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Sample records for reptile venom genes

  1. Restriction and Recruitment—Gene Duplication and the Origin and Evolution of Snake Venom Toxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, Adam D.; Swain, Martin T.; Hegarty, Matthew J.; Logan, Darren W.; Mulley, John F.

    2014-01-01

    Snake venom has been hypothesized to have originated and diversified through a process that involves duplication of genes encoding body proteins with subsequent recruitment of the copy to the venom gland, where natural selection acts to develop or increase toxicity. However, gene duplication is known to be a rare event in vertebrate genomes, and the recruitment of duplicated genes to a novel expression domain (neofunctionalization) is an even rarer process that requires the evolution of novel combinations of transcription factor binding sites in upstream regulatory regions. Therefore, although this hypothesis concerning the evolution of snake venom is very unlikely and should be regarded with caution, it is nonetheless often assumed to be established fact, hindering research into the true origins of snake venom toxins. To critically evaluate this hypothesis, we have generated transcriptomic data for body tissues and salivary and venom glands from five species of venomous and nonvenomous reptiles. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis of these data reveals that snake venom does not evolve through the hypothesized process of duplication and recruitment of genes encoding body proteins. Indeed, our results show that many proposed venom toxins are in fact expressed in a wide variety of body tissues, including the salivary gland of nonvenomous reptiles and that these genes have therefore been restricted to the venom gland following duplication, not recruited. Thus, snake venom evolves through the duplication and subfunctionalization of genes encoding existing salivary proteins. These results highlight the danger of the elegant and intuitive “just-so story” in evolutionary biology. PMID:25079342

  2. Squeezers and leaf-cutters: differential diversification and degeneration of the venom system in toxicoferan reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, Bryan G; Undheim, Eivind A B; Ali, Syed A; Jackson, Timothy N W; Debono, Jordan; Scheib, Holger; Ruder, Tim; Morgenstern, David; Cadwallader, Luke; Whitehead, Darryl; Nabuurs, Rob; van der Weerd, Louise; Vidal, Nicolas; Roelants, Kim; Hendrikx, Iwan; Gonzalez, Sandy Pineda; Koludarov, Ivan; Jones, Alun; King, Glenn F; Antunes, Agostinho; Sunagar, Kartik

    2013-07-01

    Although it has been established that all toxicoferan squamates share a common venomous ancestor, it has remained unclear whether the maxillary and mandibular venom glands are evolving on separate gene expression trajectories or if they remain under shared genetic control. We show that identical transcripts are simultaneously expressed not only in the mandibular and maxillary glands, but also in the enigmatic snake rictal gland. Toxin molecular frameworks recovered in this study were three-finger toxin (3FTx), CRiSP, crotamine (beta-defensin), cobra venom factor, cystatin, epididymal secretory protein, kunitz, L-amino acid oxidase, lectin, renin aspartate protease, veficolin, and vespryn. We also discovered a novel low-molecular weight disulfide bridged peptide class in pythonid snake glands. In the iguanian lizards, the most highly expressed are potentially antimicrobial in nature (crotamine (beta-defensin) and cystatin), with crotamine (beta-defensin) also the most diverse. However, a number of proteins characterized from anguimorph lizards and caenophidian snakes with hemotoxic or neurotoxic activities were recruited in the common toxicoferan ancestor and remain expressed, albeit in low levels, even in the iguanian lizards. In contrast, the henophidian snakes express 3FTx and lectin toxins as the dominant transcripts. Even in the constricting pythonid and boid snakes, where the glands are predominantly mucous-secreting, low-levels of toxin transcripts can be detected. Venom thus appears to play little role in feeding behavior of most iguanian lizards or the powerful constricting snakes, and the low levels of expression argue against a defensive role. However, clearly the incipient or secondarily atrophied venom systems of these taxa may be a source of novel compounds useful in drug design and discovery.

  3. Squeezers and Leaf-cutters: Differential Diversification and Degeneration of the Venom System in Toxicoferan Reptiles*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, Bryan G.; Undheim, Eivind A.B.; Ali, Syed A.; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Debono, Jordan; Scheib, Holger; Ruder, Tim; Morgenstern, David; Cadwallader, Luke; Whitehead, Darryl; Nabuurs, Rob; van der Weerd, Louise; Vidal, Nicolas; Roelants, Kim; Hendrikx, Iwan; Gonzalez, Sandy Pineda; Koludarov, Ivan; Jones, Alun; King, Glenn F.; Antunes, Agostinho; Sunagar, Kartik

    2013-01-01

    Although it has been established that all toxicoferan squamates share a common venomous ancestor, it has remained unclear whether the maxillary and mandibular venom glands are evolving on separate gene expression trajectories or if they remain under shared genetic control. We show that identical transcripts are simultaneously expressed not only in the mandibular and maxillary glands, but also in the enigmatic snake rictal gland. Toxin molecular frameworks recovered in this study were three-finger toxin (3FTx), CRiSP, crotamine (beta-defensin), cobra venom factor, cystatin, epididymal secretory protein, kunitz, l-amino acid oxidase, lectin, renin aspartate protease, veficolin, and vespryn. We also discovered a novel low-molecular weight disulfide bridged peptide class in pythonid snake glands. In the iguanian lizards, the most highly expressed are potentially antimicrobial in nature (crotamine (beta-defensin) and cystatin), with crotamine (beta-defensin) also the most diverse. However, a number of proteins characterized from anguimorph lizards and caenophidian snakes with hemotoxic or neurotoxic activities were recruited in the common toxicoferan ancestor and remain expressed, albeit in low levels, even in the iguanian lizards. In contrast, the henophidian snakes express 3FTx and lectin toxins as the dominant transcripts. Even in the constricting pythonid and boid snakes, where the glands are predominantly mucous-secreting, low-levels of toxin transcripts can be detected. Venom thus appears to play little role in feeding behavior of most iguanian lizards or the powerful constricting snakes, and the low levels of expression argue against a defensive role. However, clearly the incipient or secondarily atrophied venom systems of these taxa may be a source of novel compounds useful in drug design and discovery. PMID:23547263

  4. Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the characteristics of various reptiles. Contains teaching activities including making reptile number books and identification keys, flip-ups about cobras, puzzles involving graphing, and group presentations. Includes reproducible handouts to be used with some of the activities. (TW)

  5. 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. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Grooves to tubes: evolution of the venom delivery system in a Late Triassic "reptile"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S.; Heckert, Andrew B.; Sues, Hans-Dieter

    2010-12-01

    Venom delivery systems occur in a wide range of extant and fossil vertebrates and are primarily based on oral adaptations. Teeth range from unmodified (Komodo dragons) to highly specialized fangs similar to hypodermic needles (protero- and solenoglyphous snakes). Developmental biologists have documented evidence for an infolding pathway of fang evolution, where the groove folds over to create the more derived condition. However, the oldest known members of venomous clades retain the same condition as their extant relatives, resulting in no fossil evidence for the transition. Based on a comparison of previously known specimens with newly discovered teeth from North Carolina, we describe a new species of the Late Triassic archosauriform Uatchitodon and provide detailed analyses that provide evidence for both venom conduction and document a complete structural series from shallow grooves to fully enclosed tubular canals. While known only from teeth, Uatchitodon is highly diagnostic in possessing compound serrations and for having two venom canals on each tooth in the dentition. Further, although not a snake, Uatchitodon sheds light on the evolutionary trajectory of venom delivery systems in amniotes and provide solid evidence for venom conduction in archosaur-line diapsids.

  7. Analysis of the reptile CD1 genes: evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhi; Wang, Chunyan; Wang, Tao; Bai, Jianhui; Zhao, Yu; Liu, Xuhan; Ma, Qingwei; Wu, Xiaobing; Guo, Ying; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2015-06-01

    CD1, as the third family of antigen-presenting molecules, is previously only found in mammals and chickens, which suggests that the chicken and mammalian CD1 shared a common ancestral gene emerging at least 310 million years ago. Here, we describe CD1 genes in the green anole lizard and Crocodylia, demonstrating that CD1 is ubiquitous in mammals, birds, and reptiles. Although the reptilian CD1 protein structures are predicted to be similar to human CD1d and chicken CD1.1, CD1 isotypes are not found to be orthologous between mammals, birds, and reptiles according to phylogenetic analyses, suggesting an independent diversification of CD1 isotypes during the speciation of mammals, birds, and reptiles. In the green anole lizard, although the single CD1 locus and MHC I gene are located on the same chromosome, there is an approximately 10-Mb-long sequence in between, and interestingly, several genes flanking the CD1 locus belong to the MHC paralogous region on human chromosome 19. The CD1 genes in Crocodylia are located in two loci, respectively linked to the MHC region and MHC paralogous region (corresponding to the MHC paralogous region on chromosome 19). These results provide new insights for studying the origin and evolution of CD1.

  8. The king cobra genome reveals dynamic gene evolution and adaptation in the snake venom system

    OpenAIRE

    Vonk, Freek J.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Henkel, Christiaan V.; Heimberg, Alysha M.; Jansen, Hans J.; McCleary, Ryan J. R.; Kerkkamp, Harald M. E.; Vos, Rutger A.; Guerreiro, Isabel; Calvete, Juan J.; Wüster, Wolfgang; Woods, Anthony E.; Logan, Jessica M.; Harrison, Robert A.; Castoe, Todd A.

    2013-01-01

    Snakes are limbless predators, and many species use venom to help overpower relatively large, agile prey. Snake venoms are complex protein mixtures encoded by several multilocus gene families that function synergistically to cause incapacitation. To examine venom evolution, we sequenced and interrogated the genome of a venomous snake, the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), and compared it, together with our unique transcriptome, microRNA, and proteome datasets from this species, with data from ...

  9. The king cobra genome reveals dynamic gene evolution and adaptation in the snake venom system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Freek J; Casewell, Nicholas R; Henkel, Christiaan V; Heimberg, Alysha M; Jansen, Hans J; McCleary, Ryan J R; Kerkkamp, Harald M E; Vos, Rutger A; Guerreiro, Isabel; Calvete, Juan J; Wüster, Wolfgang; Woods, Anthony E; Logan, Jessica M; Harrison, Robert A; Castoe, Todd A; de Koning, A P Jason; Pollock, David D; Yandell, Mark; Calderon, Diego; Renjifo, Camila; Currier, Rachel B; Salgado, David; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Hyder, Asad S; Ribeiro, José M C; Arntzen, Jan W; van den Thillart, Guido E E J M; Boetzer, Marten; Pirovano, Walter; Dirks, Ron P; Spaink, Herman P; Duboule, Denis; McGlinn, Edwina; Kini, R Manjunatha; Richardson, Michael K

    2013-12-17

    Snakes are limbless predators, and many species use venom to help overpower relatively large, agile prey. Snake venoms are complex protein mixtures encoded by several multilocus gene families that function synergistically to cause incapacitation. To examine venom evolution, we sequenced and interrogated the genome of a venomous snake, the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), and compared it, together with our unique transcriptome, microRNA, and proteome datasets from this species, with data from other vertebrates. In contrast to the platypus, the only other venomous vertebrate with a sequenced genome, we find that snake toxin genes evolve through several distinct co-option mechanisms and exhibit surprisingly variable levels of gene duplication and directional selection that correlate with their functional importance in prey capture. The enigmatic accessory venom gland shows a very different pattern of toxin gene expression from the main venom gland and seems to have recruited toxin-like lectin genes repeatedly for new nontoxic functions. In addition, tissue-specific microRNA analyses suggested the co-option of core genetic regulatory components of the venom secretory system from a pancreatic origin. Although the king cobra is limbless, we recovered coding sequences for all Hox genes involved in amniote limb development, with the exception of Hoxd12. Our results provide a unique view of the origin and evolution of snake venom and reveal multiple genome-level adaptive responses to natural selection in this complex biological weapon system. More generally, they provide insight into mechanisms of protein evolution under strong selection.

  10. The king cobra genome reveals dynamic gene evolution and adaptation in the snake venom system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Freek J.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Henkel, Christiaan V.; Heimberg, Alysha M.; Jansen, Hans J.; McCleary, Ryan J. R.; Kerkkamp, Harald M. E.; Vos, Rutger A.; Guerreiro, Isabel; Calvete, Juan J.; Wüster, Wolfgang; Woods, Anthony E.; Logan, Jessica M.; Harrison, Robert A.; Castoe, Todd A.; de Koning, A. P. Jason; Pollock, David D.; Yandell, Mark; Calderon, Diego; Renjifo, Camila; Currier, Rachel B.; Salgado, David; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Hyder, Asad S.; Ribeiro, José M. C.; Arntzen, Jan W.; van den Thillart, Guido E. E. J. M.; Boetzer, Marten; Pirovano, Walter; Dirks, Ron P.; Spaink, Herman P.; Duboule, Denis; McGlinn, Edwina; Kini, R. Manjunatha; Richardson, Michael K.

    2013-01-01

    Snakes are limbless predators, and many species use venom to help overpower relatively large, agile prey. Snake venoms are complex protein mixtures encoded by several multilocus gene families that function synergistically to cause incapacitation. To examine venom evolution, we sequenced and interrogated the genome of a venomous snake, the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), and compared it, together with our unique transcriptome, microRNA, and proteome datasets from this species, with data from other vertebrates. In contrast to the platypus, the only other venomous vertebrate with a sequenced genome, we find that snake toxin genes evolve through several distinct co-option mechanisms and exhibit surprisingly variable levels of gene duplication and directional selection that correlate with their functional importance in prey capture. The enigmatic accessory venom gland shows a very different pattern of toxin gene expression from the main venom gland and seems to have recruited toxin-like lectin genes repeatedly for new nontoxic functions. In addition, tissue-specific microRNA analyses suggested the co-option of core genetic regulatory components of the venom secretory system from a pancreatic origin. Although the king cobra is limbless, we recovered coding sequences for all Hox genes involved in amniote limb development, with the exception of Hoxd12. Our results provide a unique view of the origin and evolution of snake venom and reveal multiple genome-level adaptive responses to natural selection in this complex biological weapon system. More generally, they provide insight into mechanisms of protein evolution under strong selection. PMID:24297900

  11. Venom Evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Therefore, the platypus sequence was studied to quantify the role of gene duplication in the evolution of venom. ... Platypus venom is present only in males and is used for asserting dominance over com- petitors during the ... Certain toxin gene families are known to re- peatedly evolve through gene duplications. The rapidly ...

  12. The evolutionary fate of the genes encoding the purine catabolic enzymes in hominoids, birds, and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keebaugh, Alaine C; Thomas, James W

    2010-06-01

    Gene loss has been proposed to play a major role in adaptive evolution, and recent studies are beginning to reveal its importance in human evolution. However, the potential consequence of a single gene-loss event upon the fates of functionally interrelated genes is poorly understood. Here, we use the purine metabolic pathway as a model system in which to explore this important question. The loss of urate oxidase (UOX) activity, a necessary step in this pathway, has occurred independently in the hominoid and bird/reptile lineages. Because the loss of UOX would have removed the functional constraint upon downstream genes in this pathway, these downstream genes are generally assumed to have subsequently deteriorated. In this study, we used a comparative genomics approach to empirically determine the fate of UOX itself and the downstream genes in five hominoids, two birds, and a reptile. Although we found that the loss of UOX likely triggered the genetic deterioration of the immediate downstream genes in the hominoids, surprisingly in the birds and reptiles, the UOX locus itself and some of the downstream genes were present in the genome and predicted to encode proteins. To account for the variable pattern of gene retention and loss after the inactivation of UOX, we hypothesize that although gene loss is a common fate for genes that have been rendered obsolete due to the upstream loss of an enzyme a metabolic pathway, it is also possible that same lack of constraint will foster the evolution of new functions or allow the optimization of preexisting alternative functions in the downstream genes, thereby resulting in gene retention. Thus, adaptive single-gene losses have the potential to influence the long-term evolutionary fate of functionally interrelated genes.

  13. Genomic evidence of gene duplication and adaptive evolution of Toll like receptors (TLR2 and TLR4) in reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Shuai; Zhong, Huaming; Wu, Xiaoyang; Wei, Qinguo; Zhang, Huanxin; Chen, Jun; Chen, Yao; Tang, Xuexi; Zhang, Honghai

    2018-04-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) encoded by the TLR multigene family play an important role in initial pathogen recognition in vertebrates. Among the TLRs, TLR2 and TLR4 may be of particular importance to reptiles. In order to study the evolutionary patterns and structural characteristics of TLRs, we explored the available genomes of several representative members of reptiles. 25 TLR2 genes and 19 TLR4 genes from reptiles were obtained in this study. Phylogenetic results showed that the TLR2 gene duplication occurred in several species. Evolutionary analysis by at least two methods identified 30 and 13 common positively selected codons in TLR2 and TLR4, respectively. Most positively selected sites of TLR2 and TLR4 were located in the Leucine-rich repeat (LRRs). Branch model analysis showed that TLR2 genes were under different evolutionary forces in reptiles, while the TLR4 genes showed no significant selection pressure. The different evolutionary adaptation of TLR2 and TLR4 among the reptiles might be due to their different function in recognizing bacteria. Overall, we explored the structure and evolution of TLR2 and TLR4 genes in reptiles for the first time. Our study revealed valuable information regarding TLR2 and TLR4 in reptiles, and provided novel insights into the conservation concern of natural populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Inventing an arsenal: adaptive evolution and neofunctionalization of snake venom phospholipase A2 genes

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    Lynch Vincent J

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene duplication followed by functional divergence has long been hypothesized to be the main source of molecular novelty. Convincing examples of neofunctionalization, however, remain rare. Snake venom phospholipase A2 genes are members of large multigene families with many diverse functions, thus they are excellent models to study the emergence of novel functions after gene duplications. Results Here, I show that positive Darwinian selection and neofunctionalization is common in snake venom phospholipase A2 genes. The pattern of gene duplication and positive selection indicates that adaptive molecular evolution occurs immediately after duplication events as novel functions emerge and continues as gene families diversify and are refined. Surprisingly, adaptive evolution of group-I phospholipases in elapids is also associated with speciation events, suggesting adaptation of the phospholipase arsenal to novel prey species after niche shifts. Mapping the location of sites under positive selection onto the crystal structure of phospholipase A2 identified regions evolving under diversifying selection are located on the molecular surface and are likely protein-protein interactions sites essential for toxin functions. Conclusion These data show that increases in genomic complexity (through gene duplications can lead to phenotypic complexity (venom composition and that positive Darwinian selection is a common evolutionary force in snake venoms. Finally, regions identified under selection on the surface of phospholipase A2 enzymes are potential candidate sites for structure based antivenin design.

