertebra and congenital block vertebra described in fossil tetrapods. The frequency of vertebral congenital malformations in amphibians appears unchanged from the Holocene.

  13. Efficacy of tannins from Mimosa pudica and tannic acid in neutralizing cobra (Naja kaouthia venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FY Sia

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, the effectiveness of Mimosa pudica tannins (MPT in neutralizing the lethality of Naja kaouthia venom was compared with commercially derived tannins. Preincubation of MPT with N. kaouthia venom maintained 100% survival of mice after 24 hours. The mouse group in which there was no preincubation, no protection against the effects of the venom was observed. M. pudica tannin was found to be more effective in neutralizing the lethality of N. kaouthia venom when compared to commercial tannic acid. Two protein spots were missing in the two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE of the MPT treated mouse indicating the down-regulation of venom proteins. The results from this study indicated that tannins obtained from M. pudica are better than tannic acid in neutralizing the lethality of N. kaouthia venom in vitro. However, further investigations are required to establish that M. pudica has potential for treating N. kaouthia snakebites.

  14. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Bechsgaard, Jesper S; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-05-06

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk.

  15. Ctenus medius and Phoneutria nigriventer spiders venoms share noxious proinflammatory activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamoto, Cinthya Kimori; Gonçalves-De-Andrade, Rute M; Queiroz, Giselle Pidde; Gutierez, Vanessa P; De Almeida, Daniel Manzoni; Cury, Yara; Bertani, Rogério; Portaro, Fernanda C V; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2009-01-01

    Ctenus medius Keyserling, 1891 (Araneae: Ctenidae) co-occurs in various microhabitats of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and can be easily misidentified as the medically important spider Phoneutria nigriventer Keyserling, 1981 (Ctenidae). Despite being phylogenetically close to Phoneutria, no data are available about the toxic potential of Ctenus medius venom. Here we show that, although presenting different profile of protein composition, C. medius venom displays some of the toxic properties exhibited by P. nigriventer venom, including proteolytic, hyaluronidasic and phospholipasic activities, as well as the ability of causing hyperalgesia and edema. Moreover, C. medius venom interferes in the activation of the complement system in concentrations that P. nigriventer venom is inactive. Thus, these data show that venoms of spiders from Ctenidae family share important proinflammatory properties and suggest that the C. medius bite may have an important noxious effect in human accidents.

  16. Histopathological evaluation in experimental envenomation of dogs with Crotalus durissus terrificus venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Sangiorgio

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The present work evaluated histopathological aspects in experimental envenomation of dogs with Crotalus durissus terrificus venom. Twenty-eight mixed breed adult dogs were divided into three groups of seven animals each: Group I - only venom; Group II - venom + 50ml antiophidic serum + fluid therapy; Group III - venom + 50ml antiophidic serum + fluid therapy + urine alkalization. Lyophilized venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus was reconstituted in saline solution and inoculated subcutaneously at the dose of 1mg/kg body weight. Three animals of each group were subjected to euthanasia, and their muscular tissue, brain, spleen, kidneys, heart, lungs, stomach, small and large intestines, and popliteal lymph node fragments were collected for histopathological evaluation. There was myonecrosis in the inoculated limb, renal tubular degeneration, lymphoid hyperplasia of spleen, and unspecific reactive hepatitis. These results show the antigenicity and action of the venom on the immune system.

  17. Toxicity of South American snake venoms measured by an in vitro cell culture assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, J C R; de Oca, H M; Duarte, M M; Diniz, C R; Fortes-Dias, C L

    2002-03-01

    Cytotoxicity of venoms from eight medically important South American Crotalidae snakes (Bothrops and Lachesis genera) was determined, based on a procedure originally described for the screening of cytotoxic agents in general. The assay, the conditions of which were adapted to snake venoms, determines the survival of viable cells in monolayer culture upon exposure to the toxic agent. Snake venom toxicity was expressed as the venom dose that killed 50% of the cells (CT(50)) under the assay conditions. Bothrops neuwieddi mattogrossensis (CT(50)=4.74+/-0.35 microg/ml) and Bothrops leucurus (CT(50)=4.95+/-0.51 microg/ml) were the most cytotoxic whereas Bothrops atrox (CT(50)=34.64+/-2.38 microg/ml) and Bothrops sp. (CT(50)=33.89+/-3.89 microg/ml) were the least cytotoxic venoms, respectively. The relationship between CT(50) and other biological activities of these snake venoms was evaluated. PMID:11711131

  18. Partial in vitro analysis of toxic and antigenic activities of eleven Peruvian pitviper snake venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra-Duarte, C; Lopes-Peixoto, J; Fonseca-de-Souza, B R; Stransky, S; Oliveira, D; Schneider, F S; Lopes-de-Souza, L; Bonilla, C; Silva, W; Tintaya, B; Yarleque, A; Chávez-Olórtegui, C

    2015-12-15

    This work used eleven Peruvian snake venoms (Bothrops andianus, Bothrops atrox, Bothrops barnetti, Bothrops castelnaudi, Bothriopsis chloromelas, Bothrocophias microphthalmus, Bothrops neuwiedi, Bothriopsis oligolepis, Bothriopsis peruviana, Bothrops pictus and Bothriopsis taeniata) to perform in vitro experimentation and determine its main characteristics. Hyaluronidase (HYAL), phospholipase A2 (PLA2), snake venom metalloproteinase (SVMP), snake venom serine protease (SVSP) and L-amino acid oxidase (LAAO) activities; toxicity by cell viability assays using MGSO3, VERO and HeLa cell lineages; and crossed immunoreactivity with Peruvian (PAV) and Brazilian (BAV) antibothropic polyvalent antivenoms, through ELISA and Western Blotting assays, were determined. Results show that the activities tested in this study were not similar amongst the venoms and each species present their own peculiarities, highlighting the diversity within Bothrops complex. All venoms were capable of reducing cell viability of all tested lineages. It was also demonstrated the crossed recognition of all tested venoms by both antivenoms. PMID:26365916