  15. Genomic evidence of bitter taste in snakes and phylogenetic analysis of bitter taste receptor genes in reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huaming Zhong

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available As nontraditional model organisms with extreme physiological and morphological phenotypes, snakes are believed to possess an inferior taste system. However, the bitter taste sensation is essential to distinguish the nutritious and poisonous food resources and the genomic evidence of bitter taste in snakes is largely scarce. To explore the genetic basis of the bitter taste of snakes and characterize the evolution of bitter taste receptor genes (Tas2rs in reptiles, we identified Tas2r genes in 19 genomes (species corresponding to three orders of non-avian reptiles. Our results indicated contractions of Tas2r gene repertoires in snakes, however dramatic gene expansions have occurred in lizards. Phylogenetic analysis of the Tas2rs with NJ and BI methods revealed that Tas2r genes of snake species formed two clades, whereas in lizards the Tas2r genes clustered into two monophyletic clades and four large clades. Evolutionary changes (birth and death of intact Tas2r genes in reptiles were determined by reconciliation analysis. Additionally, the taste signaling pathway calcium homeostasis modulator 1 (Calhm1 gene of snakes was putatively functional, suggesting that snakes still possess bitter taste sensation. Furthermore, Phylogenetically Independent Contrasts (PIC analyses reviewed a significant correlation between the number of Tas2r genes and the amount of potential toxins in reptilian diets, suggesting that insectivores such as some lizards may require more Tas2rs genes than omnivorous and carnivorous reptiles.

  16. Gene expression analysis predicts insect venom anaphylaxis in indolent systemic mastocytosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niedoszytko, M.; Bruinenberg, M.; van Doormaal, J. J.; de Monchy, J. G. R.; Nedoszytko, B.; Koppelman, G. H.; Nawijn, M. C.; Wijmenga, C.; Jassem, E.; Oude Elberink, J. N. G.

    P>Background: Anaphylaxis to insect venom (Hymenoptera) is most severe in patients with mastocytosis and may even lead to death. However, not all patients with mastocytosis suffer from anaphylaxis. The aim of the study was to analyze differences in gene expression between patients with indolent

  17. Targeted Sequencing of Venom Genes from Cone Snail Genomes Improves Understanding of Conotoxin Molecular Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phuong, Mark A; Mahardika, Gusti N

    2018-05-01

    To expand our capacity to discover venom sequences from the genomes of venomous organisms, we applied targeted sequencing techniques to selectively recover venom gene superfamilies and nontoxin loci from the genomes of 32 cone snail species (family, Conidae), a diverse group of marine gastropods that capture their prey using a cocktail of neurotoxic peptides (conotoxins). We were able to successfully recover conotoxin gene superfamilies across all species with high confidence (> 100× coverage) and used these data to provide new insights into conotoxin evolution. First, we found that conotoxin gene superfamilies are composed of one to six exons and are typically short in length (mean = ∼85 bp). Second, we expanded our understanding of the following genetic features of conotoxin evolution: 1) positive selection, where exons coding the mature toxin region were often three times more divergent than their adjacent noncoding regions, 2) expression regulation, with comparisons to transcriptome data showing that cone snails only express a fraction of the genes available in their genome (24-63%), and 3) extensive gene turnover, where Conidae species varied from 120 to 859 conotoxin gene copies. Finally, using comparative phylogenetic methods, we found that while diet specificity did not predict patterns of conotoxin evolution, dietary breadth was positively correlated with total conotoxin gene diversity. Overall, the targeted sequencing technique demonstrated here has the potential to radically increase the pace at which venom gene families are sequenced and studied, reshaping our ability to understand the impact of genetic changes on ecologically relevant phenotypes and subsequent diversification.

  18. Identification and characterization of amelogenin genes in monotremes, reptiles, and amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyosawa, Satoru; O’hUigin, Colm; Figueroa, Felipe; Tichy, Herbert; Klein, Jan

    1998-01-01

    Two features make the tooth an excellent model in the study of evolutionary innovations: the relative simplicity of its structure and the fact that the major tooth-forming genes have been identified in eutherian mammals. To understand the nature of the innovation at the molecular level, it is necessary to identify the homologs of tooth-forming genes in other vertebrates. As a first step toward this goal, homologs of the eutherian amelogenin gene have been cloned and characterized in selected species of monotremes (platypus and echidna), reptiles (caiman), and amphibians (African clawed toad). Comparisons of the homologs reveal that the amelogenin gene evolves quickly in the repeat region, in which numerous insertions and deletions have obliterated any similarity among the genes, and slowly in other regions. The gene organization, the distribution of hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments in the encoded protein, and several other features have been conserved throughout the evolution of the tetrapod amelogenin gene. Clones corresponding to one locus only were found in caiman, whereas the clawed toad possesses at least two amelogenin-encoding loci. PMID:9789040

  19. Coralsnake Venomics: Analyses of Venom Gland Transcriptomes and Proteomes of Six Brazilian Taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aird, Steven D; da Silva, Nelson Jorge; Qiu, Lijun; Villar-Briones, Alejandro; Saddi, Vera Aparecida; Pires de Campos Telles, Mariana; Grau, Miguel L; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2017-06-08

    Venom gland transcriptomes and proteomes of six Micrurus taxa ( M. corallinus , M. lemniscatus carvalhoi , M. lemniscatus lemniscatus , M. paraensis , M. spixii spixii , and M. surinamensis ) were investigated, providing the most comprehensive, quantitative data on Micrurus venom composition to date, and more than tripling the number of Micrurus venom protein sequences previously available. The six venomes differ dramatically. All are dominated by 2-6 toxin classes that account for 91-99% of the toxin transcripts. The M. s. spixii venome is compositionally the simplest. In it, three-finger toxins (3FTxs) and phospholipases A₂ (PLA₂s) comprise >99% of the toxin transcripts, which include only four additional toxin families at levels ≥0.1%. Micrurus l. lemniscatus venom is the most complex, with at least 17 toxin families. However, in each venome, multiple structural subclasses of 3FTXs and PLA₂s are present. These almost certainly differ in pharmacology as well. All venoms also contain phospholipase B and vascular endothelial growth factors. Minor components (0.1-2.0%) are found in all venoms except that of M. s. spixii . Other toxin families are present in all six venoms at trace levels (venom components differ in each venom. Numerous novel toxin chemistries include 3FTxs with previously unknown 8- and 10-cysteine arrangements, resulting in new 3D structures and target specificities. 9-cysteine toxins raise the possibility of covalent, homodimeric 3FTxs or heterodimeric toxins with unknown pharmacologies. Probable muscarinic sequences may be reptile-specific homologs that promote hypotension via vascular mAChRs. The first complete sequences are presented for 3FTxs putatively responsible for liberating glutamate from rat brain synaptosomes. Micrurus C-type lectin-like proteins may have 6-9 cysteine residues and may be monomers, or homo- or heterodimers of unknown pharmacology. Novel KSPIs, 3× longer than any seen previously, appear to have arisen in three

  20. Coralsnake Venomics: Analyses of Venom Gland Transcriptomes and Proteomes of Six Brazilian Taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven D. Aird

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Venom gland transcriptomes and proteomes of six Micrurus taxa (M. corallinus, M. lemniscatus carvalhoi, M. lemniscatus lemniscatus, M. paraensis, M. spixii spixii, and M. surinamensis were investigated, providing the most comprehensive, quantitative data on Micrurus venom composition to date, and more than tripling the number of Micrurus venom protein sequences previously available. The six venomes differ dramatically. All are dominated by 2–6 toxin classes that account for 91–99% of the toxin transcripts. The M. s. spixii venome is compositionally the simplest. In it, three-finger toxins (3FTxs and phospholipases A2 (PLA2s comprise >99% of the toxin transcripts, which include only four additional toxin families at levels ≥0.1%. Micrurus l. lemniscatus venom is the most complex, with at least 17 toxin families. However, in each venome, multiple structural subclasses of 3FTXs and PLA2s are present. These almost certainly differ in pharmacology as well. All venoms also contain phospholipase B and vascular endothelial growth factors. Minor components (0.1–2.0% are found in all venoms except that of M. s. spixii. Other toxin families are present in all six venoms at trace levels (<0.005%. Minor and trace venom components differ in each venom. Numerous novel toxin chemistries include 3FTxs with previously unknown 8- and 10-cysteine arrangements, resulting in new 3D structures and target specificities. 9-cysteine toxins raise the possibility of covalent, homodimeric 3FTxs or heterodimeric toxins with unknown pharmacologies. Probable muscarinic sequences may be reptile-specific homologs that promote hypotension via vascular mAChRs. The first complete sequences are presented for 3FTxs putatively responsible for liberating glutamate from rat brain synaptosomes. Micrurus C-type lectin-like proteins may have 6–9 cysteine residues and may be monomers, or homo- or heterodimers of unknown pharmacology. Novel KSPIs, 3× longer than any seen

  1. A transcriptomic analysis of gene expression in the venom gland of the snake Bothrops alternatus (urutu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menossi Marcelo

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genus Bothrops is widespread throughout Central and South America and is the principal cause of snakebite in these regions. Transcriptomic and proteomic studies have examined the venom composition of several species in this genus, but many others remain to be studied. In this work, we used a transcriptomic approach to examine the venom gland genes of Bothrops alternatus, a clinically important species found in southeastern and southern Brazil, Uruguay, northern Argentina and eastern Paraguay. Results A cDNA library of 5,350 expressed sequence tags (ESTs was produced and assembled into 838 contigs and 4512 singletons. BLAST searches of relevant databases showed 30% hits and 70% no-hits, with toxin-related transcripts accounting for 23% and 78% of the total transcripts and hits, respectively. Gene ontology analysis identified non-toxin genes related to general metabolism, transcription and translation, processing and sorting, (polypeptide degradation, structural functions and cell regulation. The major groups of toxin transcripts identified were metalloproteinases (81%, bradykinin-potentiating peptides/C-type natriuretic peptides (8.8%, phospholipases A2 (5.6%, serine proteinases (1.9% and C-type lectins (1.5%. Metalloproteinases were almost exclusively type PIII proteins, with few type PII and no type PI proteins. Phospholipases A2 were essentially acidic; no basic PLA2 were detected. Minor toxin transcripts were related to L-amino acid oxidase, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, dipeptidylpeptidase IV, hyaluronidase, three-finger toxins and ohanin. Two non-toxic proteins, thioredoxin and double-specificity phosphatase Dusp6, showed high sequence identity to similar proteins from other snakes. In addition to the above features, single-nucleotide polymorphisms, microsatellites, transposable elements and inverted repeats that could contribute to toxin diversity were observed. Conclusions Bothrops alternatus venom gland

  2. Biochemical characterization of the venom of the coral snake Micrurus tener and comparative biological activities in the mouse and a reptile model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bénard-Valle, Melisa; Carbajal-Saucedo, Alejandro; de Roodt, Adolfo; López-Vera, Estuardo; Alagón, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify the venom components that could play a relevant role during envenomation caused by the coral snake Micrurus tener, through its biochemical characterization as well as the analysis of its effects on a murine model. Furthermore, it aimed to evaluate crude venom, in addition to its components, for possible specificity of action on a natural prey model (Conopsis lineata). The toxicity of the crude venom (delivered subcutaneously) showed a significant difference between the Median Lethal Dose (LD₅₀) in mice (4.4 μg/g) and in Conopsis lineata (12.1 μg/g) that was not observed when comparing the Median Paralyzing Dose (PD₅₀) values (mice = 4.7 μg/g; snakes = 4.1 μg/g). These results are evidence that the choice of study model strongly influences the apparent effects of crude venom. Moreover, based on the observed physical signs in the animal models, it was concluded that the most important physical effect caused by the venom is flaccid paralysis, which facilitates capture and subduing of prey regardless of whether it is alive; death is a logical consequence of the lack of oxygenation. Venom fractionation using a C18 reverse phase column yielded 35 fractions from which 16.6% caused paralysis and/or death to both animal models, 21.9% caused paralysis and/or death only to C. lineata and 1.6% were murine specific. Surprisingly, the diversity of snake-specific fractions did not reflect a difference between the PD₅₀s of the crude venom in mice and snakes, making it impossible to assume some type of specificity for either of the study models. Finally, the great diversity and abundance of fractions with no observable effect in snakes or mice (42.7%) suggested that the observed lethal fractions are not the only relevant toxic fractions within the venom and emphasized the possible relevance of interaction between components to generate the syndrome caused by the venom as a whole. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  3. Major Histocompatibility Complex Genes Map to Two Chromosomes in an Evolutionarily Ancient Reptile, the Tuatara Sphenodon punctatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Hilary C; O'Meally, Denis; Ezaz, Tariq; Amemiya, Chris; Marshall-Graves, Jennifer A; Edwards, Scott

    2015-05-07

    Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes are a central component of the vertebrate immune system and usually exist in a single genomic region. However, considerable differences in MHC organization and size exist between different vertebrate lineages. Reptiles occupy a key evolutionary position for understanding how variation in MHC structure evolved in vertebrates, but information on the structure of the MHC region in reptiles is limited. In this study, we investigate the organization and cytogenetic location of MHC genes in the tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus), the sole extant representative of the early-diverging reptilian order Rhynchocephalia. Sequencing and mapping of 12 clones containing class I and II MHC genes from a bacterial artificial chromosome library indicated that the core MHC region is located on chromosome 13q. However, duplication and translocation of MHC genes outside of the core region was evident, because additional class I MHC genes were located on chromosome 4p. We found a total of seven class I sequences and 11 class II β sequences, with evidence for duplication and pseudogenization of genes within the tuatara lineage. The tuatara MHC is characterized by high repeat content and low gene density compared with other species and we found no antigen processing or MHC framework genes on the MHC gene-containing clones. Our findings indicate substantial differences in MHC organization in tuatara compared with mammalian and avian MHCs and highlight the dynamic nature of the MHC. Further sequencing and annotation of tuatara and other reptile MHCs will determine if the tuatara MHC is representative of nonavian reptiles in general. Copyright © 2015 Miller et al.

  4. Biased Gene Conversion and GC-Content Evolution in the Coding Sequences of Reptiles and Vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figuet, Emeric; Ballenghien, Marion; Romiguier, Jonathan; Galtier, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian and avian genomes are characterized by a substantial spatial heterogeneity of GC-content, which is often interpreted as reflecting the effect of local GC-biased gene conversion (gBGC), a meiotic repair bias that favors G and C over A and T alleles in high-recombining genomic regions. Surprisingly, the first fully sequenced nonavian sauropsid (i.e., reptile), the green anole Anolis carolinensis, revealed a highly homogeneous genomic GC-content landscape, suggesting the possibility that gBGC might not be at work in this lineage. Here, we analyze GC-content evolution at third-codon positions (GC3) in 44 vertebrates species, including eight newly sequenced transcriptomes, with a specific focus on nonavian sauropsids. We report that reptiles, including the green anole, have a genome-wide distribution of GC3 similar to that of mammals and birds, and we infer a strong GC3-heterogeneity to be already present in the tetrapod ancestor. We further show that the dynamic of coding sequence GC-content is largely governed by karyotypic features in vertebrates, notably in the green anole, in agreement with the gBGC hypothesis. The discrepancy between third-codon positions and noncoding DNA regarding GC-content dynamics in the green anole could not be explained by the activity of transposable elements or selection on codon usage. This analysis highlights the unique value of third-codon positions as an insertion/deletion-free marker of nucleotide substitution biases that ultimately affect the evolution of proteins. PMID:25527834

  5. Expression of immune-response genes in lepidopteran host is suppressed by venom from an endoparasitoid, Pteromalus puparum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fang Qi

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The relationships between parasitoids and their insect hosts have attracted attention at two levels. First, the basic biology of host-parasitoid interactions is of fundamental interest. Second, parasitoids are widely used as biological control agents in sustainable agricultural programs. Females of the gregarious endoparasitoid Pteromalus puparum (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae inject venom along with eggs into their hosts. P. puparum does not inject polydnaviruses during oviposition. For this reason, P. puparum and its pupal host, the small white butterfly Pieris rapae (Lepidoptera: Pieridae, comprise an excellent model system for studying the influence of an endoparasitoid venom on the biology of the pupal host. P. puparum venom suppresses the immunity of its host, although the suppressive mechanisms are not fully understood. In this study, we tested our hypothesis that P. puparum venom influences host gene expression in the two main immunity-conferring tissues, hemocytes and fat body. Results At 1 h post-venom injection, we recorded significant decreases in transcript levels of 217 EST clones (revealing 113 genes identified in silico, including 62 unknown contigs derived from forward subtractive libraries of host hemocytes and in transcript levels of 288 EST clones (221 genes identified in silico, including 123 unknown contigs from libraries of host fat body. These genes are related to insect immune response, cytoskeleton, cell cycle and apoptosis, metabolism, transport, stress response and transcriptional and translational regulation. We verified the reliability of the suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH data with semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis of a set of randomly selected genes. This analysis showed that most of the selected genes were down-regulated after venom injection. Conclusions Our findings support our hypothesis that P. puparum venom influences gene expression in host hemocytes and fat body. Specifically

  6. Three synonymous genes encode calmodulin in a reptile, the Japanese tortoise, Clemmys japonica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kouji Shimoda

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Three distinct calmodulin (CaM-encoding cDNAs were isolated from a reptile, the Japanese tortoise (Clemmys japonica, based on degenerative primer PCR. Because of synonymous codon usages, the deduced amino acid (aa sequences were exactly the same in all three genes and identical to the aa sequence of vertebrate CaM. The three cDNAs, referred to as CaM-A, -B, and -C, seemed to belong to the same type as CaMI, CaMII, and CaMIII, respectively, based on their sequence identity with those of the mammalian cDNAs and the glutamate codon biases. Northern blot analysis detected CaM-A and -B as bands corresponding to 1.8 kb, with the most abundant levels in the brain and testis, while CaM-C was detected most abundantly in the brain as bands of 1.4 and 2.0 kb. Our results indicate that, in the tortoise, CaM protein is encoded by at least three non-allelic genes, and that the ‘multigene-one protein' principle of CaM synthesis is applicable to all classes of vertebrates, from fishes to mammals.

  7. Detection and phylogenetic analysis of a new adenoviral polymerase gene in reptiles in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bak, Eun-Jung; Jho, Yeonsook; Woo, Gye-Hyeong

    2018-06-01

    Over a period of 7 years (2004-2011), samples from 34 diseased reptiles provided by local governments, zoos, and pet shops were tested for viral infection. Animals were diagnosed based on clinical signs, including loss of appetite, diarrhea, rhinorrhea, and unexpected sudden death. Most of the exotic animals had gastrointestinal problems, such as mucosal redness and ulcers, while the native animals had no clinical symptoms. Viral sequences were found in seven animals. Retroviral genes were amplified from samples from five Burmese pythons (Python molurus bivittatus), an adenovirus was detected in a panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis), and an adenovirus and a paramyxovirus were detected in a tropical girdled lizard (Cordylus tropidosternum). Phylogenetic analysis of retroviruses and paramyxoviruses showed the highest sequence identity to both a Python molurus endogenous retrovirus and a Python curtus endogenous retrovirus and to a lizard isolate, respectively. Partial sequencing of an adenoviral DNA polymerase gene from the lizard isolate suggested that the corresponding virus was a novel isolate different from the reference strain (accession no. AY576677.1). The virus was not isolated but was detected, using molecular genetic techniques, in a lizard raised in a pet shop. This animal was also coinfected with a paramyxovirus.

  8. Rapid expansion of the protein disulfide isomerase gene family facilitates the folding of venom peptides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Li, Qing; Jackson, Ronneshia L.

    2016-01-01

    Formation of correct disulfide bonds in the endoplasmic reticulum is a crucial step for folding proteins destined for secretion. Protein disulfide isomerases (PDIs) play a central role in this process. We report a previously unidentified, hypervariable family of PDIs that represents the most...... diverse gene family of oxidoreductases described in a single genus to date. These enzymes are highly expressed specifically in the venom glands of predatory cone snails, animals that synthesize a remarkably diverse set of cysteine-rich peptide toxins (conotoxins). Enzymes in this PDI family, termed...

  9. Changes in gene expression caused by insect venom immunotherapy responsible for the long-term protection of insect venom-allergic patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niedoszytko, Marek; Bruinenberg, Marcel; de Monchy, Jan; Weersma, Rinse K; Wijmenga, Cisca; Jassem, Ewa; Elberink, Joanne N G Oude

    2011-06-01

    Insect venom immunotherapy (VIT) is the only causative treatment of insect venom allergy (IVA). The immunological mechanism(s) responsible for long-term protection achieved by VIT are largely unknown. A better understanding is relevant for improving the diagnosis, prediction of anaphylaxis, and monitoring and simplifying treatment of IVA. To find genes that are differentially expressed during the maintenance phase of VIT and after stopping, to get clues about the pathways involved in the long-term protective effect of immunotherapy. Whole genome gene expression analysis was performed on RNA samples from 50 patients treated with VIT and 43 healthy controls. Patients were divided into three groups: (1) before the start of VIT; (2) on maintenance phase of VIT for at least 3 years still receiving injections; and (3) after VIT. Of all 48,804 probes present in the array, 48,773 transcripts had sufficient data for further analysis. The list of genes that were differentially expressed (at least log2 FC > 2; P Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Reptile Facts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinheimer, Margaret

    1993-01-01

    Describes an award-winning bulletin board for introducing a unit on reptiles. This interactive bulletin board contains fun facts and counters common misconceptions about reptiles. Twelve true-false statements are hidden behind pull-up flaps. Four pictures ask students to identify the difference between often-confused animals. (PR)

  12. Bee venom suppresses PMA-mediated MMP-9 gene activation via JNK/p38 and NF-kappaB-dependent mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Hyun-Ji; Jeong, Yun-Jeong; Park, Kwan-Kyu; Park, Yoon-Yub; Chung, Il-Kyung; Lee, Kwang-Gill; Yeo, Joo-Hong; Han, Sang-Mi; Bae, Young-Seuk; Chang, Young-Chae

    2010-02-17

    Bee venom has been used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and for the relief of pain in traditional oriental medicine. The purpose of this study is to elucidate the effects of bee venom on MMP-9 expression and determine possible mechanisms by which bee venom relieves or prevents the expression of MMP-9 during invasion and metastasis of breast cancer cells. We examined the expression and activity of MMP-9 and possible signaling pathway affected in PMA-induced MCF-7 cells. Bee venom was obtained from the National Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology of Korea. Matrigel invasion assay, wound-healing assay, zymography assay, western blot assay, electrophoretic mobility shift assay and luciferase gene assay were used for assessment. Bee venom inhibited cell invasion and migration, and also suppressed MMP-9 activity and expression, processes related to tumor invasion and metastasis, in PMA-induced MCF-7 cells. Bee venom specifically suppressed the phosphorylation of p38/JNK and at the same time, suppressed the protein expression, DNA binding and promoter activity of NF-kappaB. The levels of phosphorylated ERK1/2 and c-Jun did not change. We also investigated MMP-9 inhibition by melittin, apamin and PLA(2), representative single component of bee venom. We confirmed that PMA-induced MMP-9 activity was significantly decreased by melittin, but not by apamin and phospholipase A(2). These data demonstrated that the expression of MMP-9 was abolished by melittin, the main component of bee venom. Bee venom inhibits PMA-induced MMP-9 expression and activity by inhibition of NF-kappaB via p38 MAPK and JNK signaling pathways in MCF-7 cells. These results indicate that bee venom can be a potential anti-metastatic and anti-invasive agent. This useful effect may lead to future clinical research on the anti-cancer properties of bee venom. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Project Reptile!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diffily, Deborah

    2001-01-01

    Integrating curriculum is important in helping children make connections within and among areas. Presents a class project for kindergarten children which came out of the students' interests and desire to build a reptile exhibit. (ASK)

  14. Gene expression analysis in predicting the effectiveness of insect venom immunotherapy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niedoszytko, M.; Bruinenberg, M.; de Monchy, J.; Wijmenga, C.; Platteel, M.; Jassem, E.; Oude Elberink, Joanna N.G.

    Background: Venom immunotherapy (VIT) enables longtime prevention of insect venom allergy in the majority of patients. However, in some, the risk of a resystemic reaction increases after completion of treatment. No reliable factors predicting individual lack of efficacy of VIT are currently

  15. Reptile Perinatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Krista A

    2017-05-01

    Reptile perinatology refers to the time period surrounding hatching for oviparous species, and immediately after birth for viviparous species. Veterinarians working in myriad conservation and breeding programs require knowledge in this area. This article reviews anatomy and physiology of the amniotic egg, the basics of artificial incubation, when manual pipping is indicated, and basic medicine of the reptile hatchling or neonate. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. REPTILE HEMATOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nejra Hadžimusić

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Determination of the number of circulating blood cells is of a great importance in clinical diagnosis. However, in some species, such as birds and reptiles, it is not possible to determine the number of individual blood cells using standard automated equipment, because of the specific morphological characteristics. For this reason, recognition of individual cell elements is crucial during hematological examination. Key words: Hematology, reptiles, blood cell morphology

  17. Alabama ESI: REPTILES (Reptile Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for threatened/endangered and rare reptiles in Alabama. Vector polygons in this data set represent the rare...

  18. Diversification of a single ancestral gene into a successful toxin superfamily in highly venomous Australian funnel-web spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Sandy S; Sollod, Brianna L; Wilson, David; Darling, Aaron; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Kely, Laurence; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G; King, Glenn F

    2014-03-05

    Spiders have evolved pharmacologically complex venoms that serve to rapidly subdue prey and deter predators. The major toxic factors in most spider venoms are small, disulfide-rich peptides. While there is abundant evidence that snake venoms evolved by recruitment of genes encoding normal body proteins followed by extensive gene duplication accompanied by explosive structural and functional diversification, the evolutionary trajectory of spider-venom peptides is less clear. Here we present evidence of a spider-toxin superfamily encoding a high degree of sequence and functional diversity that has evolved via accelerated duplication and diversification of a single ancestral gene. The peptides within this toxin superfamily are translated as prepropeptides that are posttranslationally processed to yield the mature toxin. The N-terminal signal sequence, as well as the protease recognition site at the junction of the propeptide and mature toxin are conserved, whereas the remainder of the propeptide and mature toxin sequences are variable. All toxin transcripts within this superfamily exhibit a striking cysteine codon bias. We show that different pharmacological classes of toxins within this peptide superfamily evolved under different evolutionary selection pressures. Overall, this study reinforces the hypothesis that spiders use a combinatorial peptide library strategy to evolve a complex cocktail of peptide toxins that target neuronal receptors and ion channels in prey and predators. We show that the ω-hexatoxins that target insect voltage-gated calcium channels evolved under the influence of positive Darwinian selection in an episodic fashion, whereas the κ-hexatoxins that target insect calcium-activated potassium channels appear to be under negative selection. A majority of the diversifying sites in the ω-hexatoxins are concentrated on the molecular surface of the toxins, thereby facilitating neofunctionalisation leading to new toxin pharmacology.

  19. Gene expression in SK-Mel-28 human melanoma cells treated with the snake venom jararhagin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Anelise; Capitanio, Juliana Silva; Maria, Durvanei Augusto; Ruiz, Itamar Romano Garcia

    2011-01-01

    Alternative approaches to improve the treatment of advanced melanomas are highly needed. The disintegrin domain of metalloproteinases binds integrin receptors on tumor cells, blocking migration, invasion, and metastatization. Previous studies showed that jararhagin, from the Bothrops jararaca snake venom, induces changes in the morphology and viability of SK-Mel-28 human melanoma cells, and decreases the number of metastases in mice injected with pre-treated cells. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the molecular effects of jararhagin on SK-Mel-28 cells and fibroblasts, concerning the expression of integrins, cadherins, caspases, and TP53 genes. Sub-toxic doses of jararhagin were administered to confluent cells. RT-PCR was performed following extraction of total RNA. Jararhagin treatments induced similar morphological alterations in both normal and tumor cells, with higher IC50 values for fibroblasts. Integrin genes were downregulated in untreated cells, except for ITGA6a,b, ITGAv, and ITGB3 which were highly expressed in SK-Mel-28. The integrin expression profiles were not affected by the toxin. However, jararhagin 30ng/μl upregulated genes TP53, CDKN1A, CDKN2A, CASP3, CASP5, CASP6, CASP8, and E-CDH in SK-Mel-28, and genes ITGB6, ITGB7, CASP3, TP53, and CDKN1B in fibroblasts. Appropriate jararhagin concentration can have apoptotic and suppressant effects on SK-Mel-28 cells, rather than on fibroblasts, and can be used to develop potential anti-cancer drugs. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Reptile cardiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Mark A

    2009-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease in reptiles generally is considered an uncommon finding in captive animals, but no large-scale, cross-sectional studies have been performed to determine its prevalence. It is possible that cardiovascular disease is more common than is generally accepted and that the current belief results from limited clinical and diagnostic experience. This article offers guidance drawn from the author's clinical experience and the available literature. It is important that veterinarians pursue a thorough history, physical examination, and diagnostic work-up when managing cardiovascular disease in a reptile case. Veterinarians working with these cases should document their findings and share them with their colleagues to build an evidence-based foundation for reptile medicine.

  1. Changes in gene expression caused by insect venom immunotherapy responsible for the long-term protection of insect venom-allergic patients

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niedoszytko, Marek; Bruinenberg, Marcel; de Monchy, Jan; Weersma, Rinse K.; Wijmenga, Cisca; Jassem, Ewa; Oude Elberink, Joanne N. G.

    Background: Insect venom immunotherapy (VIT) is the only causative treatment of insect venom allergy (IVA). The immunological mechanism(s) responsible for long-term protection achieved by VIT are largely unknown. A better understanding is relevant for improving the diagnosis, prediction of

  2. Antimicrobial Peptides in Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hoek, Monique L.

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles are among the oldest known amniotes and are highly diverse in their morphology and ecological niches. These animals have an evolutionarily ancient innate-immune system that is of great interest to scientists trying to identify new and useful antimicrobial peptides. Significant work in the last decade in the fields of biochemistry, proteomics and genomics has begun to reveal the complexity of reptilian antimicrobial peptides. Here, the current knowledge about antimicrobial peptides in reptiles is reviewed, with specific examples in each of the four orders: Testudines (turtles and tortosises), Sphenodontia (tuataras), Squamata (snakes and lizards), and Crocodilia (crocodilans). Examples are presented of the major classes of antimicrobial peptides expressed by reptiles including defensins, cathelicidins, liver-expressed peptides (hepcidin and LEAP-2), lysozyme, crotamine, and others. Some of these peptides have been identified and tested for their antibacterial or antiviral activity; others are only predicted as possible genes from genomic sequencing. Bioinformatic analysis of the reptile genomes is presented, revealing many predicted candidate antimicrobial peptides genes across this diverse class. The study of how these ancient creatures use antimicrobial peptides within their innate immune systems may reveal new understandings of our mammalian innate immune system and may also provide new and powerful antimicrobial peptides as scaffolds for potential therapeutic development. PMID:24918867

  3. Mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon: efficient sequencing method with reptile-oriented primers and novel gene rearrangements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumazawa, Yoshinori; Endo, Hideki

    2004-04-30

    The mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) was nearly completely sequenced, except for two highly repetitive noncoding regions. An efficient sequencing method for squamate mitochondrial genomes was established by combining the long polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology and a set of reptile-oriented primers designed for nested PCR amplifications. It was found that the mitochondrial genome had novel gene arrangements in which genes from NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6 to proline tRNA were extensively shuffled with duplicate control regions. These control regions had 99% sequence similarity over 700 bp. Although snake mitochondrial genomes are also known to possess duplicate control regions with nearly identical sequences, the location of the second control region suggested independent occurrence of the duplication on lineages leading to snakes and the Komodo dragon. Another feature of the mitochondrial genome of the Komodo dragon was the considerable number of tandem repeats, including sequences with a strong secondary structure, as a possible site for the slipped-strand mispairing in replication. These observations are consistent with hypotheses that tandem duplications via the slipped-strand mispairing may induce mitochondrial gene rearrangements and may serve to maintain similar copies of the control region.

  4. Trends in the Evolution of Snake Toxins Underscored by an Integrative Omics Approach to Profile the Venom of the Colubrid Phalotris mertensi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos, Pollyanna Fernandes; Andrade-Silva, Débora; Zelanis, André; Paes Leme, Adriana Franco; Rocha, Marisa Maria Teixeira; Menezes, Milene Cristina; Serrano, Solange M T; Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio de Loiola Meirelles

    2016-08-16

    Only few studies on snake venoms were dedicated to deeply characterize the toxin secretion of animals from the Colubridae family, despite the fact that they represent the majority of snake diversity. As a consequence, some evolutionary trends observed in venom proteins that underpinned the evolutionary histories of snake toxins were based on data from a minor parcel of the clade. Here, we investigated the proteins of the totally unknown venom from Phalotris mertensi (Dipsadinae subfamily), in order to obtain a detailed profile of its toxins and to appreciate evolutionary tendencies occurring in colubrid venoms. By means of integrated omics and functional approaches, including RNAseq, Sanger sequencing, high-resolution proteomics, recombinant protein production, and enzymatic tests, we verified an active toxic secretion containing up to 21 types of proteins. A high content of Kunitz-type proteins and C-type lectins were observed, although several enzymatic components such as metalloproteinases and an L-amino acid oxidase were also present in the venom. Interestingly, an arguable venom component of other species was demonstrated as a true venom protein and named svLIPA (snake venom acid lipase). This finding indicates the importance of checking the actual protein occurrence across species before rejecting genes suggested to code for toxins, which are relevant for the discussion about the early evolution of reptile venoms. Moreover, trends in the evolution of some toxin classes, such as simplification of metalloproteinases and rearrangements of Kunitz and Wap domains, parallel similar phenomena observed in other venomous snake families and provide a broader picture of toxin evolution. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  5. The expression and function of hsp30-like small heat shock protein genes in amphibians, birds, fish, and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikkila, John J

    2017-01-01

    Small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) are a superfamily of molecular chaperones with important roles in protein homeostasis and other cellular functions. Amphibians, reptiles, fish and birds have a shsp gene called hsp30, which was also referred to as hspb11 or hsp25 in some fish and bird species. Hsp30 genes, which are not found in mammals, are transcribed in response to heat shock or other stresses by means of the heat shock factor that is activated in response to an accumulation of unfolded protein. Amino acid sequence analysis revealed that representative HSP30s from different classes of non-mammalian vertebrates were distinct from other sHSPs including HSPB1/HSP27. Studies with amphibian and fish recombinant HSP30 determined that they were molecular chaperones since they inhibited heat- or chemically-induced aggregation of unfolded protein. During non-mammalian vertebrate development, hsp30 genes were differentially expressed in selected tissues. Also, heat shock-induced stage-specific expression of hsp30 genes in frog embryos was regulated at the level of chromatin structure. In adults and/or tissue culture cells, hsp30 gene expression was induced by heat shock, arsenite, cadmium or proteasomal inhibitors, all of which enhanced the production of unfolded/damaged protein. Finally, immunocytochemical analysis of frog and chicken tissue culture cells revealed that proteotoxic stress-induced HSP30 accumulation co-localized with aggresome-like inclusion bodies. The congregation of damaged protein in aggresomes minimizes the toxic effect of aggregated protein dispersed throughout the cell. The current availability of probes to detect the presence of hsp30 mRNA or encoded protein has resulted in the increased use of hsp30 gene expression as a marker of proteotoxic stress in non-mammalian vertebrates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Reptile embryology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickaryous, Matthew K; McLean, Katherine E

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles (lizards, snakes, turtles and crocodylians) are becoming increasing popular as models for developmental investigations. In this review the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius, is presented as a reptilian model for embryonic studies. We provide details of husbandry, breeding and modifications to two popular histological techniques (whole-mount histochemistry and immunohistochemistry). In addition, we provide a summary of basic reptilian husbandry requirements and discuss important details of embryonic nutrition, egg anatomy and sex determination.

  7. Pain-Causing Venom Peptides: Insights into Sensory Neuron Pharmacology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sina Jami

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Venoms are produced by a wide variety of species including spiders, scorpions, reptiles, cnidarians, and fish for the purpose of harming or incapacitating predators or prey. While some venoms are of relatively simple composition, many contain hundreds to thousands of individual components with distinct pharmacological activity. Pain-inducing or “algesic” venom compounds have proven invaluable to our understanding of how physiological nociceptive neural networks operate. In this review, we present an overview of some of the diverse nociceptive pathways that can be modulated by specific venom components to evoke pain.

  8. Gene design, fusion technology and TEV cleavage conditions influence the purification of oxidized disulphide-rich venom peptides in Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequeira, Ana Filipa; Turchetto, Jeremy; Saez, Natalie J; Peysson, Fanny; Ramond, Laurie; Duhoo, Yoan; Blémont, Marilyne; Fernandes, Vânia O; Gama, Luís T; Ferreira, Luís M A; Guerreiro, Catarina I P I; Gilles, Nicolas; Darbon, Hervé; Fontes, Carlos M G A; Vincentelli, Renaud

    2017-01-17

    Animal venoms are large, complex libraries of bioactive, disulphide-rich peptides. These peptides, and their novel biological activities, are of increasing pharmacological and therapeutic importance. However, recombinant expression of venom peptides in Escherichia coli remains difficult due to the significant number of cysteine residues requiring effective post-translational processing. There is also an urgent need to develop high-throughput recombinant protocols applicable to the production of reticulated peptides to enable efficient screening of their drug potential. Here, a comprehensive study was developed to investigate how synthetic gene design, choice of fusion tag, compartment of expression, tag removal conditions and protease recognition site affect levels of solubility of oxidized venom peptides produced in E. coli. The data revealed that expression of venom peptides imposes significant pressure on cysteine codon selection. DsbC was the best fusion tag for venom peptide expression, in particular when the fusion was directed to the bacterial periplasm. While the redox activity of DsbC was not essential to maximize expression of recombinant fusion proteins, redox activity did lead to higher levels of correctly folded target peptides. With the exception of proline, the canonical TEV protease recognition site tolerated all other residues at its C-terminus, confirming that no non-native residues, which might affect activity, need to be incorporated at the N-terminus of recombinant peptides for tag removal. This study reveals that E. coli is a convenient heterologous host for the expression of soluble and functional venom peptides. Using the optimal construct design, a large and diverse range of animal venom peptides were produced in the µM scale. These results open up new possibilities for the high-throughput production of recombinant disulphide-rich peptides in E. coli.