  19. Cardiotoxic effects of venom fractions from the Australian box jellyfish Chironex fleckeri on human myocardiocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saggiomo, Silvia L A; Seymour, Jamie E

    2012-09-01

    An investigation into the cardiotoxic effects in human cardiomyocytes of different fractions (as produced from an FPLC) of the venom from Chironex fleckeri showed that whole venom caused cardiac cell death in minutes, measured as cell detachment using xCELLigence technology. However, only one fraction of the venom was responsible for this effect. When all extracted venoms were recombined a similar result was seen for the toxic fraction, however these effects were slower than unfractionated venom alone even though the concentrations were similar. The difference in the results between fractioned and unfractionated venom may have been caused by compounds remaining in the FPLC column, which may interact with the toxic fraction to cause rapid cell detachment or death. PMID:22560886

  20. Thermal Tolerance and Sensitivity of Amphibian Larvae from Paleartic and Neotropical Communities

    OpenAIRE

    Katzenberger, Marco

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians across the world are threatened by climate change. This work deals with the analysis of thermal tolerance and sensitivity and their latitudinal variation at the community level, with the intent of examining the prediction that tropical amphibians are at higher risk of extinction due to global warming than temperate species since their environmental temperatures are closer to their upper thermal limits. To test this prediction, two larval amphibian communities were sele...

  1. Dynamic stability of communities of amphibians in short-term-flooded forest ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    O. V. Zhukov; N. L. Gubanova

    2015-01-01

    The estimation of stability of amphibian populations on the basis of data of population dynamics is given. The paper shows an attempt to estimate the direction of dynamic changes of amphibian populations, and defines the rate of the system deviation from the stationary state due to possible influence of the environmental factors by using concepts such as reactivity, degree of reactivity and flexibility of the system when using their indexes. It is found that populations of amphibians are quit...

  2. Reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taxonomic, distributional, and ecological information on the reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant (SRP) is provided. The purpose of such a presentation is to give a professional biologist an initial familiarity with herpetology on the SRP, and to provide sufficient comprehensive information to an ecologist, regardless of his experience in herpetology, to permit him to undertake studies that in some manner incorporate the herpetofauna of the SRP

  3. Landscape-stream interactions and habitat conservation for amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Marziali, Laura; Rossaro, Bruno; De Bernardi, Fiorenza; Padoa-Schioppa, Emilio

    2011-06-01

    Semiaquatic organisms depend on the features of both water bodies and landscapes; the interplay between terrestrial and aquatic systems might influence the semiaquatic communities, determining the scale at which management would be more effective. However, the consequences of such interplay are not frequently quantified, particularly at the community level. We analyzed the distribution of amphibians to evaluate whether the influence of landscape features on freshwater ecosystems can have indirect consequences at both the species and community level. We surveyed 74 streams in northern Italy to obtain data on breeding amphibians, water, and microhabitat features; we also measured features of surrounding landscapes. We used an information-theoretic approach and structural equation models to compare hypotheses on causal relationships between species distribution and variables measured at multiple levels. We also used a constrained redundancy analyses to evaluate causal relationships between multivariate descriptors of habitat features and community composition. Distribution of Salamandra salamandra was related to landscape, hydrological, and water characteristics: salamanders were more frequent in permanent streams with low phosphate concentration within natural landscapes. Water characteristics were dependent on landscape: streams in natural landscapes had less phosphates. Landscape influenced the salamander both directly and indirectly through its influence on phosphates. Community structure was determined by both landscape and water characteristics. Several species were associated with natural landscapes, and with particular water characteristics. Landscape explained a significant proportion of variability of water characteristics; therefore it probably had indirect effects on community. Upland environments play key roles for amphibians, for example, as the habitat of adults, but upland environments also have indirect effects on the aquatic life stages, mediated

  4. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  5. Local adaptation of an anuran amphibian to osmotically stressful environments

    OpenAIRE

    Gómez-Mestre, Iván; Tejedo, Miguel

    2003-01-01

    Water salinity is an intense physiological stress for amphibians. However, some species, such as Bufo calamita, breed in both brackish and freshwater environments. Because selection under environmentally stressful conditions can promote local adaptation of populations, we examined the existence of geographic variation in water salinity tolerance among B. calamita populations from either fresh or brackish water ponds in Southern Spain. Comparisons were made throughout various ontogenetic stage...

  6. Spatial network structure and amphibian persistence in stochastic environments

    OpenAIRE

    Fortuna, Miguel A.; Gómez-Rodríguez, Carola; Bascompte, Jordi

    2006-01-01

    In the past few years, the framework of complex networks has provided new insight into the organization and function of biological systems. However, in spite of its potential, spatial ecology has not yet fully incorporated tools and concepts from network theory. In the present study, we identify a large spatial network of temporary ponds, which are used as breeding sites by several amphibian species. We investigate how the structural properties of the spatial network...

  7. Negative Binomial GAM and GAMM to Analyse Amphibian Roadkills

    OpenAIRE

    Zuur, Alain; Mira, António; Carvalho, Filipe; Ieno, Elena; Saveliev, A.A.; Smith, G.M.; Walker, N. J.

    2009-01-01

    This chapter analyses amphibian fatalities along a road in Portugal. The data are counts of kills making a Gaussian distribution unlikely; restricting our choice of techniques. We began with generalised linear models (GLM) and generalised addi- tive models (GAM) with a Poisson distribution, but these models were overdis- persed. To solve this, you can either apply a quasi-Poisson GLM or GAM, or use the negative binomial distribution (Chapter 9). In this particular example, eith...

  8. Evolution of erythrocyte morphology in amphibians (Amphibia: Anura)

    OpenAIRE

    Jie Wei; Yan-Yan Li; Li Wei; Guo-Hua Ding; Xiao-Li Fan; Zhi-Hua Lin

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT We compared the morphology of the erythrocytes of five anurans, two toad species - Bufo gargarizans (Cantor, 1842) and Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799) and three frog species - Fejervarya limnocharis (Gravenhorst, 1829), Microhyla ornata (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), and Rana zhenhaiensis (Ye, Fei & Matsui, 1995). We then reconstructed the ancestral state of erythrocyte size (ES) and nuclear size (NS) in amphibians based on a molecular tree. Nine morphological traits of eryth...

  9. Reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gibbons, J.W.; Patterson, K.K.

    1978-11-01

    Taxonomic, distributional, and ecological information on the reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant (SRP) is provided. The purpose of such a presentation is to give a professional biologist an initial familiarity with herpetology on the SRP, and to provide sufficient comprehensive information to an ecologist, regardless of his experience in herpetology, to permit him to undertake studies that in some manner incorporate the herpetofauna of the SRP. (ERB)

  10. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines

  11. Evaluation of cytotoxic activities of snake venoms toward breast (MCF-7) and skin cancer (A-375) cell lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradshaw, Michael J; Saviola, Anthony J; Fesler, Elizabeth; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-08-01

    Snake venoms are mixtures of bioactive proteins and peptides that exhibit diverse biochemical activities. This wide array of pharmacologies associated with snake venoms has made them attractive sources for research into potentially novel therapeutics, and several venom-derived drugs are now in use. In the current study we performed a broad screen of a variety of venoms (61 taxa) from the major venomous snake families (Viperidae, Elapidae and "Colubridae") in order to examine cytotoxic effects toward MCF-7 breast cancer cells and A-375 melanoma cells. MTT cell viability assays of cancer cells incubated with crude venoms revealed that most venoms showed significant cytotoxicity. We further investigated venom from the Red-bellied Blacksnake (Pseudechis porphyriacus); venom was fractionated by ion exchange fast protein liquid chromatography and several cytotoxic components were isolated. SDS-PAGE and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry were used to identify the compounds in this venom responsible for the cytotoxic effects. In general, viper venoms were potently cytotoxic, with MCF-7 cells showing greater sensitivity, while elapid and colubrid venoms were much less toxic; notable exceptions included the elapid genera Micrurus, Naja and Pseudechis, which were quite cytotoxic to both cell lines. However, venoms with the most potent cytotoxicity were often not those with low mouse LD50s, including some dangerously venomous viperids and Australian elapids. This study confirmed that many venoms contain cytotoxic compounds, including catalytic PLA2s, and several venoms also showed significant differential toxicity toward the two cancer cell lines. Our results indicate that several previously uncharacterized venoms could contain promising lead compounds for drug development.

  12. Standardization of anti-lethal toxin potency test of antivenoms prepared from two different Agkistrodon halys venoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. H. Lee

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In Korea, antivenoms for the treatment of patients bitten by venomous snakes have been imported from Japan or China. Although there is cross-reactivity between these antibodies and venoms from snakes indigenous to Korea (e.g. Agkistrodon genus, protection is not optimal. Antivenoms specifically prepared to neutralize Korean snake venoms could be more effective, with fewer side effects. To this end, we established an infrastructure to develop national standards and created a standardized method to evaluate the efficacy of two horse-derived antivenoms using mouse lethal toxin test. Additionally, we determined the antivenoms neutralizing activity against lethal doses (LD50 of Agkistrodon halys (from Japan and Jiangzhe Agkistrodon halys (from China venoms. We also performed cross-neutralization tests using probit analysis on each pairing of venom and antivenom in order to check the possibility of using Jiangzhe A. halys venom as a substitute for A. halys venom, the current standard. Slope of A. halys venom with A. halys antivenom was 10.2 and that of A. halys venom with Jiangzhe A. halys antivenom was 9.6. However, Slope of Jiangzhe A. halys venom with A. halys antivenom was 4.7 while that of Jiangzhe A. halys venom with Jiangzhe A. halys antivenom was 11.5. Therefore, the significant difference in slope patterns suggests that Jiangzhe A. halys venom cannot be used as a substitute for the standard venom to test the anti-lethal toxin activity of antivenoms (p<0.05.

  13. Melittin, a honeybee venom-derived antimicrobial peptide, may target methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, Ji Hae; JANG, A YEUNG; Lin, Shunmei; Lim, Sangyong; Kim, Dongho; Park, Kyungho; Han, Sang-Mi; YEO, JOO-HONG; Seo, Ho Seong

    2015-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is difficult to treat using available antibiotic agents. Honeybee venom has been widely used as an oriental treatment for several inflammatory diseases and bacterial infections. The venom contains predominantly biologically active compounds, however, the therapeutic effects of such materials when used to treat MRSA infections have not been investigated extensively. The present study evaluated bee venom and its principal active component, meli...

  14. Bee venom hyaluronidase is homologous to a membrane protein of mammalian sperm.

    OpenAIRE

    Gmachl, M; Kreil, G

    1993-01-01

    The venom of honeybees, Apis mellifera, contains several biologically active peptides and two enzymes, one of which is a hyaluronidase. By using degenerate oligonucleotides derived from the amino-terminal sequence of this hyaluronidase reported by others, clones encoding the precursor for this enzyme could be isolated from a cDNA library prepared from venom glands of worker bees. The deduced amino acid sequence showed that bee venom hyaluronidase is a polypeptide composed of 349 amino acids c...