  9. 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 habitats,...

  10. Reptile Hematology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykes, John M; Klaphake, Eric

    2015-09-01

    The basic principles of hematology used in mammalian medicine can be applied to reptiles. The appearances of the blood cells are significantly different from those seen in most mammals, and vary with taxa and staining method used. Many causes for abnormalities of the reptilian hemogram are similar to those for mammals, although additional factors such as venipuncture site, season, hibernation status, captivity status, and environmental factors can also affect values, making interpretation of hematologic results challenging. Values in an individual should be compared with reference ranges specific to that species, gender, and environmental conditions when available. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Identification of a novel splicing form of amelogenin gene in a reptile, Ctenosaura similis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinping Wang

    Full Text Available Amelogenin, the major enamel matrix protein in tooth development, has been demonstrated to play a significant role in tooth enamel formation. Previous studies have identified the alternative splicing of amelogenin in many mammalian vertebrates as one mechanism for amelogenin heterogeneous expression in teeth. While amelogenin and its splicing forms in mammalian vertebrates have been cloned and sequenced, the amelogenin gene, especially its splicing forms in non-mammalian species, remains largely unknown. To better understand the mechanism underlying amelogenin evolution, we previously cloned and characterized an amelogenin gene sequence from a squamate, the green iguana. In this study, we employed RT-PCR to amplify the amelogenin gene from the black spiny-tailed iguana Ctenosaura similis teeth, and discovered a novel splicing form of the amelogenin gene. The transcript of the newly identified iguana amelogenin gene (named C. Similis-T2L is 873 nucleotides long encoding an expected polypeptide of 206 amino acids. The C. Similis-T2L contains a unique exon denominated exon X, which is located between exon 5 and exon 6. The C. Similis-T2L contains 7 exons including exon 1, 2, 3, 5, X, 6, and 7. Analysis of the secondary and tertiary structures of T2L amelogenin protein demonstrated that exon X has a dramatic effect on the amelogenin structures. This is the first report to provide definitive evidence for the amelogenin alternative splicing in non-mammalian vertebrates, revealing a unique exon X and the splicing form of the amelogenin gene transcript in Ctenosaura similis.

  12. Exotic reptile bites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelsey, J; Ehrlich, M; Henderson, S O

    1997-09-01

    Reptiles are a growing part of the exotic pet trade, and reptile bites have been considered innocuous in the emergency medicine literature. Two cases are reported of reptile bites, one from a green iguana and the other from a reticulated python. The treatment concerns associated with reptile bites are discussed.

  13. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogeny, Genomic Organization and Expression of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes in Alligator sinensis, an Endangered Reptile Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yan; Zhang, Chenglin; Wu, Xiaobing; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, λ and κ, the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Igλ locus contains 6 Cλ genes, each preceded by a Jλ gene, and 86 potentially functional Vλ genes upstream of (Jλ-Cλ)n. The Igκ locus contains a single Cκ gene, 6 Jκs and 62 functional Vκs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 Vλ families and 12 Vκ families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Igλ and Igκ. By analyzing the cloned Igλ/κ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed Vλ and Vκ. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed λ and κ sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates. PMID:26901135

  14. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogeny, Genomic Organization and Expression of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes in Alligator sinensis, an Endangered Reptile Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xifeng Wang

    Full Text Available Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, λ and κ, the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Igλ locus contains 6 Cλ genes, each preceded by a Jλ gene, and 86 potentially functional Vλ genes upstream of (Jλ-Cλn. The Igκ locus contains a single Cκ gene, 6 Jκs and 62 functional Vκs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 Vλ families and 12 Vκ families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Igλ and Igκ. By analyzing the cloned Igλ/κ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed Vλ and Vκ. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed λ and κ sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates.

  15. Testing the "toxin hypothesis of allergy": Mast cells, IgE, and innate and acquired immune responses to venoms*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Mindy; Starkl, Philipp; Marichal, Thomas; Galli, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Work in mice indicates that innate functions of mast cells, particularly degradation of venom toxins by mast cell-derived proteases, can enhance resistance to certain arthropod or reptile venoms. Recent reports indicate that acquired Th2 immune responses associated with the production of IgE antibodies, induced by Russell’s viper venom or honeybee venom, or by a component of honeybee venom, bee venom phospholipase 2 (bvPLA2), can increase the resistance of mice to challenge with potentially lethal doses of either of the venoms or bvPLA2. These findings support the conclusion that, in contrast to the detrimental effects associated with allergic Th2 immune responses, mast cells and IgE-dependent immune responses to venoms can contribute to innate and adaptive resistance to venom-induced pathology and mortality. PMID:26210895

  16. Viruses infecting reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marschang, Rachel E

    2011-11-01

    A large number of viruses have been described in many different reptiles. These viruses include arboviruses that primarily infect mammals or birds as well as viruses that are specific for reptiles. Interest in arboviruses infecting reptiles has mainly focused on the role reptiles may play in the epidemiology of these viruses, especially over winter. Interest in reptile specific viruses has concentrated on both their importance for reptile medicine as well as virus taxonomy and evolution. The impact of many viral infections on reptile health is not known. Koch's postulates have only been fulfilled for a limited number of reptilian viruses. As diagnostic testing becomes more sensitive, multiple infections with various viruses and other infectious agents are also being detected. In most cases the interactions between these different agents are not known. This review provides an update on viruses described in reptiles, the animal species in which they have been detected, and what is known about their taxonomic positions.

  17. Reptiles in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gantert, Robert L.

    1972-01-01

    Discusses the advantages of using reptiles in biology and elementary school classes, describes demonstration techniques used by the author, and suggests some student activities using reptiles, especially snakes and lizards. (AL)

  18. Viruses Infecting Reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel E. Marschang

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available A large number of viruses have been described in many different reptiles. These viruses include arboviruses that primarily infect mammals or birds as well as viruses that are specific for reptiles. Interest in arboviruses infecting reptiles has mainly focused on the role reptiles may play in the epidemiology of these viruses, especially over winter. Interest in reptile specific viruses has concentrated on both their importance for reptile medicine as well as virus taxonomy and evolution. The impact of many viral infections on reptile health is not known. Koch’s postulates have only been fulfilled for a limited number of reptilian viruses. As diagnostic testing becomes more sensitive, multiple infections with various viruses and other infectious agents are also being detected. In most cases the interactions between these different agents are not known. This review provides an update on viruses described in reptiles, the animal species in which they have been detected, and what is known about their taxonomic positions.

  19. Reptile Soft Tissue Surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Girolamo, Nicola; Mans, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    The surgical approach to reptiles can be challenging. Reptiles have unique physiologic, anatomic, and pathologic differences. This may result in frustrating surgical experiences. However, recent investigations provided novel, less invasive, surgical techniques. The purpose of this review was to describe the technical aspects behind soft tissue surgical techniques that have been used in reptiles, so as to provide a general guideline for veterinarians working with reptiles. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Respiratory medicine of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Juergen

    2011-05-01

    Noninfectious and infectious causes have been implicated in the development of respiratory tract disease in reptiles. Treatment modalities in reptiles have to account for species differences in response to therapeutic agents as well as interpretation of diagnostic findings. Data on effective drugs and dosages for the treatment of respiratory diseases are often lacking in reptiles. Recently, advances have been made on the application of advanced imaging modalities, especially computed tomography for the diagnosis and treatment monitoring of reptiles. This article describes common infectious and noninfectious causes of respiratory disease in reptiles, including diagnostic and therapeutic regimen. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Insights into the Evolution of a Snake Venom Multi-Gene Family from the Genomic Organization of Echis ocellatus SVMP Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Libia Sanz

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The molecular events underlying the evolution of the Snake Venom Metalloproteinase (SVMP family from an A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase (ADAM ancestor remain poorly understood. Comparative genomics may provide decisive information to reconstruct the evolutionary history of this multi-locus toxin family. Here, we report the genomic organization of Echis ocellatus genes encoding SVMPs from the PII and PI classes. Comparisons between them and between these genes and the genomic structures of Anolis carolinensis ADAM28 and E. ocellatus PIII-SVMP EOC00089 suggest that insertions and deletions of intronic regions played key roles along the evolutionary pathway that shaped the current diversity within the multi-locus SVMP gene family. In particular, our data suggest that emergence of EOC00028-like PI-SVMP from an ancestral PII(e/d-type SVMP involved splicing site mutations that abolished both the 3′ splice AG acceptor site of intron 12* and the 5′ splice GT donor site of intron 13*, and resulted in the intronization of exon 13* and the consequent destruction of the structural integrity of the PII-SVMP characteristic disintegrin domain.

  2. Reptile wellness management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Stacey Leonatti

    2015-05-01

    Proper care and husbandry are the most important factors in keeping captive reptiles healthy. Improper nutrition, supplementation, caging, lighting, substrate, temperature, and humidity can all lead to stress and development of disease. Presented here are current recommendations for keeping captive reptiles. Care has moved away from sterile, spartan enclosures to larger, more naturalistic habitats. These habitats provide more space and choices for the reptile, leading to higher activity levels, reduced stress, and more opportunities to exhibit natural behaviors. Reptiles benefit from enrichment and are amenable to training in order to reduce stress and allow easier handling and veterinary care. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Reptiles and amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Perrow, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Summary – We reviewed all the peer-reviewed scientific publications we could find on the known and potential effects of wind farm development, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning on reptiles and amphibians (collectively herpetofauna) worldwide. Both groups are declining globally due to a multitude of threats including energy development. Effect studies were limited to the long-term research by the authors on Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise ecology and behavior at single operational wind farm in California, US and an analysis of the effects of wind farm installation on species richness of vertebrates including reptiles and amphibians in northwestern Portugal. Research on Agassiz’s Desert Tortoise found few demonstrable differences in biological parameters between populations in the wind farm and those in more natural habitats. High reproductive output is due to the regional climate and not to the presence or operation of the wind farm. Site operations have resulted in death and injury to a small number of adult tortoises and over the long-term tortoises now appear to avoid the areas of greatest turbine concentration. Research in Portugal using models and simulations based on empirical data show that vertebrate species richness (including herpetofauna) decreased by almost 20% after the installation of only two large monopole turbines per 250 x 250 m plot. Knowledge of the known responses of herpetofauna to various disturbances allows identification of potential impacts from construction material acquisition in offsite areas, mortality and stress due to impacts of roads and related infrastructure, destruction and modification of habitat, habitat fragmentation and barriers to gene flow, noise, vibration, electromagnetic field generation, heat from buried high voltage transmission lines, alteration of local and regional climate, predator attraction, and increased risk of fire. Research on herpetofauna lags far behind what is needed and, in particular, before

  4. 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.

  5. Venomics of New World pit vipers: genus-wide comparisons of venom proteomes across Agkistrodon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomonte, Bruno; Tsai, Wan-Chih; Ureña-Diaz, Juan Manuel; Sanz, Libia; Mora-Obando, Diana; Sánchez, Elda E; Fry, Bryan G; Gutiérrez, José María; Gibbs, H Lisle; Sovic, Michael G; Calvete, Juan J

    2014-01-16

    We report a genus-wide comparison of venom proteome variation across New World pit vipers in the genus Agkistrodon. Despite the wide variety of habitats occupied by this genus and that all its taxa feed on diverse species of vertebrates and invertebrate prey, the venom proteomes of copperheads, cottonmouths, and cantils are remarkably similar, both in the type and relative abundance of their different toxin families. The venoms from all the eleven species and subspecies sampled showed relatively similar proteolytic and PLA2 activities. In contrast, quantitative differences were observed in hemorrhagic and myotoxic activities in mice. The highest myotoxic activity was observed with the venoms of A. b. bilineatus, followed by A. p. piscivorus, whereas the venoms of A. c. contortrix and A. p. leucostoma induced the lowest myotoxic activity. The venoms of Agkistrodon bilineatus subspecies showed the highest hemorrhagic activity and A. c. contortrix the lowest. Compositional and toxicological analyses agree with clinical observations of envenomations by Agkistrodon in the USA and Central America. A comparative analysis of Agkistrodon shows that venom divergence tracks phylogeny of this genus to a greater extent than in Sistrurus rattlesnakes, suggesting that the distinct natural histories of Agkistrodon and Sistrurus clades may have played a key role in molding the patterns of evolution of their venom protein genes. A deep understanding of the structural and functional profiles of venoms and of the principles governing the evolution of venomous systems is a goal of venomics. Isolated proteomics analyses have been conducted on venoms from many species of vipers and pit vipers. However, making sense of these large inventories of data requires the integration of this information across multiple species to identify evolutionary and ecological trends. Our genus-wide venomics study provides a comprehensive overview of the toxic arsenal across Agkistrodon and a ground for

  6. Venomics of New World pit vipers: Genus-wide comparisons of venom proteomes across Agkistrodon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomonte, Bruno; Tsai, Wan-Chih; Ureña-Diaz, Juan Manuel; Sanz, Libia; Mora-Obando, Diana; Sánchez, Elda E.; Fry, Bryan G.; Gutiérrez, José María; Gibbs, H. Lisle; Sovic, Michael G.; Calvete, Juan J.

    2015-01-01

    We report a genus-wide comparison of venom proteome variation across New World pit vipers in the genus Agkistrodon. Despite the wide variety of habitats occupied by this genus and that all its taxa feed on diverse species of vertebrates and invertebrate prey, the venom proteomes of copperheads, cottonmouths, and cantils are remarkably similar, both in the type and relative abundance of their different toxin families. The venoms from all the eleven species and subspecies sampled showed relatively similar proteolytic and PLA2 activities. In contrast, quantitative differences were observed in hemorrhagic and myotoxic activities in mice. The highest myotoxic activity was observed with the venoms of A. b. bilineatus, followed by A. p. piscivorus, whereas the venoms of A. c. contortrix and A. p. leucostoma induced the lowest myotoxic activity. The venoms of Agkistrodon bilineatus subspecies showed the highest hemorrhagic activity and A. c. contortrix the lowest. Compositional and toxicological analyses agree with clinical observations of envenomations by Agkistrodon in the USA and Central America. A comparative analysis of Agkistrodon shows that venom divergence tracks phylogeny of this genus to a greater extent than in Sistrurus rattlesnakes, suggesting that the distinct natural histories of Agkistrodon and Sistrurus clades may have played a key role in molding the patterns of evolution of their venom protein genes. Biological significance A deep understanding of the structural and functional profiles of venoms and of the principles governing the evolution of venomous systems is a goal of venomics. Isolated proteomics analyses have been conducted on venoms from many species of vipers and pit vipers. However, making sense of these large inventories of data requires the integration of this information across multiple species to identify evolutionary and ecological trends. Our genus-wide venomics study provides a comprehensive overview of the toxic arsenal across

  7. Evolution of CRISPs associated with toxicoferan-reptilian venom and mammalian reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Vasconcelos, Vítor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2012-07-01

    Cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs) are glycoproteins found exclusively in vertebrates and have broad diversified functions. They are hypothesized to play important roles in mammalian reproduction and in reptilian venom, where they disrupt homeostasis of the prey through several mechanisms, including among others, blockage of cyclic nucleotide-gated and voltage-gated ion channels and inhibition of smooth muscle contraction. We evaluated the molecular evolution of CRISPs in toxicoferan reptiles at both nucleotide and protein levels relative to their nonvenomous mammalian homologs. We show that the evolution of CRISP gene in these reptiles is significantly influenced by positive selection and in snakes (ω = 3.84) more than in lizards (ω = 2.33), whereas mammalian CRISPs were under strong negative selection (CRISP1 = 0.55, CRISP2 = 0.40, and CRISP3 = 0.68). The use of ancestral sequence reconstruction, mapping of mutations on the three-dimensional structure, and detailed evaluation of selection pressures suggests that the toxicoferan CRISPs underwent accelerated evolution aided by strong positive selection and directional mutagenesis, whereas their mammalian homologs are constrained by negative selection. Gene and protein-level selection analyses identified 41 positively selected sites in snakes and 14 sites in lizards. Most of these sites are located on the molecular surface (nearly 76% in snakes and 79% in lizards), whereas the backbone of the protein retains a highly conserved structural scaffold. Nearly 46% of the positively selected sites occur in the cysteine-rich domain of the protein. This directional mutagenesis, where the hotspots of mutations are found on the molecular surface and functional domains of the protein, acts as a diversifying mechanism for the exquisite biological targeting of CRISPs in toxicoferan reptiles. Finally, our analyses suggest that the evolution of toxicoferan-CRISP venoms might have been influenced by the specific predatory

  8. Rapid evolution of Beta-keratin genes contribute to phenotypic differences that distinguish turtles and birds from other reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang I; Kong, Lesheng; Ponting, Chris P; Haerty, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Sequencing of vertebrate genomes permits changes in distinct protein families, including gene gains and losses, to be ascribed to lineage-specific phenotypes. A prominent example of this is the large-scale duplication of beta-keratin genes in the ancestors of birds, which was crucial to the subsequent evolution of their beaks, claws, and feathers. Evidence suggests that the shell of Pseudomys nelsoni contains at least 16 beta-keratins proteins, but it is unknown whether this is a complete set and whether their corresponding genes are orthologous to avian beak, claw, or feather beta-keratin genes. To address these issues and to better understand the evolution of the turtle shell at a molecular level, we surveyed the diversity of beta-keratin genes from the genome assemblies of three turtles, Chrysemys picta, Pelodiscus sinensis, and Chelonia mydas, which together represent over 160 Myr of chelonian evolution. For these three turtles, we found 200 beta-keratins, which indicate that, as for birds, a large expansion of beta-keratin genes in turtles occurred concomitantly with the evolution of a unique phenotype, namely, their plastron and carapace. Phylogenetic reconstruction of beta-keratin gene evolution suggests that separate waves of gene duplication within a single genomic location gave rise to scales, claws, and feathers in birds, and independently the scutes of the shell in turtles.

  9. Emergency care of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, T H

    1998-09-01

    Common reptile emergencies are reviewed in this article and the fundamentals of emergency care are provided. Important points include obtaining a complete history and husbandry review, physical examination, diagnostic tests, fluid support, anesthetics, and antibiotics.