  15. Neuromuscular activity of Bothrops alcatraz snake venom in chick biventer cervicis preparations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Moraes, Delkia Seabra; Aparecido de Abreu, Valdemir; Rostelato-Ferreira, Sandro; Leite, Gildo B; Alice da Cruz-Höfling, Maria; Travaglia-Cardoso, Silvia R; Hyslop, Stephen; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa

    2012-02-01

    Venom (10-100 μg/ml) from Bothrops alcatraz, a pitviper from the Alcatrazes Archipelago off the coast of southeastern Brazil, caused progressive, irreversible neuromuscular blockade in chick isolated biventer cervicis preparations. The venom also inhibited contractures to exogenous ACh (110 μM) and KCl (20 mM), caused myofiber damage and increased creatine kinase release. Commercial bothropic antivenom raised against mainland Bothrops species neutralized the neuromuscular activity, depending on the venom concentration. PMID:22155137

  16. Effects of Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807) (Scorpiones: Buthidae) venom on rat metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    O Ozkan; Bakir, F.; S. Adiguzel

    2008-01-01

    Scorpions are venomous arthropods of the Arachnida class and are considered relatives of spiders, ticks and mites. There is not any study about the biochemical effects of Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807) venom. Therefore, in the present study, we aimed at evaluating the toxicity of the venom from A. crassicauda, which is responsible for a number of deaths of infants, children and adults in tropical and subtropical countries. For this purpose, rats (n=35) were divided into seven groups ...

  17. Evolution of separate predation- and defence-evoked venoms in carnivorous cone snails

    OpenAIRE

    Dutertre, Sébastien; Jin, Ai-Hua; Vetter, Irina; Hamilton, Brett; Sunagar, Kartik; Lavergne, Vincent; Dutertre, Valentin; Fry, Bryan G.; Antunes, Agostinho; Venter, Deon J.; Alewood, Paul F.; Lewis, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Venomous animals are thought to inject the same combination of toxins for both predation and defence, presumably exploiting conserved target pharmacology across prey and predators. Remarkably, cone snails can rapidly switch between distinct venoms in response to predatory or defensive stimuli. Here, we show that the defence-evoked venom of Conus geographus contains high levels of paralytic toxins that potently block neuromuscular receptors, consistent with its lethal effects on humans. In con...

  18. Purification of the Immunogenic Fractions and Determination of Toxicity in Mesobuthus eupeus (Scorpionida: Buthidae Venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Khoobdel

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Scorpions stings are a health problem in many parts of the world. Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae is the most prevalent species in the Middle East and Central Asia. Definition of toxicogenic and immunogenic characteristics of the venom is necessary to produce antidote. In this study, the noted properties of M. eupeus venom were evaluated.Venom was obtained by milking M. eupeus scorpions for lyophilization. Toxicity was determined after injecting the venom to albino mice and calculating LD50. Polyclonal antibodies against M. eupeus venom were obtained from immunized rabbits. The CH-Sepharose 4B column was used for isolating the specific antibodies. 10 mg of the affinity-purified antibodies were conjugated with a CH-Sepharose 4B column and M. eupeus venom was applied to the column. The bound fragments were eluted using hydrogen chloride (pH: 2.5. Crude venom and affinity-purified fractions of the venom were analyzed by SDS-PAGE technique.Lethal dose (LD was 8.75, 11.5 and 4.5 mg/kg for IP, SC and IV respectively. The LD50 of M. eupeus venom was 6.95 mg/kg. The crude venom had 12 detectable bands with molecular weights of 140, 70, 50, 33, 30, 27, 22, 18, 14, 10 kDa and two bands less than 5 kDa. The affinity-purified venom presented eight bands. The 27 kDa band was clearly sharper than other bands but 70, 18, 10 and one of the less than 5 kDa bands were not observed.Contrary to popular belief, which know scorpion venom as non-immunogenic composition, the current study was shown that the most fractions of the M. eupeus are immunogenic.

  19. Determination of factor X activator in the venom of the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocker, K; Fischer, H; Brogli, M

    1986-01-01

    Factor X activator in Echis carinatus venom was determined by incubating the zymogen 'factor X' with venom, interrupting the activation process by ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and measuring the generated proteinase 'factor Xa' by means of a synthetic chromogenic substrate. A comparison of factor X- and prothrombin-activating potencies in E. carinatus venoms of five different geographic origins revealed no correlation between these two procoagulant activities. PMID:3715901

  20. Profiling the venom gland transcriptomes of costa rican snakes by 454 pyrosequencing

    OpenAIRE

    Sanz Libia; Sasa Mahmood; Alape-Girón Alberto; Flores-Diaz Marietta; Lomonte Bruno; Angulo Yamileth; Juárez Paula; Durban Jordi; Gutiérrez José M; Dopazo Joaquín; Conesa Ana; Calvete Juan J

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background A long term research goal of venomics, of applied importance for improving current antivenom therapy, but also for drug discovery, is to understand the pharmacological potential of venoms. Individually or combined, proteomic and transcriptomic studies have demonstrated their feasibility to explore in depth the molecular diversity of venoms. In the absence of genome sequence, transcriptomes represent also valuable searchable databases for proteomic projects. Results The ven...

  1. Optimizing protection efforts for amphibian conservation in Mediterranean landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Muñoz, Enrique; Ceacero, Francisco; Carretero, Miguel A.; Pedrajas-Pulido, Luis; Parra, Gema; Guerrero, Francisco

    2013-05-01

    Amphibians epitomize the modern biodiversity crisis, and attract great attention from the scientific community since a complex puzzle of factors has influence on their disappearance. However, these factors are multiple and spatially variable, and declining in each locality is due to a particular combination of causes. This study shows a suitable statistical procedure to determine threats to amphibian species in medium size administrative areas. For our study case, ten biological and ecological variables feasible to affect the survival of 15 amphibian species were categorized and reduced through Principal Component Analysis. The principal components extracted were related to ecological plasticity, reproductive potential, and specificity of breeding habitats. Finally, the factor scores of species were joined in a presence-absence matrix that gives us information to identify where and why conservation management are requires. In summary, this methodology provides the necessary information to maximize benefits of conservation measures in small areas by identifying which ecological factors need management efforts and where should we focus them on.