  10. Viruses in reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariel, Ellen

    2011-09-21

    The etiology of reptilian viral diseases can be attributed to a wide range of viruses occurring across different genera and families. Thirty to forty years ago, studies of viruses in reptiles focused mainly on the zoonotic potential of arboviruses in reptiles and much effort went into surveys and challenge trials of a range of reptiles with eastern and western equine encephalitis as well as Japanese encephalitis viruses. In the past decade, outbreaks of infection with West Nile virus in human populations and in farmed alligators in the USA has seen the research emphasis placed on the issue of reptiles, particularly crocodiles and alligators, being susceptible to, and reservoirs for, this serious zoonotic disease. Although there are many recognised reptilian viruses, the evidence for those being primary pathogens is relatively limited. Transmission studies establishing pathogenicity and cofactors are likewise scarce, possibly due to the relatively low commercial importance of reptiles, difficulties with the availability of animals and permits for statistically sound experiments, difficulties with housing of reptiles in an experimental setting or the inability to propagate some viruses in cell culture to sufficient titres for transmission studies. Viruses as causes of direct loss of threatened species, such as the chelonid fibropapilloma associated herpesvirus and ranaviruses in farmed and wild tortoises and turtles, have re-focused attention back to the characterisation of the viruses as well as diagnosis and pathogenesis in the host itself.

  11. Characterization of a Nonclassical Class I MHC Gene in a Reptile, the Galápagos Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaberman, Scott; Du Pasquier, Louis; Caccone, Adalgisa

    2008-01-01

    Squamates are a diverse order of vertebrates, representing more than 7,000 species. Yet, descriptions of full-length major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes in this group are nearly absent from the literature, while the number of MHC studies continues to rise in other vertebrate taxa. The lack of basic information about MHC organization in squamates inhibits investigation into the relationship between MHC polymorphism and disease, and leaves a large taxonomic gap in our understanding of amniote MHC evolution. Here, we use both cDNA and genomic sequence data to characterize a class I MHC gene (Amcr-UA) from the Galápagos marine iguana, a member of the squamate subfamily Iguaninae. Amcr-UA appears to be functional since it is expressed in the blood and contains many of the conserved peptide-binding residues that are found in classical class I genes of other vertebrates. In addition, comparison of Amcr-UA to homologous sequences from other iguanine species shows that the antigen-binding portion of this gene is under purifying selection, rather than balancing selection, and therefore may have a conserved function. A striking feature of Amcr-UA is that both the cDNA and genomic sequences lack the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains that are necessary to anchor the class I receptor molecule into the cell membrane, suggesting that the product of this gene is secreted and consequently not involved in classical class I antigen-presentation. The truncated and conserved character of Amcr-UA lead us to define it as a nonclassical gene that is related to the few available squamate class I sequences. However, phylogenetic analysis placed Amcr-UA in a basal position relative to other published classical MHC genes from squamates, suggesting that this gene diverged near the beginning of squamate diversification. PMID:18682845

  12. Characterization of a nonclassical class I MHC gene in a reptile, the Galápagos marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Glaberman

    Full Text Available Squamates are a diverse order of vertebrates, representing more than 7,000 species. Yet, descriptions of full-length major histocompatibility complex (MHC genes in this group are nearly absent from the literature, while the number of MHC studies continues to rise in other vertebrate taxa. The lack of basic information about MHC organization in squamates inhibits investigation into the relationship between MHC polymorphism and disease, and leaves a large taxonomic gap in our understanding of amniote MHC evolution. Here, we use both cDNA and genomic sequence data to characterize a class I MHC gene (Amcr-UA from the Galápagos marine iguana, a member of the squamate subfamily Iguaninae. Amcr-UA appears to be functional since it is expressed in the blood and contains many of the conserved peptide-binding residues that are found in classical class I genes of other vertebrates. In addition, comparison of Amcr-UA to homologous sequences from other iguanine species shows that the antigen-binding portion of this gene is under purifying selection, rather than balancing selection, and therefore may have a conserved function. A striking feature of Amcr-UA is that both the cDNA and genomic sequences lack the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains that are necessary to anchor the class I receptor molecule into the cell membrane, suggesting that the product of this gene is secreted and consequently not involved in classical class I antigen-presentation. The truncated and conserved character of Amcr-UA lead us to define it as a nonclassical gene that is related to the few available squamate class I sequences. However, phylogenetic analysis placed Amcr-UA in a basal position relative to other published classical MHC genes from squamates, suggesting that this gene diverged near the beginning of squamate diversification.

  13. Snake evolution and prospecting of snake venom

    OpenAIRE

    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 much more flexible than previously thought. But it also underscores the potential use of the many different types of snake venom toxins that could be screened for use against human disorders. And most...

  14. Internal parasites of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raś-Noryńska, Małgorzata; Sokół, Rajmund

    2015-01-01

    Nowadays a growing number of exotic reptiles are kept as pets. The aim of this study was to determine the species of parasites found in reptile patients of veterinary practices in Poland. Fecal samples obtained from 76 lizards, 15 turtles and 10 snakes were examined by flotation method and direct smear stained with Lugol's iodine. In 63 samples (62.4%) the presence of parasite eggs and oocysts was revealed. Oocysts of Isospora spp. (from 33% to 100% of the samples, depending on the reptilian species) and Oxyurids eggs (10% to 75%) were predominant. In addition, isolated Eimeria spp. oocysts and Giardia intestinalis cysts were found, as well as Strongylus spp. and Hymenolepis spp. eggs. Pet reptiles are often infected with parasites, some of which are potentially dangerous to humans. A routine parasitological examination should be done in such animals.

  15. Medically important differences in snake venom composition are dictated by distinct postgenomic mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casewell, Nicholas R; Wagstaff, Simon C; Wüster, Wolfgang; Cook, Darren A N; Bolton, Fiona M S; King, Sarah I; Pla, Davinia; Sanz, Libia; Calvete, Juan J; Harrison, Robert A

    2014-06-24

    Variation in venom composition is a ubiquitous phenomenon in snakes and occurs both interspecifically and intraspecifically. Venom variation can have severe outcomes for snakebite victims by rendering the specific antibodies found in antivenoms ineffective against heterologous toxins found in different venoms. The rapid evolutionary expansion of different toxin-encoding gene families in different snake lineages is widely perceived as the main cause of venom variation. However, this view is simplistic and disregards the understudied influence that processes acting on gene transcription and translation may have on the production of the venom proteome. Here, we assess the venom composition of six related viperid snakes and compare interspecific changes in the number of toxin genes, their transcription in the venom gland, and their translation into proteins secreted in venom. Our results reveal that multiple levels of regulation are responsible for generating variation in venom composition between related snake species. We demonstrate that differential levels of toxin transcription, translation, and their posttranslational modification have a substantial impact upon the resulting venom protein mixture. Notably, these processes act to varying extents on different toxin paralogs found in different snakes and are therefore likely to be as important as ancestral gene duplication events for generating compositionally distinct venom proteomes. Our results suggest that these processes may also contribute to altering the toxicity of snake venoms, and we demonstrate how this variability can undermine the treatment of a neglected tropical disease, snakebite.

  16. 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.

  17. Invasive reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

    Although they are frequently lumped together, reptiles and amphibians belong to two very different zoological groups. Nevertheless, one fact is clear: while numerous reptile and amphibian species on Earth are in decline, others have taken advantage of trade or human movements to become established in new lands, adopting different, and sometimes unusual, strategies. The authors have taken a few examples from these two zoological groups that illustrate the majority of cases. A brief analysis of the causes and effects of their introductions into new areas reveals connections with economic interests, trade in companion animals, medical research and public health.

  18. Venom-gland transcriptome and venom proteome of the Malaysian king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Choo Hock; Tan, Kae Yi; Fung, Shin Yee; Tan, Nget Hong

    2015-09-10

    The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is widely distributed throughout many parts of Asia. This study aims to investigate the complexity of Malaysian Ophiophagus hannah (MOh) venom for a better understanding of king cobra venom variation and its envenoming pathophysiology. The venom gland transcriptome was investigated using the Illumina HiSeq™ platform, while the venom proteome was profiled by 1D-SDS-PAGE-nano-ESI-LCMS/MS. Transcriptomic results reveal high redundancy of toxin transcripts (3357.36 FPKM/transcript) despite small cluster numbers, implying gene duplication and diversification within restricted protein families. Among the 23 toxin families identified, three-finger toxins (3FTxs) and snake-venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) have the most diverse isoforms. These 2 toxin families are also the most abundantly transcribed, followed in descending order by phospholipases A2 (PLA2s), cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPs), Kunitz-type inhibitors (KUNs), and L-amino acid oxidases (LAAOs). Seventeen toxin families exhibited low mRNA expression, including hyaluronidase, DPP-IV and 5'-nucleotidase that were not previously reported in the venom-gland transcriptome of a Balinese O. hannah. On the other hand, the MOh proteome includes 3FTxs, the most abundantly expressed proteins in the venom (43 % toxin sbundance). Within this toxin family, there are 6 long-chain, 5 short-chain and 2 non-conventional 3FTx. Neurotoxins comprise the major 3FTxs in the MOh venom, consistent with rapid neuromuscular paralysis reported in systemic envenoming. The presence of toxic enzymes such as LAAOs, SVMPs and PLA2 would explain tissue inflammation and necrotising destruction in local envenoming. Dissimilarities in the subtypes and sequences between the neurotoxins of MOh and Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) are in agreement with the poor cross-neutralization activity of N. kaouthia antivenom used against MOh venom. Besides, the presence of cobra venom factor, nerve growth factors

  19. 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…

  20. Parasites in pet reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mavri Urška

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Exotic reptiles originating from the wild can be carriers of many different pathogens and some of them can infect humans. Reptiles imported into Slovenia from 2000 to 2005, specimens of native species taken from the wild and captive bred species were investigated. A total of 949 reptiles (55 snakes, 331 lizards and 563 turtles, belonging to 68 different species, were examined for the presence of endoparasites and ectoparasites. Twelve different groups (Nematoda (5, Trematoda (1, Acanthocephala (1, Pentastomida (1 and Protozoa (4 of endoparasites were determined in 26 (47.3% of 55 examined snakes. In snakes two different species of ectoparasites were also found. Among the tested lizards eighteen different groups (Nematoda (8, Cestoda (1, Trematoda (1, Acanthocephala (1, Pentastomida (1 and Protozoa (6 of endoparasites in 252 (76.1% of 331 examined animals were found. One Trombiculid ectoparasite was determined. In 563 of examined turtles eight different groups (Nematoda (4, Cestoda (1, Trematoda (1 and Protozoa (2 of endoparasites were determined in 498 (88.5% animals. In examined turtles three different species of ectoparasites were seen. The established prevalence of various parasites in reptiles used as pet animals indicates the need for examination on specific pathogens prior to introduction to owners.

  1. Viruses in reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariel Ellen

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The etiology of reptilian viral diseases can be attributed to a wide range of viruses occurring across different genera and families. Thirty to forty years ago, studies of viruses in reptiles focused mainly on the zoonotic potential of arboviruses in reptiles and much effort went into surveys and challenge trials of a range of reptiles with eastern and western equine encephalitis as well as Japanese encephalitis viruses. In the past decade, outbreaks of infection with West Nile virus in human populations and in farmed alligators in the USA has seen the research emphasis placed on the issue of reptiles, particularly crocodiles and alligators, being susceptible to, and reservoirs for, this serious zoonotic disease. Although there are many recognised reptilian viruses, the evidence for those being primary pathogens is relatively limited. Transmission studies establishing pathogenicity and cofactors are likewise scarce, possibly due to the relatively low commercial importance of reptiles, difficulties with the availability of animals and permits for statistically sound experiments, difficulties with housing of reptiles in an experimental setting or the inability to propagate some viruses in cell culture to sufficient titres for transmission studies. Viruses as causes of direct loss of threatened species, such as the chelonid fibropapilloma associated herpesvirus and ranaviruses in farmed and wild tortoises and turtles, have re-focused attention back to the characterisation of the viruses as well as diagnosis and pathogenesis in the host itself. 1. Introduction 2. Methods for working with reptilian viruses 3. Reptilian viruses described by virus families 3.1. Herpesviridae 3.2. Iridoviridae 3.2.1 Ranavirus 3.2.2 Erythrocytic virus 3.2.3 Iridovirus 3.3. Poxviridae 3.4. Adenoviridae 3.5. Papillomaviridae 3.6. Parvoviridae 3.7. Reoviridae 3.8. Retroviridae and inclusion body disease of Boid snakes 3.9. Arboviruses 3.9.1. Flaviviridae 3

  2. Nontuberculous mycobacteria in captive and pet reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irena Reil

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to highlight the importance of nontuberculous mycobacteria species in the pathology of various reptilian pet species as well as their epidemiological significance of infection transmission to humans. Faeces samples from six living reptiles and organs from ten carcasses were submitted to bacteriological testing during the years 2003–2015. Positive colonies from one faeces sample and two organs showed the presence of a gene coding 65kDa antigen common for all mycobacteria. Further identification to the species level revealed that the isolates belong to Mycobacterium fortuitum and Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis, later subjected to drug susceptibility testing which confirmed high resistance levels in both isolates. In conclusion, there is a great significance of the occurrence of nontuberculous mycobacteria in captive and pet reptiles, presenting reptiles as possible hosts representing a serious threat of transmission of high resistance mycobacterial isolates to humans. To our knowledge, this is the first report of M. avium subsp. hominissuis occurrence in reptiles.

  3. Pharmacokinetics of Snake Venom

    OpenAIRE

    Suchaya Sanhajariya; Stephen B. Duffull; Geoffrey K. Isbister

    2018-01-01

    Understanding snake venom pharmacokinetics is essential for developing risk assessment strategies and determining the optimal dose and timing of antivenom required to bind all venom in snakebite patients. This review aims to explore the current knowledge of snake venom pharmacokinetics in animals and humans. Literature searches were conducted using EMBASE (1974–present) and Medline (1946–present). For animals, 12 out of 520 initially identified studies met the inclusion criteria. In general, ...

  4. Snake venoms are integrated systems, but abundant venom proteins evolve more rapidly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aird, Steven D; Aggarwal, Shikha; Villar-Briones, Alejandro; Tin, Mandy Man-Ying; Terada, Kouki; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2015-08-28

    While many studies have shown that extracellular proteins evolve rapidly, how selection acts on them remains poorly understood. We used snake venoms to understand the interaction between ecology, expression level, and evolutionary rate in secreted protein systems. Venomous snakes employ well-integrated systems of proteins and organic constituents to immobilize prey. Venoms are generally optimized to subdue preferred prey more effectively than non-prey, and many venom protein families manifest positive selection and rapid gene family diversification. Although previous studies have illuminated how individual venom protein families evolve, how selection acts on venoms as integrated systems, is unknown. Using next-generation transcriptome sequencing and mass spectrometry, we examined microevolution in two pitvipers, allopatrically separated for at least 1.6 million years, and their hybrids. Transcriptomes of parental species had generally similar compositions in regard to protein families, but for a given protein family, the homologs present and concentrations thereof sometimes differed dramatically. For instance, a phospholipase A2 transcript comprising 73.4 % of the Protobothrops elegans transcriptome, was barely present in the P. flavoviridis transcriptome (king cobra genome, suggesting that rapid evolution of abundant proteins may be generally true for snake venoms. Looking more broadly at Protobothrops, we show that rapid evolution of the most abundant components is due to positive selection, suggesting an interplay between abundance and adaptation. Given log-scale differences in toxin abundance, which are likely correlated with biosynthetic costs, we hypothesize that as a result of natural selection, snakes optimize return on energetic investment by producing more of venom proteins that increase their fitness. Natural selection then acts on the additive genetic variance of these components, in proportion to their contributions to overall fitness. Adaptive

  5. The toxicogenomic multiverse: convergent recruitment of proteins into animal venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, Bryan G; Roelants, Kim; Champagne, Donald E; Scheib, Holger; Tyndall, Joel D A; King, Glenn F; Nevalainen, Timo J; Norman, Janette A; Lewis, Richard J; Norton, Raymond S; Renjifo, Camila; de la Vega, Ricardo C Rodríguez

    2009-01-01

    Throughout evolution, numerous proteins have been convergently recruited into the venoms of various animals, including centipedes, cephalopods, cone snails, fish, insects (several independent venom systems), platypus, scorpions, shrews, spiders, toxicoferan reptiles (lizards and snakes), and sea anemones. The protein scaffolds utilized convergently have included AVIT/colipase/prokineticin, CAP, chitinase, cystatin, defensins, hyaluronidase, Kunitz, lectin, lipocalin, natriuretic peptide, peptidase S1, phospholipase A(2), sphingomyelinase D, and SPRY. Many of these same venom protein types have also been convergently recruited for use in the hematophagous gland secretions of invertebrates (e.g., fleas, leeches, kissing bugs, mosquitoes, and ticks) and vertebrates (e.g., vampire bats). Here, we discuss a number of overarching structural, functional, and evolutionary generalities of the protein families from which these toxins have been frequently recruited and propose a revised and expanded working definition for venom. Given the large number of striking similarities between the protein compositions of conventional venoms and hematophagous secretions, we argue that the latter should also fall under the same definition.

  6. Immunology of Bee Venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elieh Ali Komi, Daniel; Shafaghat, Farzaneh; Zwiener, Ricardo D

    2017-01-20

    Bee venom is a blend of biochemicals ranging from small peptides and enzymes to biogenic amines. It is capable of triggering severe immunologic reactions owing to its allergenic fraction. Venom components are presented to the T cells by antigen-presenting cells within the skin. These Th2 type T cells then release IL-4 and IL-13 which subsequently direct B cells to class switch to production of IgE. Generating venom-specific IgE and crosslinking FcεR1(s) on the surface of mast cells complete the sensitizing stage in allergic individuals who are most likely to experience severe and even fatal allergic reactions after being stung. Specific IgE for bee venom is a double-edged sword as it is a powerful mediator in triggering allergic events but is also applied successfully in diagnosis of the venom allergic patient. The healing capacity of bee venom has been rediscovered under laboratory-controlled conditions using animal models and cell cultures. The potential role of enzymatic fraction of bee venom including phospholipase A2 in the initiation and development of immune responses also has been studied in numerous research settings. Undoubtedly, having insights into immunologic interactions between bee venom components and innate/specific immune cells both locally and systematically will contribute to the development of immunologic strategies in specific and epitope-based immunotherapy especially in individuals with Hymenoptera venom allergy.

  7. The venom optimization hypothesis revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgenstern, David; King, Glenn F

    2013-03-01

    Animal venoms are complex chemical mixtures that typically contain hundreds of proteins and non-proteinaceous compounds, resulting in a potent weapon for prey immobilization and predator deterrence. However, because venoms are protein-rich, they come with a high metabolic price tag. The metabolic cost of venom is sufficiently high to result in secondary loss of venom whenever its use becomes non-essential to survival of the animal. The high metabolic cost of venom leads to the prediction that venomous animals may have evolved strategies for minimizing venom expenditure. Indeed, various behaviors have been identified that appear consistent with frugality of venom use. This has led to formulation of the "venom optimization hypothesis" (Wigger et al. (2002) Toxicon 40, 749-752), also known as "venom metering", which postulates that venom is metabolically expensive and therefore used frugally through behavioral control. Here, we review the available data concerning economy of venom use by animals with either ancient or more recently evolved venom systems. We conclude that the convergent nature of the evidence in multiple taxa strongly suggests the existence of evolutionary pressures favoring frugal use of venom. However, there remains an unresolved dichotomy between this economy of venom use and the lavish biochemical complexity of venom, which includes a high degree of functional redundancy. We discuss the evidence for biochemical optimization of venom as a means of resolving this conundrum. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24801114

  9. Approach to Reptile Emergency Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Simon Y

    2016-05-01

    This article summarizes the physiology and anatomy of reptiles, highlighting points relevant for emergency room veterinarians. Other systems, such as the endocrine and immune systems, have not been covered. The many other aspects of reptile species variation are too numerous to be covered. This article provides an overview but encourages clinicians to seek additional species-specific information to better medically diagnose and treat their reptile patients. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Circus Venomous: an interactive tool for toxinology education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vohra, Rais; Spano, Susanne

    2013-07-01

    Clinical education about envenomations and their treatment may convey clinical and zoological details inadequately or flatly. In recent years, the widespread availability of models and videos of venomous species have created unique opportunities for toxinology education. We share our experiences using a new toolkit for educating a diverse array of clinicians, students, and wilderness medicine enthusiasts. We examined the cost, number of participants, and satisfaction data since the initiation of a portable workshop featuring high-fidelity exhibits of venomous species. Termed the "Circus Venomous," this educational toolkit consists of several boxes of props, such as plastic models, photos, and preserved specimens of injurious species. The workshop consists of three phases: 1.) participants view all exhibits and answer clinical questions regarding venomous injuries; 2.) short video clips from television, internet, and cinema are viewed together, and myths about envenomation injuries are debunked; 3.) debriefing session and wrap-up. We have utilized the Circus Venomous to teach medical students, residents, practicing community clinicians, nurses, PAs, national and regional parkmedics, and wilderness enthusiasts. The major cost (about $800) was spent on the purchase of highly durable, lifelike models and well preserved real reptile and arachnid specimens. When formal feedback was solicited, the participants expressed high levels of satisfaction, scoring an average of 4.3, 4.4, and 4.3 out of 5 points in the respective areas of content, presentation, and practical value of the activity. Since we have used this exhibit with approximately 250 participants over 2 years, we estimate the materials cost per participant is approximately $3. The Circus Venomous is a novel, interactive, flexible, and cost-effective teaching tool about envenomation emergencies. We hope that this concept will encourage other clinical educators toward further innovation. Future directions for our

  11. Characterization of a Gene Coding for the Complement System Component FB from Loxosceles laeta Spider Venom Glands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myamoto, Daniela Tiemi; Pidde-Queiroz, Giselle; Gonçalves-de-Andrade, Rute Maria; Pedroso, Aurélio; van den Berg, Carmen W; Tambourgi, Denise V

    2016-01-01

    The human complement system is composed of more than 30 proteins and many of these have conserved domains that allow tracing the phylogenetic evolution. The complement system seems to be initiated with the appearance of C3 and factor B (FB), the only components found in some protostomes and cnidarians, suggesting that the alternative pathway is the most ancient. Here, we present the characterization of an arachnid homologue of the human complement component FB from the spider Loxosceles laeta. This homologue, named Lox-FB, was identified from a total RNA L. laeta spider venom gland library and was amplified using RACE-PCR techniques and specific primers. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence and the domain structure showed significant similarity to the vertebrate and invertebrate FB/C2 family proteins. Lox-FB has a classical domain organization composed of a control complement protein domain (CCP), a von Willebrand Factor domain (vWFA), and a serine protease domain (SP). The amino acids involved in Mg2+ metal ion dependent adhesion site (MIDAS) found in the vWFA domain in the vertebrate C2/FB proteins are well conserved; however, the classic catalytic triad present in the serine protease domain is not conserved in Lox-FB. Similarity and phylogenetic analyses indicated that Lox-FB shares a major identity (43%) and has a close evolutionary relationship with the third isoform of FB-like protein (FB-3) from the jumping spider Hasarius adansoni belonging to the Family Salcitidae.

  12. Characterization of a Gene Coding for the Complement System Component FB from Loxosceles laeta Spider Venom Glands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Tiemi Myamoto

    Full Text Available The human complement system is composed of more than 30 proteins and many of these have conserved domains that allow tracing the phylogenetic evolution. The complement system seems to be initiated with the appearance of C3 and factor B (FB, the only components found in some protostomes and cnidarians, suggesting that the alternative pathway is the most ancient. Here, we present the characterization of an arachnid homologue of the human complement component FB from the spider Loxosceles laeta. This homologue, named Lox-FB, was identified from a total RNA L. laeta spider venom gland library and was amplified using RACE-PCR techniques and specific primers. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence and the domain structure showed significant similarity to the vertebrate and invertebrate FB/C2 family proteins. Lox-FB has a classical domain organization composed of a control complement protein domain (CCP, a von Willebrand Factor domain (vWFA, and a serine protease domain (SP. The amino acids involved in Mg2+ metal ion dependent adhesion site (MIDAS found in the vWFA domain in the vertebrate C2/FB proteins are well conserved; however, the classic catalytic triad present in the serine protease domain is not conserved in Lox-FB. Similarity and phylogenetic analyses indicated that Lox-FB shares a major identity (43% and has a close evolutionary relationship with the third isoform of FB-like protein (FB-3 from the jumping spider Hasarius adansoni belonging to the Family Salcitidae.

  13. Nutritional support of reptile patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Voe, Ryan S

    2014-05-01

    Providing nutritional support to reptile patients is a challenging and often misunderstood task. Ill reptiles are frequently anorexic and can benefit greatly from appropriate nutrition delivered via a variety of assist-feeding techniques. Neonatal reptiles can also be very challenging patients because many fail to thrive without significant efforts to establish normal feeding behaviors. This article presents ideas supporting the benefit of timely nutritional support as well as specific recommendations for implementation of assist feeding. Also discussed are a few nutritional issues that affect captive reptile species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Venom-related transcripts from Bothrops jararaca tissues provide novel molecular insights into the production and evolution of snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Bastos, Carolina Mancini Val; Ho, Paulo Lee; Luna, Milene Schmidt; Yamanouye, Norma; Casewell, Nicholas R

    2015-03-01

    Attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary history of snake toxins in the context of their co-option to the venom gland rarely account for nonvenom snake genes that are paralogous to toxins, and which therefore represent important connectors to ancestral genes. In order to reevaluate this process, we conducted a comparative transcriptomic survey on body tissues from a venomous snake. A nonredundant set of 33,000 unigenes (assembled transcripts of reference genes) was independently assembled from six organs of the medically important viperid snake Bothrops jararaca, providing a reference list of 82 full-length toxins from the venom gland and specific products from other tissues, such as pancreatic digestive enzymes. Unigenes were then screened for nontoxin transcripts paralogous to toxins revealing 1) low level coexpression of approximately 20% of toxin genes (e.g., bradykinin-potentiating peptide, C-type lectin, snake venom metalloproteinase, snake venom nerve growth factor) in body tissues, 2) the identity of the closest paralogs to toxin genes in eight classes of toxins, 3) the location and level of paralog expression, indicating that, in general, co-expression occurs in a higher number of tissues and at lower levels than observed for toxin genes, and 4) strong evidence of a toxin gene reverting back to selective expression in a body tissue. In addition, our differential gene expression analyses identify specific cellular processes that make the venom gland a highly specialized secretory tissue. Our results demonstrate that the evolution and production of venom in snakes is a complex process that can only be understood in the context of comparative data from other snake tissues, including the identification of genes paralogous to venom toxins. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  15. Venom Resistance as a Model for Understanding the Molecular Basis of Complex Coevolutionary Adaptations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holding, Matthew L; Drabeck, Danielle H; Jansa, Sharon A; Gibbs, H Lisle

    2016-11-01

    SynopsisVenom and venom resistance are molecular phenotypes widely considered to have diversified through coevolution between predators and prey. However, while evolutionary and functional studies on venom have been extensive, little is known about the molecular basis, variation, and complexity of venom resistance. We review known mechanisms of venom resistance and relate these mechanisms to their predicted impact on coevolutionary dynamics with venomous enemies. We then describe two conceptual approaches which can be used to examine venom/resistance systems. At the intraspecific level, tests of local adaptation in venom and resistance phenotypes can identify the functional mechanisms governing the outcomes of coevolution. At deeper evolutionary timescales, the combination of phylogenetically informed analyses of protein evolution coupled with studies of protein function promise to elucidate the mode and tempo of evolutionary change on potentially coevolving genes. We highlight case studies that use each approach to extend our knowledge of these systems as well as address larger questions about coevolutionary dynamics. We argue that resistance and venom are phenotypic traits which hold exceptional promise for investigating the mechanisms, dynamics, and outcomes of coevolution at the molecular level. Furthermore, extending the understanding of single gene-for-gene interactions to the whole resistance and venom phenotypes may provide a model system for examining the molecular and evolutionary dynamics of complex multi-gene interactions. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  16. On Reptiles from North Borneo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lidth de Jeude, van Th.W.

    1893-01-01

    The following list is the catalogue of a collection of reptiles captured by Mr. J. Chr. Prakke in the neighbourhood of the Sandakan-bay (N. Borneo). As Dr. F. Mocquard in his latest papers ¹) on reptiles of Borneo gives a full account of the literature of Bornean herpetology, I think I may content

  17. [Jaws of amphibians and reptiles].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanimoto, Masahiro

    2005-04-01

    Big jaws of amphibians and reptiles are mainly treated in this article. In amphibians enlarged skulls are for the big jaw in contrast with human's skulls for the brain. For example, famous fossils of Homo diluvii testis are ones of salamanders in fact. In reptiles, mosasaur jaws and teeth and their ecology are introduced for instance.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Sunagar, Kartik; Nouwens, Amanda; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25533521

  19. Fossilized venom: the unusually conserved venom profiles of Heloderma species (beaded lizards and gila monsters).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koludarov, Ivan; Jackson, Timothy N W; Sunagar, Kartik; Nouwens, Amanda; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G

    2014-12-22

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Molecular evidence of Chlamydophila pneumoniae infection in reptiles in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frutos, María C; Monetti, Marina S; Ré, Viviana E; Cuffini, Cecilia G

    2014-01-01

    In the central area of Argentina, the epidemiological and molecular characteristics of Chlamydophila pneumoniae infections in reptiles are still unknown. A nested polymerase chain reaction of the rpoB gene was used to detect C. pneumoniae in cloacal swab samples from 19 reptiles at a recreational area. Eleven (57.89%) reptiles were positive; the sequencing and phylogenetic analysis confirmed the presence of this bacterium. Neither C. pneumoniae DNA in the caregivers pharynges nor IgM antibodies anti-C. pneumoniae in their serum samples were detected; however, caregivers presented very high titers of IgG anti-C. pneumoniae. The detection of C. pneumoniae DNA in reptiles demonstrated the circulation of this agent in the recreational area and could be responsible for the exacerbated immune response of the personnel handling the reptiles, which suggests a potential zoonotic cycle. This is the first report of the detection of C. pneumoniae in reptiles in Argentina. Copyright © 2014 Asociación Colombiana de Psiquiatría. Publicado por Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Reptile scale paradigm: Evo-Devo, pattern formation and regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Cheng; Wu, Ping; Baker, Ruth E.; Maini, Philip K.; Alibardi, Lorenzo; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this perspective is to highlight the merit of the reptile integument as an experimental model. Reptiles represent the first amniotes. From stem reptiles, extant reptiles, birds and mammals have evolved. Mammal hairs and feathers evolved from Therapsid and Sauropsid reptiles, respectively. The early reptilian integument had to adapt to the challenges of terrestrial life, developing a multi-layered stratum corneum capable of barrier function and ultraviolet protection. For better mechanical protection, diverse reptilian scale types have evolved. The evolution of endothermy has driven the convergent evolution of hair and feather follicles: both form multiple localized growth units with stem cells and transient amplifying cells protected in the proximal follicle. This topological arrangement allows them to elongate, molt and regenerate without structural constraints. Another unique feature of reptile skin is the exquisite arrangement of scales and pigment patterns, making them testable models for mechanisms of pattern formation. Since they face the constant threat of damage on land, different strategies were developed to accommodate skin homeostasis and regeneration. Temporally, they can be under continuous renewal or sloughing cycles. Spatially, they can be diffuse or form discrete localized growth units (follicles). To understand how gene regulatory networks evolved to produce increasingly complex ectodermal organs, we have to study how prototypic scale-forming pathways in reptiles are modulated to produce appendage novelties. Despite the fact that there are numerous studies of reptile scales, molecular analyses have lagged behind. Here, we underscore how further development of this novel experimental model will be valuable in filling the gaps of our understanding of the Evo-Devo of amniote integuments. PMID:19557687

  4. Dramatic expansion of the black widow toxin arsenal uncovered by multi-tissue transcriptomics and venom proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haney, Robert A; Ayoub, Nadia A; Clarke, Thomas H; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Garb, Jessica E

    2014-06-11

    Animal venoms attract enormous interest given their potential for pharmacological discovery and understanding the evolution of natural chemistries. Next-generation transcriptomics and proteomics provide unparalleled, but underexploited, capabilities for venom characterization. We combined multi-tissue RNA-Seq with mass spectrometry and bioinformatic analyses to determine venom gland specific transcripts and venom proteins from the Western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus) and investigated their evolution. We estimated expression of 97,217 L. hesperus transcripts in venom glands relative to silk and cephalothorax tissues. We identified 695 venom gland specific transcripts (VSTs), many of which BLAST and GO term analyses indicate may function as toxins or their delivery agents. ~38% of VSTs had BLAST hits, including latrotoxins, inhibitor cystine knot toxins, CRISPs, hyaluronidases, chitinase, and proteases, and 59% of VSTs had predicted protein domains. Latrotoxins are venom toxins that cause massive neurotransmitter release from vertebrate or invertebrate neurons. We discovered ≥ 20 divergent latrotoxin paralogs expressed in L. hesperus venom glands, significantly increasing this biomedically important family. Mass spectrometry of L. hesperus venom identified 49 proteins from VSTs, 24 of which BLAST to toxins. Phylogenetic analyses showed venom gland specific gene family expansions and shifts in tissue expression. Quantitative expression analyses comparing multiple tissues are necessary to identify venom gland specific transcripts. We present a black widow venom specific exome that uncovers a trove of diverse toxins and associated proteins, suggesting a dynamic evolutionary history. This justifies a reevaluation of the functional activities of black widow venom in light of its emerging complexity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Reumont, Bjoern Marcus; Campbell, Lahcen I.; Jenner, Ronald A.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25533518

  6. 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.

  7. Allergies to Insect Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... insects (as might be the case when a nest is disturbed, or when Africanized honeybees are involved); ... test with the five commercially available venoms; honey bee, paper wasp, yellow jacket, yellow hornet and white- ...

  8. Pain and Its Control in Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, Sean M; Nevarez, Javier G

    2018-01-01

    Reptiles have the anatomic and physiologic structures needed to detect and perceive pain. Reptiles are capable of demonstrating painful behaviors. Most of the available literature indicates pure μ-opioid receptor agonists are best to provide analgesia in reptiles. Multimodal analgesia should be practiced with every reptile patient when pain is anticipated. Further research is needed using different pain models to evaluate analgesic efficacy across reptile orders. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Molecular evolution of vertebrate neurotrophins: co-option of the highly conserved nerve growth factor gene into the advanced snake venom arsenalf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Jackson, Timothy N W; Casewell, Nicholas R; Undheim, Eivind A B; Vidal, Nicolas; Ali, Syed A; King, Glenn F; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2013-01-01

    Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation.

  10. Molecular Evolution of Vertebrate Neurotrophins: Co-Option of the Highly Conserved Nerve Growth Factor Gene into the Advanced Snake Venom Arsenalf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Fry, Bryan Grieg; Jackson, Timothy N. W.; Casewell, Nicholas R.; Undheim, Eivind A. B.; Vidal, Nicolas; Ali, Syed A.; King, Glenn F.; Vasudevan, Karthikeyan; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2013-01-01

    Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae) have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74%) and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%), while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation. PMID:24312363

  11. Molecular evolution of vertebrate neurotrophins: co-option of the highly conserved nerve growth factor gene into the advanced snake venom arsenalf.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kartik Sunagar

    Full Text Available Neurotrophins are a diverse class of structurally related proteins, essential for neuronal development, survival, plasticity and regeneration. They are characterized by major family members, such as the nerve growth factors (NGF, brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3, which have been demonstrated here to lack coding sequence variations and follow the regime of negative selection, highlighting their extremely important conserved role in vertebrate homeostasis. However, in stark contrast, venom NGF secreted as part of the chemical arsenal of the venomous advanced snake family Elapidae (and to a lesser extent Viperidae have characteristics consistent with the typical accelerated molecular evolution of venom components. This includes a rapid rate of diversification under the significant influence of positive-selection, with the majority of positively-selected sites found in the secreted β-polypeptide chain (74% and on the molecular surface of the protein (92%, while the core structural and functional residues remain highly constrained. Such focal mutagenesis generates active residues on the toxin molecular surface, which are capable of interacting with novel biological targets in prey to induce a myriad of pharmacological effects. We propose that caenophidian NGFs could participate in prey-envenoming by causing a massive release of chemical mediators from mast cells to mount inflammatory reactions and increase vascular permeability, thereby aiding the spread of other toxins and/or by acting as proapoptotic factors. Despite their presence in reptilian venom having been known for over 60 years, this is the first evidence that venom-secreted NGF follows the molecular evolutionary pattern of other venom components, and thus likely participates in prey-envenomation.

  12. Pharmacokinetics of Snake Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suchaya Sanhajariya

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Understanding snake venom pharmacokinetics is essential for developing risk assessment strategies and determining the optimal dose and timing of antivenom required to bind all venom in snakebite patients. This review aims to explore the current knowledge of snake venom pharmacokinetics in animals and humans. Literature searches were conducted using EMBASE (1974–present and Medline (1946–present. For animals, 12 out of 520 initially identified studies met the inclusion criteria. In general, the disposition of snake venom was described by a two-compartment model consisting of a rapid distribution phase and a slow elimination phase, with half-lives of 5 to 48 min and 0.8 to 28 h, respectively, following rapid intravenous injection of the venoms or toxins. When the venoms or toxins were administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously, an initial absorption phase and slow elimination phase were observed. The bioavailability of venoms or toxins ranged from 4 to 81.5% following intramuscular administration and 60% following subcutaneous administration. The volume of distribution and the clearance varied between snake species. For humans, 24 out of 666 initially identified publications contained sufficient information and timed venom concentrations in the absence of antivenom therapy for data extraction. The data were extracted and modelled in NONMEM. A one-compartment model provided the best fit, with an elimination half-life of 9.71 ± 1.29 h. It is intended that the quantitative information provided in this review will provide a useful basis for future studies that address the pharmacokinetics of snakebite in humans.