  2. Interventions for reducing extinction risk in chytridiomycosis-threatened amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheele, Ben C; Hunter, David A; Grogan, Laura F; Berger, Lee; Kolby, Jon E; McFadden, Michael S; Marantelli, Gerry; Skerratt, Lee F; Driscoll, Don A

    2014-10-01

    Wildlife diseases pose an increasing threat to biodiversity and are a major management challenge. A striking example of this threat is the emergence of chytridiomycosis. Despite diagnosis of chytridiomycosis as an important driver of global amphibian declines 15 years ago, researchers have yet to devise effective large-scale management responses other than biosecurity measures to mitigate disease spread and the establishment of disease-free captive assurance colonies prior to or during disease outbreaks. We examined the development of management actions that can be implemented after an epidemic in surviving populations. We developed a conceptual framework with clear interventions to guide experimental management and applied research so that further extinctions of amphibian species threatened by chytridiomycosis might be prevented. Within our framework, there are 2 management approaches: reducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the fungus that causes chytridiomycosis) in the environment or on amphibians and increasing the capacity of populations to persist despite increased mortality from disease. The latter approach emphasizes that mitigation does not necessarily need to focus on reducing disease-associated mortality. We propose promising management actions that can be implemented and tested based on current knowledge and that include habitat manipulation, antifungal treatments, animal translocation, bioaugmentation, head starting, and selection for resistance. Case studies where these strategies are being implemented will demonstrate their potential to save critically endangered species.

  3. Cardiac performance correlates of relative heart ventricle mass in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kluthe, Gregory J; Hillman, Stanley S

    2013-08-01

    This study used an in situ heart preparation to analyze the power output and stroke work of spontaneously beating hearts of four anurans (Rhinella marina, Lithobates catesbeianus, Xenopus laevis, Pyxicephalus edulis) and three urodeles (Necturus maculosus, Ambystoma tigrinum, Amphiuma tridactylum) that span a representative range of relative ventricle mass (RVM) found in amphibians. Previous research has documented that RVM correlates with dehydration tolerance and maximal aerobic capacity in amphibians. The power output (mW g(-1) ventricle mass) and stroke work (mJ g(-1) ventricle muscle mass) were independent of RVM and were indistinguishable from previously published results for fish and reptiles. RVM was significantly correlated with maximum power output (P max, mW kg(-1) body mass), stroke volume, cardiac output, afterload pressure (P O) at P max, and preload pressure (P I) at P max. P I at P max and P O at P max also correlated very closely with each other. The increases in both P I and P O at maximal power outputs in large hearts suggest that concomitant increases in blood volume and/or increased modulation of vascular compliance either anatomically or via sympathetic tone on the venous vasculature would be necessary to achieve P max in vivo. Hypotheses for variation in RVM and its concomitant increased P max in amphibians are developed.

  4. Independent evolution of the sexes promotes amphibian diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lisle, Stephen P; Rowe, Locke

    2015-03-22

    Classic ecological theory predicts that the evolution of sexual dimorphism constrains diversification by limiting morphospace available for speciation. Alternatively, sexual selection may lead to the evolution of reproductive isolation and increased diversification. We test contrasting predictions of these hypotheses by examining the relationship between sexual dimorphism and diversification in amphibians. Our analysis shows that the evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is associated with increased diversification and speciation, contrary to the ecological theory. Further, this result is unlikely to be explained by traditional sexual selection models because variation in amphibian SSD is unlikely to be driven entirely by sexual selection. We suggest that relaxing a central assumption of classic ecological models-that the sexes share a common adaptive landscape-leads to the alternative hypothesis that independent evolution of the sexes may promote diversification. Once the constraints of sexual conflict are relaxed, the sexes can explore morphospace that would otherwise be inaccessible. Consistent with this novel hypothesis, the evolution of SSD in amphibians is associated with reduced current extinction threat status, and an historical reduction in extinction rate. Our work reconciles conflicting predictions from ecological and evolutionary theory and illustrates that the ability of the sexes to evolve independently is associated with a spectacular vertebrate radiation.

  5. Pronephric duct extension in amphibian embryos: migration and other mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drawbridge, Julie; Meighan, Christopher M; Lumpkins, Rebecca; Kite, Mary E

    2003-01-01

    Initiation of excretory system development in all vertebrates requires (1) delamination of the pronephric and pronephric duct rudiments from intermediate mesoderm at the ventral border of anterior somites, and (2) extension of the pronephric duct to the cloaca. Pronephric duct extension is the central event in nephric system development; the pronephric duct differentiates into the tubule that carries nephric filtrate out of the body and induces terminal differentiation of adult kidneys. Early studies concluded that pronephric ducts formed by means of in situ segregation of pronephric duct tissue from lateral mesoderm ventral to the forming somites; more recent studies highlight caudal migration of the pronephric duct as the major morphogenetic mechanism. The purpose of this review is to provide the historical background on studies of the mechanisms of amphibian pronephric duct extension, to review evidence showing that different amphibians perform pronephric duct morphogenesis in different ways, and to suggest future studies that may help illuminate the molecular basis of the mechanisms that have evolved in amphibians to extend the pronephric duct to the cloaca. PMID:12508219

  6. Restored agricultural wetlands in Central Iowa: habitat quality and amphibian response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, Clay; Rebecca A. Reeves,; Smalling, Kelly; Klaver, Robert W.; Vandever, Mark; Battaglin, William A.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due, partly, to habitat loss. Conservation practices on the landscape restore wetlands to denitrify tile drainage effluent and restore ecosystem services. Understanding how water quality, hydroperiod, predation, and disease affect amphibians in restored wetlands is central to maintaining healthy amphibian populations in the region. We examined the quality of amphibian habitat in restored wetlands relative to reference wetlands by comparing species richness, developmental stress, and adult leopard frog (Lithobates pipiens) survival probabilities to a suite of environmental metrics. Although measured habitat variables differed between restored and reference wetlands, differences appeared to have sub-lethal rather than lethal effects on resident amphibian populations. There were few differences in amphibian species richness and no difference in estimated survival probabilities between wetland types. Restored wetlands had more nitrate and alkaline pH, longer hydroperiods, and were deeper, whereas reference wetlands had more amphibian chytrid fungus zoospores in water samples and resident amphibians exhibited increased developmental stress. Restored and reference wetlands are both important components of the landscape in central Iowa and maintaining a complex of fish-free wetlands with a variety of hydroperiods will likely contribute to the persistence of amphibians in this landscape.

  7. Amphibians and disease: Implications for conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    The decline of amphibian populations is a world-wide phenomenon that has received increasing attention since about 1990. In 2004, the World Conservation Union’s global amphibian assessment concluded that 48% of the world’s 5,743 described amphibian species were in decline, with 32% considered threatened (Stuart et al. 2004). Amphibian declines are a significant issue in the western United States, where all native species of frogs in the genus Rana and many toads in the genus Bufo are at risk, particularly those that inhabit mountainous areas (Corn 2003a,b; Bradford 2005).

  8. Amphibian and reptile declines over 35 years at La Selva, Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, Steven M; Bell, Kristen E; Philippi, Thomas; Sasa, Mahmood; Bolaños, Federico; Chaves, Gerardo; Savage, Jay M; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2007-05-15

    Amphibians stand at the forefront of a global biodiversity crisis. More than one-third of amphibian species are globally threatened, and over 120 species have likely suffered global extinction since 1980. Most alarmingly, many rapid declines and extinctions are occurring in pristine sites lacking obvious adverse effects of human activities. The causes of these "enigmatic" declines remain highly contested. Still, lack of long-term data on amphibian populations severely limits our understanding of the distribution of amphibian declines, and therefore the ultimate causes of these declines. Here, we identify a systematic community-wide decline in populations of terrestrial amphibians at La Selva Biological Station, a protected old-growth lowland rainforest in lower Central America. We use data collected over 35 years to show that population density of all species of terrestrial amphibians has declined by approximately 75% since 1970, and we show identical trends for all species of common reptiles. The trends we identify are neither consistent with recent emergence of chytridiomycosis nor the climate-linked epidemic hypothesis, two leading putative causes of enigmatic amphibian declines. Instead, our data suggest that declines are due to climate-driven reductions in the quantity of standing leaf litter, a critical microhabitat for amphibians and reptiles in this assemblage. Our results raise further concerns about the global persistence of amphibian populations by identifying widespread declines in species and habitats that are not currently recognized as susceptible to such risks.

  9. Nomenclatural notes on living and fossil amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín, C.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available A review of extinct and living amphibians known from fossils (Allocaudata, Anura and Caudata has revealed several cases that require nomenclatural changes in order to stabilize the taxonomy of the group. Nomenclatural changes include homonym replacements, corrections of spelling variants and authorships, name availabilities, and in particular, the proposal of new combinations. These changes will allow the incorporation of some palaeontological taxa to the current evolutionary models of relationship of modern forms based on molecular phylogenies. Rana cadurcorum for Rana plicata Filhol, 1877, Rana auscitana for Rana pygmaea Lartet, 1851, and Rana sendoa for Rana robusta Brunner, 1956. Anchylorana Taylor, 1942 is considered a new synonym of Lithobates Fitzinger, 1843. New combinations proposed are: Anaxyrus defensor for Bufo defensor Meylan, 2005; Anaxyrus hibbardi for Bufo hibbardi Taylor, 1937; Anaxyrus pliocompactilis for Bufo pliocompactilis Wilson, 1968; Anaxyrus repentinus for Bufo repentinus Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus rexroadensis for Bufo rexroadensis Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus spongifrons for Bufo spongifrons Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus suspectus for Bufo suspectus Tihen, 1962; Anaxyrus tiheni for Bufo tiheni Auffenberg, 1957; Anaxyrus valentinensis for Bufo valentinensis Estes et Tihen, 1964; Ichthyosaura wintershofi for Triturus wintershofi Lunau, 1950; Incilius praevius for Bufo praevius Tihen, 1951; Lithobates bucella for Rana bucella Holman, 1965; Lithobates dubitus for Anchylorana dubita Taylor, 1942; Lithobates fayeae for Rana fayeae Taylor, 1942; Lithobates miocenicus for Rana miocenica Holman, 1965; Lithobates moorei for Anchylorana moorei Taylor, 1942; Lithobates parvissimus for Rana parvissima

  10. SdPI, the first functionally characterized Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor from scorpion venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruiming Zhao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Kunitz-type venom peptides have been isolated from a wide variety of venomous animals. They usually have protease inhibitory activity or potassium channel blocking activity, which by virtue of the effects on predator animals are essential for the survival of venomous animals. However, no Kunitz-type peptides from scorpion venom have been functionally characterized. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A new Kunitz-type venom peptide gene precursor, SdPI, was cloned and characterized from a venom gland cDNA library of the scorpion Lychas mucronatus. It codes for a signal peptide of 21 residues and a mature peptide of 59 residues. The mature SdPI peptide possesses a unique cysteine framework reticulated by three disulfide bridges, different from all reported Kunitz-type proteins. The recombinant SdPI peptide was functionally expressed. It showed trypsin inhibitory activity with high potency (K(i = 1.6×10(-7 M and thermostability. CONCLUSIONS: The results illustrated that SdPI is a potent and stable serine protease inhibitor. Further mutagenesis and molecular dynamics simulation revealed that SdPI possesses a serine protease inhibitory active site similar to other Kunitz-type venom peptides. To our knowledge, SdPI is the first functionally characterized Kunitz-type trypsin inhibitor derived from scorpion venom, and it represents a new class of Kunitz-type venom peptides.