  13. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases

    OpenAIRE

    Gâz Florea Şerban Andrei; Gâz Florea Adriana; Kelemen Hajnal; Muntean Daniela-Lucia

    2016-01-01

    As more data are generated from proteome and transcriptome analysis revealing that metalloproteinases represent most of the Viperid and Colubrid venom components authors decided to describe in a short review a classification and some of the multiple activities of snake venom metalloproteinases. SVMPs are classified in three major classes (P-I, P-II and P-III classes) based on the presence of various domain structures and according to their domain organization. Furthermore, P-II and P-III clas...

  14. Take Care with Pet Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... young children. [775 KB] Animals and Health Healthy Pets Healthy People : CDC website with helpful resources and information on health benefits of pets and disease risks Safe Handling Tips for Reptiles ...

  15. 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.

  16. Snake venomics of Crotalus tigris: the minimalist toxin arsenal of the deadliest Nearctic rattlesnake venom. Evolutionary Clues for generating a pan-specific antivenom against crotalid type II venoms [corrected].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvete, Juan J; Pérez, Alicia; Lomonte, Bruno; Sánchez, Elda E; Sanz, Libia

    2012-02-03

    We report the proteomic and antivenomic characterization of Crotalus tigris venom. This venom exhibits the highest lethality for mice among rattlesnakes and the simplest toxin proteome reported to date. The venom proteome of C. tigris comprises 7-8 gene products from 6 toxin families; the presynaptic β-neurotoxic heterodimeric PLA(2), Mojave toxin, and two serine proteinases comprise, respectively, 66 and 27% of the C. tigris toxin arsenal, whereas a VEGF-like protein, a CRISP molecule, a medium-sized disintegrin, and 1-2 PIII-SVMPs each represent 0.1-5% of the total venom proteome. This toxin profile really explains the systemic neuro- and myotoxic effects observed in envenomated animals. In addition, we found that venom lethality of C. tigris and other North American rattlesnake type II venoms correlates with the concentration of Mojave toxin A-subunit, supporting the view that the neurotoxic venom phenotype of crotalid type II venoms may be described as a single-allele adaptation. Our data suggest that the evolutionary trend toward neurotoxicity, which has been also reported for the South American rattlesnakes, may have resulted by pedomorphism. The ability of an experimental antivenom to effectively immunodeplete proteins from the type II venoms of C. tigris, Crotalus horridus , Crotalus oreganus helleri, Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus, and Sistrurus catenatus catenatus indicated the feasibility of generating a pan-American anti-Crotalus type II antivenom, suggested by the identification of shared evolutionary trends among South and North American Crotalus species.

  17. Preserving reptiles for research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gotte, Steve W.; Jacobs, Jeremy F.; Zug, George R.; Dodd, C. Kenneth

    2016-01-01

    What are voucher specimens and why do we collect them? Voucher specimens are animals and/or their parts that are deposited in a research museum to document the occurrence of a taxon at a specific location in space and time (Pleijel et al., 2008; Reynolds and McDiarmid, 2012). For field biologists, vouchers are the repeatable element of a field study as they allow other biologists, now and in the future, to confirm the identity of species that were studied. The scientific importance of a voucher specimen or series of specimens is that other people are afforded the opportunity to examine the entire animal and confirm or correct identifications. A photographic record is somewhat useful for recording the occurrence of a species, but such records can be insufficient for reliable confirmation of specific identity. Even if a photo shows diagnostic characters of currently recognized taxa, it may not show characters that separate taxa that may be described in the future. Substantial cryptic biodiversity is being found in even relatively well-known herpetofaunas (Crawford et al., 2010), and specimens allow researchers to retroactively evaluate the true diversity in a study as understanding of taxonomy evolves. They enable biologists to study the systematic relationships of populations by quantifying variation in different traits. Specimens are also a source of biological data such as behaviour, ecology, epidemiology, and reproduction through examination of their anatomy, reproductive and digestive tracts, and parasites (Suarez and Tsutsui, 2004). Preserving reptiles as vouchers is not difficult, although doing it properly requires care, effort, and time. Poorly preserved vouchers can invalidate the results and conclusions of your study because of the inability to confirm the identity of your study animals. Good science requires repeatability of observations, and the absence of vouchers or poorly preserved ones prevents such confirmation. Due to space restrictions, we are

  18. Anaphylaxis to Insect Venom Allergens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ollert, Markus; Blank, Simon

    2015-01-01

    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...

  19. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gâz Florea Şerban Andrei

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available As more data are generated from proteome and transcriptome analysis revealing that metalloproteinases represent most of the Viperid and Colubrid venom components authors decided to describe in a short review a classification and some of the multiple activities of snake venom metalloproteinases. SVMPs are classified in three major classes (P-I, P-II and P-III classes based on the presence of various domain structures and according to their domain organization. Furthermore, P-II and P-III classes were separated in subclasses based on distinctive post-translational modifications. SVMPs are synthesized in a latent form, being activated through a Cys-switch mechanism similar to matrix metalloproteinases. Most of the metalloproteinases of the snake venom are responsible for the hemorrhagic events but also have fibrinogenolytic activity, poses apoptotic activity, activate blood coagulation factor II and X, inhibit platelet aggregation, demonstrating that SVMPs have multiple functions in addition to well-known hemorrhagic function.

  20. Addiction to Snake Venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Saibal; Barnwal, Preeti; Maiti, Tanay; Ramasamy, Anand; Mondal, Somnath; Babu, Dinesh

    2017-07-03

    The nature of addiction depends on various factors. The tendency to have already used several addictive substances and to seek high sensation experiences as a result of specific personality traits may lead to extreme and peculiar forms of addictions. Even belonging to specific social and cultural background may lead to such forms of addiction such as intentional snake bite and willful envenomation. In this article, we have discussed the peculiarities and practical insight of such addiction to snake venom. The possible molecular mechanism behind such venom-mediated reinforcement has also been highlighted. Finally, we have stressed upon the treatment and de-addiction measures.

  1. new caerin-like antibacterial peptide from the venom gland of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Scorpion venom consists of different types of peptides and proteins which are encoded by individual genes. A full length cDNA consisting of 238 base pair nucleotides and encoding 74 amino acids peptide was isolated from the venom gland of the Iranian scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae family). This peptide named ...

  2. A new caerin-like antibacterial peptide from the venom gland of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    pcnoor1389-4-1

    2012-05-31

    May 31, 2012 ... Scorpion venom consists of different types of peptides and proteins which are encoded by individual genes. A full length cDNA consisting of 238 base pair nucleotides and encoding 74 amino acids peptide was isolated from the venom gland of the Iranian scorpion Mesobuthus eupeus (Buthidae family).

  3. Venomics-Accelerated Cone Snail Venom Peptide Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himaya, S. W. A.

    2018-01-01

    Cone snail venoms are considered a treasure trove of bioactive peptides. Despite over 800 species of cone snails being known, each producing over 1000 venom peptides, only about 150 unique venom peptides are structurally and functionally characterized. To overcome the limitations of the traditional low-throughput bio-discovery approaches, multi-omics systems approaches have been introduced to accelerate venom peptide discovery and characterisation. This “venomic” approach is starting to unravel the full complexity of cone snail venoms and to provide new insights into their biology and evolution. The main challenge for venomics is the effective integration of transcriptomics, proteomics, and pharmacological data and the efficient analysis of big datasets. Novel database search tools and visualisation techniques are now being introduced that facilitate data exploration, with ongoing advances in related omics fields being expected to further enhance venomics studies. Despite these challenges and future opportunities, cone snail venomics has already exponentially expanded the number of novel venom peptide sequences identified from the species investigated, although most novel conotoxins remain to be pharmacologically characterised. Therefore, efficient high-throughput peptide production systems and/or banks of miniaturized discovery assays are required to overcome this bottleneck and thus enhance cone snail venom bioprospecting and accelerate the identification of novel drug leads. PMID:29522462

  4. Venomics-Accelerated Cone Snail Venom Peptide Discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. W. A. Himaya

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Cone snail venoms are considered a treasure trove of bioactive peptides. Despite over 800 species of cone snails being known, each producing over 1000 venom peptides, only about 150 unique venom peptides are structurally and functionally characterized. To overcome the limitations of the traditional low-throughput bio-discovery approaches, multi-omics systems approaches have been introduced to accelerate venom peptide discovery and characterisation. This “venomic” approach is starting to unravel the full complexity of cone snail venoms and to provide new insights into their biology and evolution. The main challenge for venomics is the effective integration of transcriptomics, proteomics, and pharmacological data and the efficient analysis of big datasets. Novel database search tools and visualisation techniques are now being introduced that facilitate data exploration, with ongoing advances in related omics fields being expected to further enhance venomics studies. Despite these challenges and future opportunities, cone snail venomics has already exponentially expanded the number of novel venom peptide sequences identified from the species investigated, although most novel conotoxins remain to be pharmacologically characterised. Therefore, efficient high-throughput peptide production systems and/or banks of miniaturized discovery assays are required to overcome this bottleneck and thus enhance cone snail venom bioprospecting and accelerate the identification of novel drug leads.

  5. Genomic V exons from whole genome shotgun data in reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivieri, D N; von Haeften, B; Sánchez-Espinel, C; Faro, J; Gambón-Deza, F

    2014-08-01

    Reptiles and mammals diverged over 300 million years ago, creating two parallel evolutionary lineages amongst terrestrial vertebrates. In reptiles, two main evolutionary lines emerged: one gave rise to Squamata, while the other gave rise to Testudines, Crocodylia, and Aves. In this study, we determined the genomic variable (V) exons from whole genome shotgun sequencing (WGS) data in reptiles corresponding to the three main immunoglobulin (IG) loci and the four main T cell receptor (TR) loci. We show that Squamata lack the TRG and TRD genes, and snakes lack the IGKV genes. In representative species of Testudines and Crocodylia, the seven major IG and TR loci are maintained. As in mammals, genes of the IG loci can be grouped into well-defined IMGT clans through a multi-species phylogenetic analysis. We show that the reptilian IGHV and IGLV genes are distributed amongst the established mammalian clans, while their IGKV genes are found within a single clan, nearly exclusive from the mammalian sequences. The reptilian and mammalian TRAV genes cluster into six common evolutionary clades (since IMGT clans have not been defined for TR). In contrast, the reptilian TRBV genes cluster into three clades, which have few mammalian members. In this locus, the V exon sequences from mammals appear to have undergone different evolutionary diversification processes that occurred outside these shared reptilian clans. These sequences can be obtained in a freely available public repository (http://vgenerepertoire.org).

  6. Bioinformatics-Aided Venomics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quentin Kaas

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Venomics is a modern approach that combines transcriptomics and proteomics to explore the toxin content of venoms. This review will give an overview of computational approaches that have been created to classify and consolidate venomics data, as well as algorithms that have helped discovery and analysis of toxin nucleic acid and protein sequences, toxin three-dimensional structures and toxin functions. Bioinformatics is used to tackle specific challenges associated with the identification and annotations of toxins. Recognizing toxin transcript sequences among second generation sequencing data cannot rely only on basic sequence similarity because toxins are highly divergent. Mass spectrometry sequencing of mature toxins is challenging because toxins can display a large number of post-translational modifications. Identifying the mature toxin region in toxin precursor sequences requires the prediction of the cleavage sites of proprotein convertases, most of which are unknown or not well characterized. Tracing the evolutionary relationships between toxins should consider specific mechanisms of rapid evolution as well as interactions between predatory animals and prey. Rapidly determining the activity of toxins is the main bottleneck in venomics discovery, but some recent bioinformatics and molecular modeling approaches give hope that accurate predictions of toxin specificity could be made in the near future.

  7. Are ticks venomous animals?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Cabezas-Cruz, A.; Valdés, James J.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 11, JUL 2014 (2014), s. 47 ISSN 1742-9994 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ticks * venom * secreted proteins * toxicoses * pathogens * convergence Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.051, year: 2014

  8. Prevalence of Salmonella in Australian reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheelings, T Franciscus; Lightfoot, Dianne; Holz, Peter

    2011-01-01

    From January 2007 until June 2008, 504 reptiles of four families and 57 species were examined for Salmonella by using cloacal or intestinal swabs. Salmonella was identified in 139 (28%) of the 504 animals tested. Of the 504 reptiles examined, 210 were captive and 294 were wild. Ninety-eight (47%) of the captive reptiles were shedding Salmonella at the time of sampling. In contrast, only 41 (14%) of the wild reptiles were shedding Salmonella. The higher prevalence of Salmonella in captive reptiles was statistically significant (Preptiles in Australia are not natural carriers of Salmonella and that diet and captivity may influence Salmonella excretion in other species.

  9. 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.

  10. Small Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryce Rickel

    2005-01-01

    This chapter focuses on small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that inhabit the grasslands within the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service. The chapter is not intended to be an all inclusive list of species, but rather to address the species that play important roles in grassland ecosystems and that often are associated with the management of grasslands....

  11. 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...

  12. The venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius) reveals high venom complexity in the intragenomic evolution of venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Snake venom is shaped by the ecology and evolution of venomous species, and signals of positive selection in toxins have been consistently documented, reflecting the role of venoms as an ecologically critical phenotype. New World coral snakes (Elapidae) are represented by three genera and over 120 species and subspecies that are capable of causing significant human morbidity and mortality, yet coral-snake venom composition is poorly understood in comparison to that of Old World elapids. High-throughput sequencing is capable of identifying thousands of loci, while providing characterizations of expression patterns and the molecular evolutionary forces acting within the venom gland. Results We describe the de novo assembly and analysis of the venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius). We identified 1,950 nontoxin transcripts and 116 toxin transcripts. These transcripts accounted for 57.1% of the total reads, with toxins accounting for 45.8% of the total reads. Phospholipases A2 and three-finger toxins dominated expression, accounting for 86.0% of the toxin reads. A total of 15 toxin families were identified, revealing venom complexity previously unknown from New World coral snakes. Toxins exhibited high levels of heterozygosity relative to nontoxins, and overdominance may favor gene duplication leading to the fixation of advantageous alleles. Phospholipase A2 expression was uniformly distributed throughout the class while three-finger toxin expression was dominated by a handful of transcripts, and phylogenetic analyses indicate that toxin divergence may have occurred following speciation. Positive selection was detected in three of the four most diverse toxin classes, suggesting that venom diversification is driven by recurrent directional selection. Conclusions We describe the most complete characterization of an elapid venom gland to date. Toxin gene duplication may be driven by heterozygote advantage, as the frequency of

  13. The venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius) reveals high venom complexity in the intragenomic evolution of venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margres, Mark J; Aronow, Karalyn; Loyacano, Jacob; Rokyta, Darin R

    2013-08-02

    Snake venom is shaped by the ecology and evolution of venomous species, and signals of positive selection in toxins have been consistently documented, reflecting the role of venoms as an ecologically critical phenotype. New World coral snakes (Elapidae) are represented by three genera and over 120 species and subspecies that are capable of causing significant human morbidity and mortality, yet coral-snake venom composition is poorly understood in comparison to that of Old World elapids. High-throughput sequencing is capable of identifying thousands of loci, while providing characterizations of expression patterns and the molecular evolutionary forces acting within the venom gland. We describe the de novo assembly and analysis of the venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius). We identified 1,950 nontoxin transcripts and 116 toxin transcripts. These transcripts accounted for 57.1% of the total reads, with toxins accounting for 45.8% of the total reads. Phospholipases A(2) and three-finger toxins dominated expression, accounting for 86.0% of the toxin reads. A total of 15 toxin families were identified, revealing venom complexity previously unknown from New World coral snakes. Toxins exhibited high levels of heterozygosity relative to nontoxins, and overdominance may favor gene duplication leading to the fixation of advantageous alleles. Phospholipase A(2) expression was uniformly distributed throughout the class while three-finger toxin expression was dominated by a handful of transcripts, and phylogenetic analyses indicate that toxin divergence may have occurred following speciation. Positive selection was detected in three of the four most diverse toxin classes, suggesting that venom diversification is driven by recurrent directional selection. We describe the most complete characterization of an elapid venom gland to date. Toxin gene duplication may be driven by heterozygote advantage, as the frequency of polymorphic toxin loci was

  14. Mast cells and IgE in defense against venoms: Possible “good side” of allergy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J. Galli

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Physicians think of mast cells and IgE primarily in the context of allergic disorders, including fatal anaphylaxis. This ‘bad side’ of mast cells and IgE is so well accepted that it can be difficult to think of them in other contexts, particularly those in which they may have beneficial functions. However, there is evidence that mast cells and IgE, as well as basophils (circulating granulocytes whose functions partially overlap with those of mast cells, can contribute to host defense as components of adaptive type 2 immune responses to helminths, ticks and certain other parasites. Accordingly, allergies often are conceptualized as “misdirected” type 2 immune responses, in which IgE antibodies are produced against any of a diverse group of apparently harmless antigens, as well as against components of animal venoms. Indeed, certain unfortunate patients who have become sensitized to venoms develop severe IgE-associated allergic reactions, including fatal anaphylaxis, upon subsequent venom exposure. In this review, we will describe evidence that mast cells can enhance innate resistance to reptile or arthropod venoms during a first exposure to such venoms. We also will discuss findings indicating that, in mice which survive an initial encounter with venom, acquired type 2 immune responses, IgE antibodies, the high affinity IgE receptor (FcɛRI, and mast cells can contribute to acquired resistance to the lethal effects of both honeybee venom and Russell's viper venom. These findings support the hypothesis that mast cells and IgE can help protect the host against venoms and perhaps other noxious substances.

  15. Revisiting the Therapeutic Potential of Bothrops jararaca Venom: Screening for Novel Activities Using Connectivity Mapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Alves Nicolau

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Snake venoms are sources of molecules with proven and potential therapeutic applications. However, most activities assayed in venoms (or their components are of hemorrhagic, hypotensive, edematogenic, neurotoxic or myotoxic natures. Thus, other relevant activities might remain unknown. Using functional genomics coupled to the connectivity map (C-map approach, we undertook a wide range indirect search for biological activities within the venom of the South American pit viper Bothrops jararaca. For that effect, venom was incubated with human breast adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF7 followed by RNA extraction and gene expression analysis. A list of 90 differentially expressed genes was submitted to biosimilar drug discovery based on pattern recognition. Among the 100 highest-ranked positively correlated drugs, only the antihypertensive, antimicrobial (both antibiotic and antiparasitic, and antitumor classes had been previously reported for B. jararaca venom. The majority of drug classes identified were related to (1 antimicrobial activity; (2 treatment of neuropsychiatric illnesses (Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, and epilepsy; (3 treatment of cardiovascular diseases, and (4 anti-inflammatory action. The C-map results also indicated that B. jararaca venom may have components that target G-protein-coupled receptors (muscarinic, serotonergic, histaminergic, dopaminergic, GABA, and adrenergic and ion channels. Although validation experiments are still necessary, the C-map correlation to drugs with activities previously linked to snake venoms supports the efficacy of this strategy as a broad-spectrum approach for biological activity screening, and rekindles the snake venom-based search for new therapeutic agents.