  11. Expermental Studies of quantitative evaluation using HPLC and safety of Sweet Bee Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ki Rok Kwon

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : This study was conducted to carry out quantitative evaluation and safety of Sweet Bee Venom. Methods : Content analysis was done using HPLC, measurement of LD50 was conducted intravenous, subcutaneous, and intra-muscular injection to the ICR mice. Results : 1. According to HPLC analysis, removal of the enzymes containing phospholipase A2 was successfully rendered on Sweet Bee Venom. And analyzing melittin content, Sweet Bee Venom contained 12% more melittin than Bee Venom. 2. LD50 of ICR mice with Sweet Bee Venom was more than 20mg/kg in subcutaneous injection and intravenous injection, between 15mg/kg and 20mg/kg in muscular injection. 3. LD50 of ICR mice with Bee Venom was between 6 and 9mg/kg in subcutaneous injection and intravenous injection, and more than 9mg/kg in muscular injection. Conclusion : Above results indicate that Sweet Bee Venom was more safe than Bee Venom and the process of removing enzymes was well rendered in Sweet Bee Venom.

  12. Biological and Enzymatic Characterization of Proteases from Crude Venom of the Ant Odontomachus bauri

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    Mariana Ferreira Silva

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Hymenoptera venoms constitute an interesting source of natural toxins that may lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents. The present study investigated the enzymatic and biological characteristics of the crude venom of the ant Odontomachus bauri. Its crude venom presents several protein bands, with higher staining for six proteins with gelatinolytic activity (17, 20, 26, 29, 43 and 48 kDa. The crude venom showed high proteolytic activity on azocasein at optimal pH 8.0 and 37 °C. In the presence of protease inhibitors as aprotinin, leupeptin and EDTA, the azocaseinolytic activity was reduced by 45%, 29% and 9%, respectively, suggesting that the enzymes present in the crude venom belong to the three classes of proteases, with the serine proteases in greater intensity. The crude venom degraded the fibrinogen α-chain faster than the β-chain, while the fibrinogen γ-chain remained unchanged. In biological assays, O. bauri venom showed hemolytic and coagulant activity in vitro, and defibrinating activity in vivo. In addition, the venom showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as well as antiparasitic activity on Toxoplasma gondii infection in vitro. In that sense, this study sheds perspectives for pharmacological applications of O. bauri venom enzymes.

  13. Biological and Enzymatic Characterization of Proteases from Crude Venom of the Ant Odontomachus bauri.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Mariana Ferreira; Mota, Caroline Martins; Miranda, Vanessa dos Santos; Cunha, Amanda de Oliveira; Silva, Maraísa Cristina; Naves, Karinne Spirandelli Carvalho; de Oliveira, Fábio; Silva, Deise Aparecida de Oliveira; Mineo, Tiago Wilson Patriarca; Santiago, Fernanda Maria

    2015-11-30

    Hymenoptera venoms constitute an interesting source of natural toxins that may lead to the development of novel therapeutic agents. The present study investigated the enzymatic and biological characteristics of the crude venom of the ant Odontomachus bauri. Its crude venom presents several protein bands, with higher staining for six proteins with gelatinolytic activity (17, 20, 26, 29, 43 and 48 kDa). The crude venom showed high proteolytic activity on azocasein at optimal pH 8.0 and 37 °C. In the presence of protease inhibitors as aprotinin, leupeptin and EDTA, the azocaseinolytic activity was reduced by 45%, 29% and 9%, respectively, suggesting that the enzymes present in the crude venom belong to the three classes of proteases, with the serine proteases in greater intensity. The crude venom degraded the fibrinogen α-chain faster than the β-chain, while the fibrinogen γ-chain remained unchanged. In biological assays, O. bauri venom showed hemolytic and coagulant activity in vitro, and defibrinating activity in vivo. In addition, the venom showed antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as well as antiparasitic activity on Toxoplasma gondii infection in vitro. In that sense, this study sheds perspectives for pharmacological applications of O. bauri venom enzymes.

  14. Biochemical and hematological study of goats envenomed with natural and 60Co-irradiated bothropic venom

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lucas de Oliveira, P.C.; Madruga, R.A.; Barbosa, N.P.U. [Uberaba School of Veterinary Medicine (UNIUBE), MG (Brazil)]. E-mail: pedrolucaso@uol.com.br; Sakate, M. [UNESP, Botucatu, SP (Brazil). School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry

    2007-07-01

    Venoms from snakes of the Bothrops genus are proteolytic, coagulant, hemorrhagic and nephrotoxic, causing edema, necrosis, hemorrhage and intense pain at the bite site, besides systemic alterations. Many adjuvants have been added to the venom used in the sensitization of antiserum-producer animals to increase antigenic induction and reduce the envenomation pathological effects. Gamma radiation from {sup 60}Co has been used as an attenuating agent of the venoms toxic properties. The main objective was to study, comparatively, clinical and laboratory aspects of goats inoculated with bothropic (Bothrops jararaca) venom, natural and irradiated from a {sup 60}Co source. Twelve goats were divided into two groups of six animals: GINV, inoculated with 0.5 mg/kg of natural venom; and GIIV, inoculated with 0.5 mg/kg of irradiated venom. Blood samples were collected immediately before and one, two, seven, and thirty days after venom injection. Local lesions were daily evaluated. The following exams were carried out: blood tests; biochemical tests of urea, creatinine, creatine kinase, aspartate amino-transferase and alanine amino-transferase; clotting time; platelets count; and total serum immunoglobulin measurement. In the conditions of the present experiment, irradiated venom was less aggressive and more immunogenic than natural venom. (author)

  15. Biochemical and hematological study of goats envenomed with natural and 60Co-irradiated bothropic venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. C. Lucas de Oliveira

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Venoms from snakes of the Bothrops genus are proteolytic, coagulant, hemorrhagic and nephrotoxic, causing edema, necrosis, hemorrhage and intense pain at the bite site, besides systemic alterations. Many adjuvants have been added to the venom used in the sensitization of antiserum-producer animals to increase antigenic induction and reduce the envenomation pathological effects. Gamma radiation from 60Co has been used as an attenuating agent of the venoms toxic properties. The main objective was to study, comparatively, clinical and laboratory aspects of goats inoculated with bothropic (Bothrops jararaca venom, natural and irradiated from a 60Co source. Twelve goats were divided into two groups of six animals: GINV, inoculated with 0.5mg/kg of natural venom; and GIIV, inoculated with 0.5mg/kg of irradiated venom. Blood samples were collected immediately before and one, two, seven, and thirty days after venom injection. Local lesions were daily evaluated. The following exams were carried out: blood tests; biochemical tests of urea, creatinine, creatine kinase (CK, aspartate amino-transferase (AST and alanine amino-transferase (ALT; clotting time; platelets count; and total serum immunoglobulin measurement. In the conditions of the present experiment, irradiated venom was less aggressive and more immunogenic than natural venom.

  16. Immunological assessment of mice hyperimmunized with native and Cobalt-60-irradiated Bothrops venoms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferreira Junior, R.S.; Meira, D.A. [UNESP, Botucatu, SP (Brazil). Dept. de Doencas Tropicais; Barraviera, B. [UNESP, Botucatu, SP (Brazil). Center for the Study of Venoms and Venomous Animals - CEVAP; Nascimento, N.; Alves, J.B. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Martinez, J.C. [UNESP, Botucatu, SP (Brazil). Escola de Engenharia]. E-mail: rseabra@cevap.org.br

    2005-10-15

    ELISA was used to evaluate, accompany, and compare the humoral immune response of Swiss mice during hyperimmunization with native and Cobalt-60-irradiated ({sup 60}Co) venoms of Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacussu and Bothrops moojeni. Potency and neutralization were evaluated by in vitro challenges. After hyperimmunization, immunity was observed by in vivo challenge, and the side effects were assessed. The animals immunization with one LD50 of each venom occurred on days 1, 15, 21, 30, and 45, when blood samples were collected; challenges happened on the 60th day. Results showed that ELISA was efficient in evaluating, accompanying and comparing mouse immune response during hyperimmunization. Serum titers produced with natural venom were similar to those produced with irradiated venom. Immunogenic capacity was maintained after {sup 60} Co-irradiation. The sera produced with native venom showed neutralizing potency and capacity similar to those of the sera produced with irradiated venom. All antibodies were able to neutralize five LD50 from these venoms. Clinical alterations were minimum during hyperimmunization with irradiated venom, however, necrosis and death occurred in animals inoculated with native venom. (author)

  17. Immunological assessment of mice hyperimmunized with native and Cobalt-60-irradiated Bothrops venoms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    ELISA was used to evaluate, accompany, and compare the humoral immune response of Swiss mice during hyperimmunization with native and Cobalt-60-irradiated (60Co) venoms of Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops jararacussu and Bothrops moojeni. Potency and neutralization were evaluated by in vitro challenges. After hyperimmunization, immunity was observed by in vivo challenge, and the side effects were assessed. The animals immunization with one LD50 of each venom occurred on days 1, 15, 21, 30, and 45, when blood samples were collected; challenges happened on the 60th day. Results showed that ELISA was efficient in evaluating, accompanying and comparing mouse immune response during hyperimmunization. Serum titers produced with natural venom were similar to those produced with irradiated venom. Immunogenic capacity was maintained after 60 Co-irradiation. The sera produced with native venom showed neutralizing potency and capacity similar to those of the sera produced with irradiated venom. All antibodies were able to neutralize five LD50 from these venoms. Clinical alterations were minimum during hyperimmunization with irradiated venom, however, necrosis and death occurred in animals inoculated with native venom. (author)

  18. Biochemical and hematological study of goats envenomed with natural and 60Co-irradiated bothropic venom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venoms from snakes of the Bothrops genus are proteolytic, coagulant, hemorrhagic and nephrotoxic, causing edema, necrosis, hemorrhage and intense pain at the bite site, besides systemic alterations. Many adjuvants have been added to the venom used in the sensitization of antiserum-producer animals to increase antigenic induction and reduce the envenomation pathological effects. Gamma radiation from 60Co has been used as an attenuating agent of the venoms toxic properties. The main objective was to study, comparatively, clinical and laboratory aspects of goats inoculated with bothropic (Bothrops jararaca) venom, natural and irradiated from a 60Co source. Twelve goats were divided into two groups of six animals: GINV, inoculated with 0.5 mg/kg of natural venom; and GIIV, inoculated with 0.5 mg/kg of irradiated venom. Blood samples were collected immediately before and one, two, seven, and thirty days after venom injection. Local lesions were daily evaluated. The following exams were carried out: blood tests; biochemical tests of urea, creatinine, creatine kinase, aspartate amino-transferase and alanine amino-transferase; clotting time; platelets count; and total serum immunoglobulin measurement. In the conditions of the present experiment, irradiated venom was less aggressive and more immunogenic than natural venom. (author)

  19. Venomics of the piscivorous cone snail C. consors: multidisciplinary techniques for drug discovery

    OpenAIRE

    Biasse, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Venomous animals have always been intriguing, whether they scare or captivate people. For scientists, they have always been fascinating creatures not only for their biological aspects, but also for the power of their venom. Venomous creatures can be found in virtually all major groups of terrestrial and marine life with more than a 100,000 species spread throughout the world. Scientists have always wondered what can be so powerful in such a tiny drop of venom that can cause such damage and po...

  20. Effects of the European hornet (Vespa crabro Linnaeus 1761) crude venom on its own species

    OpenAIRE

    Nadolski, Jerzy

    2013-01-01

    Background Lethal dose 50% is a classical index of toxicity that usually employs small rodents as experimental animals. Therefore, scarce data are available on the effects of venom on invertebrates, particularly the impact of wasp venom on its own species. Findings In the present study, the lethality of Vespa crabro venom on its own species was studied. Lethal dose 50% values of crude venom on workers of hornet Vespa crabro were estimated to be 4.0 mg/kg of body weight. Conclusions Wasps can ...