  16. Insights into the evolution of mammalian telomerase: Platypus TERT shares similarities with genes of birds and other reptiles and localizes on sex chromosomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hrdličková Radmila

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The TERT gene encodes the catalytic subunit of the telomerase complex and is responsible for maintaining telomere length. Vertebrate telomerase has been studied in eutherian mammals, fish, and the chicken, but less attention has been paid to other vertebrates. The platypus occupies an important evolutionary position, providing unique insight into the evolution of mammalian genes. We report the cloning of a platypus TERT (OanTERT ortholog, and provide a comparison with genes of other vertebrates. Results The OanTERT encodes a protein with a high sequence similarity to marsupial TERT and avian TERT. Like the TERT of sauropsids and marsupials, as well as that of sharks and echinoderms, OanTERT contains extended variable linkers in the N-terminal region suggesting that they were present already in basal vertebrates and lost independently in ray-finned fish and eutherian mammals. Several alternatively spliced OanTERT variants structurally similar to avian TERT variants were identified. Telomerase activity is expressed in all platypus tissues like that of cold-blooded animals and murine rodents. OanTERT was localized on pseudoautosomal regions of sex chromosomes X3/Y2, expanding the homology between human chromosome 5 and platypus sex chromosomes. Synteny analysis suggests that TERT co-localized with sex-linked genes in the last common mammalian ancestor. Interestingly, female platypuses express higher levels of telomerase in heart and liver tissues than do males. Conclusions OanTERT shares many features with TERT of the reptilian outgroup, suggesting that OanTERT represents the ancestral mammalian TERT. Features specific to TERT of eutherian mammals have, therefore, evolved more recently after the divergence of monotremes.

  17. 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.

  18. Ecological release and venom evolution of a predatory marine snail at Easter Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duda, Thomas F; Lee, Taehwan

    2009-05-20

    Ecological release is coupled with adaptive radiation and ecological diversification yet little is known about the molecular basis of phenotypic changes associated with this phenomenon. The venomous, predatory marine gastropod Conus miliaris has undergone ecological release and exhibits increased dietary breadth at Easter Island. We examined the extent of genetic differentiation of two genes expressed in the venom of C. miliaris among samples from Easter Island, American Samoa and Guam. The population from Easter Island exhibits unique frequencies of alleles that encode distinct peptides at both loci. Levels of divergence at these loci exceed observed levels of divergence observed at a mitochondrial gene region at Easter Island. Patterns of genetic variation at two genes expressed in the venom of this C. miliaris suggest that selection has operated at these genes and contributed to the divergence of venom composition at Easter Island. These results show that ecological release is associated with strong selection pressures that promote the evolution of new phenotypes.

  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. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    OpenAIRE

    Paola G. Ojeda; David Ramírez; Jans Alzate-Morales; Julio Caballero; Quentin Kaas; Wendy González

    2017-01-01

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics t...

  1. Oncology of Reptiles: Diseases, Diagnosis, and Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christman, Jane; Devau, Michael; Wilson-Robles, Heather; Hoppes, Sharman; Rech, Raquel; Russell, Karen E; Heatley, J Jill

    2017-01-01

    Based on necropsy review, neoplasia in reptiles has a comparable frequency to that of mammals and birds. Reptile neoplasia is now more frequently diagnosed in clinical practice based on increased use of advanced diagnostic techniques and improvements in reptilian husbandry allowing greater longevity of these species. This article reviews the current literature on neoplasia in reptiles, and focuses on advanced diagnostics and therapeutic options for reptilian patientssuffering neoplastic disease. Although most applied clinical reptile oncology is translated from dog and cat oncology, considerations specific to reptilian patients commonly encountered in clinical practice (turtles, tortoises, snakes, and lizards) are presented. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Prevalence of Salmonella spp. in reptiles

    OpenAIRE

    加藤, 行男; 村上, 賢

    2007-01-01

    A total of 291 fecal samples from 252 wild reptiles and 39 pet reptiles were examined for the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in Japan. Salmonella spp. were isolated from 29 (11.5%) of 252 wild reptiles and 22 (55.6%) of 39 pet reptiles. The isolates were identified into subspecies I to IV. The majority of isolates (43.6%) belonged to subspecies I and these isolates could be identified into 9 serovars. The serovars isolated were found to be S. Newport, S. Litchifield and S. Thompson which cause...

  3. Bioactive Components in Fish Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegman, Rebekah; Alewood, Paul

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. Nanofibrous Snake Venom Hemostat

    OpenAIRE

    Kumar, Vivek A.; Wickremasinghe, Navindee C.; Shi, Siyu; Hartgerink, Jeffrey D.

    2015-01-01

    Controlling perioperative bleeding is of critical importance to minimize hemorrhaging and fatality. Patients on anticoagulant therapy such as heparin have diminished clotting potential and are at risk for hemorrhaging. Here we describe a self-assembling nanofibrous peptide hydrogel (termed SLac) that on its own can act as a physical barrier to blood loss. SLac was loaded with snake-venom derived Batroxobin (50 μg/mL) yielding a drug-loaded hydrogel (SB50). SB50 was potentiated to enhance clot...

  5. Polymerized soluble venom--human serum albumin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patterson, R.; Suszko, I.M.; Grammer, L.C.

    1985-03-01

    Extensive previous studies have demonstrated that attempts to produce polymers of Hymenoptera venoms for human immunotherapy resulted in insoluble precipitates that could be injected with safety but with very limited immunogenicity in allergic patients. We now report soluble polymers prepared by conjugating bee venom with human serum albumin with glutaraldehyde. The bee venom-albumin polymer (BVAP) preparation was fractionated on Sephacryl S-300 to have a molecular weight range higher than catalase. /sup 125/I-labeled bee venom phospholipase A was almost completely incorporated into BVAP. Rabbit antibody responses to bee venom and bee venom phospholipase A were induced by BVAP. Human antisera against bee venom were absorbed by BVAP. No new antigenic determinants on BVAP were present as evidenced by absorption of antisera against BVAP by bee venom and albumin. BVAP has potential immunotherapeutic value in patients with anaphylactic sensitivity to bee venom.

  6. Polymerized soluble venom--human serum albumin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patterson, R.; Suszko, I.M.; Grammer, L.C.

    1985-01-01

    Extensive previous studies have demonstrated that attempts to produce polymers of Hymenoptera venoms for human immunotherapy resulted in insoluble precipitates that could be injected with safety but with very limited immunogenicity in allergic patients. We now report soluble polymers prepared by conjugating bee venom with human serum albumin with glutaraldehyde. The bee venom-albumin polymer (BVAP) preparation was fractionated on Sephacryl S-300 to have a molecular weight range higher than catalase. 125 I-labeled bee venom phospholipase A was almost completely incorporated into BVAP. Rabbit antibody responses to bee venom and bee venom phospholipase A were induced by BVAP. Human antisera against bee venom were absorbed by BVAP. No new antigenic determinants on BVAP were present as evidenced by absorption of antisera against BVAP by bee venom and albumin. BVAP has potential immunotherapeutic value in patients with anaphylactic sensitivity to bee venom

  7. No acute tetrahedron is an 8-reptile

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haverkort, H.J.

    2018-01-01

    An r-gentiling is a dissection of a shape into r ≥ 2 parts which are all similar to the original shape. An r-reptiling is an r-gentiling of which all parts are mutually congruent. The complete characterization of all reptile tetrahedra has been a long-standing open problem. This note concerns acute

  8. 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.

  9. Laboratory reptile surgery: principles and techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alworth, Leanne C; Hernandez, Sonia M; Divers, Stephen J

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles used for research and instruction may require surgical procedures, including biopsy, coelomic device implantation, ovariectomy, orchidectomy, and esophogostomy tube placement, to accomplish research goals. Providing veterinary care for unanticipated clinical problems may require surgical techniques such as amputation, bone or shell fracture repair, and coeliotomy. Although many principles of surgery are common between mammals and reptiles, important differences in anatomy and physiology exist. Veterinarians who provide care for these species should be aware of these differences. Most reptiles undergoing surgery are small and require specific instrumentation and positioning. In addition, because of the wide variety of unique physiologic and anatomic characteristics among snakes, chelonians, and lizards, different techniques may be necessary for different reptiles. This overview describes many common reptile surgery techniques and their application for research purposes or to provide medical care to research subjects.

  10. Viperous fangs: development and evolution of the venom canal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahradnicek, Oldrich; Horacek, Ivan; Tucker, Abigail S

    2008-01-01

    Fangs are specialised long teeth that contain either a superficial groove (Gila monster, Beaded lizard, some colubrid snakes), along which the venom runs, or an enclosed canal (viperid, elapid and atractaspid), down which the venom flows inside the tooth. The fangs of viperid snakes are the most effective venom-delivery structures among vertebrates and have been the focus of scientific interests for more than 200 years. Despite this interest the questions of how the canal at the centre of the fang forms remains unresolved. Two different hypotheses have been suggested. The mainstream hypothesis claims that the venom-conducting canal develops by the invagination of the epithelial wall of the developing tooth germ. The sides of this invagination make contact and finally fuse to form the enclosed canal. The second hypothesis, known as the "brick chimney", claims the venom-conducting canal develops directly by successive dentine deposition as the tooth develops. The fang is thus built up from the tip to the base, without any folding of the tooth surface. In an attempt to cast further light on this subject the early development of the fangs was followed in a pit viper, Trimeresurus albolabris, using the expression of Sonic hedgehog (Shh). We demonstrate that the canal is indeed formed by an early folding event, resulting from an invagination of epithelial cells into the dental mesenchyme. The epithelial cells proliferate to enlarge the canal and then the cells die by apoptosis, forming an empty tube through which the poison runs. The entrance and discharge orifices at either end of the canal develop by a similar invagination but the initial width of the invagination is very different from that in the middle of the tooth, and is associated with higher proliferation. The two sides of the invaginating epithelium never come into contact, leaving the orifice open. The mechanism by which the orifices form can be likened to that observed in reptiles with an open groove along

  11. Ticks imported to Europe with exotic reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihalca, Andrei Daniel

    2015-09-30

    It is known that traded exotic animals carry with them an immense number of associated symbionts, including parasites. Reptiles are no exception. Most of the imported reptiles originate from tropical countries and their possibility to carry potentially dangerous pathogens is high. According to CITES, Europe is currently the main reptile importer in the world. Despite this, there is no review or analysis available for the risk related to the importation of tick-borne diseases with traded reptile to the EU. The main aim of the manuscript is to provide a review on the available literature on ticks introduced to and exchanged between European countries via the live reptile trade. So far, the published reports of ticks imported on reptiles are limited to few European countries: Italy, Poland, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Slovenia and UK. The following species have been reported: Hyalomma aegyptium, Amblyomma dissimile, Amblyomma exornatum, Amblyomma flavomaculatum, Amblyomma fuscolineatum, Amblyomma latum, Amblyomma quadricavum, Amblyomma marmoreum, Amblyomma nuttalli, Amblyomma sparsum, Amblyomma sphenodonti, Amblyomma transversale and Amblyomma varanense. The majority of species are of African origin, followed by American and Asian species. All groups of reptiles (chelonians, snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tuataras) were involved. However, it seems that certain groups (i.e. tortoises of genus Testudo, monitor lizards of genus Varanus, snakes of genus Python) are more important as host for imported ticks, but this may be related to higher levels of international trade. Even fewer are the reports of tick-borne pathogens associated with imported reptile ticks. Despite the diversity of tick species reported on imported reptiles, the situations of truly invasive species are atypical and are limited in natural environments to maximum two cases where H. aegyptium was involved. Otherwise, the risk associated with reptile trade for introduction of invasive tick to Europe is low

  12. Vocal plasticity in a reptile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumm, Henrik; Zollinger, Sue Anne

    2017-05-31

    Sophisticated vocal communication systems of birds and mammals, including human speech, are characterized by a high degree of plasticity in which signals are individually adjusted in response to changes in the environment. Here, we present, to our knowledge, the first evidence for vocal plasticity in a reptile. Like birds and mammals, tokay geckos ( Gekko gecko ) increased the duration of brief call notes in the presence of broadcast noise compared to quiet conditions, a behaviour that facilitates signal detection by receivers. By contrast, they did not adjust the amplitudes of their call syllables in noise (the Lombard effect), which is in line with the hypothesis that the Lombard effect has evolved independently in birds and mammals. However, the geckos used a different strategy to increase signal-to-noise ratios: instead of increasing the amplitude of a given call type when exposed to noise, the subjects produced more high-amplitude syllable types from their repertoire. Our findings demonstrate that reptile vocalizations are much more flexible than previously thought, including elaborate vocal plasticity that is also important for the complex signalling systems of birds and mammals. We suggest that signal detection constraints are one of the major forces driving the evolution of animal communication systems across different taxa. © 2017 The Author(s).

  13. Animal venoms as antimicrobial agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perumal Samy, Ramar; Stiles, Bradley G; Franco, Octavio L; Sethi, Gautam; Lim, Lina H K

    2017-06-15

    Hospitals are breeding grounds for many life-threatening bacteria worldwide. Clinically associated gram-positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus/methicillin-resistant S. aureus and many others increase the risk of severe mortality and morbidity. The failure of antibiotics to kill various pathogens due to bacterial resistance highlights the urgent need to develop novel, potent, and less toxic agents from natural sources against various infectious agents. Currently, several promising classes of natural molecules from snake (terrestrial and sea), scorpion, spider, honey bee and wasp venoms hold promise as rich sources of chemotherapeutics against infectious pathogens. Interestingly, snake venom-derived synthetic peptide/snake cathelicidin not only has potent antimicrobial and wound-repair activity but is highly stable and safe. Such molecules are promising candidates for novel venom-based drugs against S. aureus infections. The structure of animal venom proteins/peptides (cysteine rich) consists of hydrophobic α-helices or β-sheets that produce lethal pores and membrane-damaging effects on bacteria. All these antimicrobial peptides are under early experimental or pre-clinical stages of development. It is therefore important to employ novel tools for the design and the development of new antibiotics from the untapped animal venoms of snake, scorpion, and spider for treating resistant pathogens. To date, snail venom toxins have shown little antibiotic potency against human pathogens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Mastocytosis and insect venom allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonadonna, Patrizia; Zanotti, Roberta; Müller, Ulrich

    2010-08-01

    To analyse the association of systemic allergic hymenoptera sting reactions with mastocytosis and elevated baseline serum tryptase and to discuss diagnosis and treatment in patients with both diseases. In recent large studies on patients with mastocytosis a much higher incidence of severe anaphylaxis following hymenoptera stings than in the normal population was documented. In patients with hymenoptera venom allergy, elevated baseline tryptase is strongly associated with severe anaphylaxis. Fatal sting reactions were reported in patients with mastocytosis, notably after stopping venom immunotherapy. During venom immunotherapy most patients with mastocytosis are protected from further sting reactions. Based on these observations immunotherapy for life is recommended for patients with mastocytosis and venom allergy. The incidence of allergic side-effects is increased in patients with mastocytosis and elevated baseline tryptase, especially in those allergic to Vespula venom. Premedication with antihistamines, or omalizumab in cases with recurrent severe side-effects, can be helpful. In all patients with anaphylaxis following hymenoptera stings, baseline serum tryptase should be determined. A value above 11.4 microg/l is often due to mastocytosis and indicates a high risk of very severe anaphylaxis following re-stings. Venom immunotherapy is safe and effective in this situation.

  15. How the Venom from the Ectoparasitoid Wasp Nasonia vitripennis Exhibits Anti-Inflammatory Properties on Mammalian Cell Lines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danneels, Ellen L.; Gerlo, Sarah; Heyninck, Karen; Van Craenenbroeck, Kathleen; De Bosscher, Karolien; Haegeman, Guy; de Graaf, Dirk C.

    2014-01-01

    With more than 150,000 species, parasitoids are a large group of hymenopteran insects that inject venom into and then lay their eggs in or on other insects, eventually killing the hosts. Their venoms have evolved into different mechanisms for manipulating host immunity, physiology and behavior in such a way that enhance development of the parasitoid young. The venom from the ectoparasitoid Nasonia vitripennis inhibits the immune system in its host organism in order to protect their offspring from elimination. Since the major innate immune pathways in insects, the Toll and Imd pathways, are homologous to the NF-κB pathway in mammals, we were interested in whether a similar immune suppression seen in insects could be elicited in a mammalian cell system. A well characterized NF-κB reporter gene assay in fibrosarcoma cells showed a dose-dependent inhibition of NF-κB signaling caused by the venom. In line with this NF-κB inhibitory action, N. vitripennis venom dampened the expression of IL-6, a prototypical proinflammatory cytokine, from LPS-treated macrophages. The venom also inhibited the expression of two NF-κB target genes, IκBα and A20, that act in a negative feedback loop to prevent excessive NF-κB activity. Surprisingly, we did not detect any effect of the venom on the early events in the canonical NF-κB activation pathway, leading to NF-κB nuclear translocation, which was unaltered in venom-treated cells. The MAP kinases ERK, p38 and JNK are other crucial regulators of immune responses. We observed that venom treatment did not affect p38 and ERK activation, but induced a prolonged JNK activation. In summary, our data indicate that venom from N. vitripennis inhibits NF-κB signaling in mammalian cells. We identify venom-induced up regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor-regulated GILZ as a most likely molecular mediator for this inhibition. PMID:24821138

  16. Physical reparative treatment in reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The tissue growth necessary to achieve a complete or partial restitution ad integrum as a result of injury to soft tissue and/or hard times in reptiles is variable and often needs long time in relation to the species, to the habitat and to their intrinsic physiological characteristics. The purpose of this work was to see if the tissue optimization (TO) treatment with radio electric asymmetric conveyer (REAC) provided good results in these animals and whether its use translates into reduced time of tissue repair. This paper describes preliminary results with in promoting the tissue repair in reptiles. Cases presentation A 5 year old male Testudo graeca (Leo) and Trachemys scripta scripta (Mir) and a 15 year old female Testudo hermanni (Juta) were evaluated because of soft tissue injuries. A female 25 year old Trachemys scripta elegans (Ice), a female 2.5 year old Trachemys scripta scripta (Penelope) as well as a 50 year old male Testudo graeca (Margherito) were evaluated because of wounds of the carapace. Following debridement and traditional therapies, Leo, Penelope and Margherito were exposed to the radio electric asymmetric conveyer (REAC) device, with a specific treatment protocol, named tissue optimization-basic (TO-B). Also Ice and Mir were subjected to REAC treatment after wounds debridement. Juta was treated only with REAC treatment. Complete wound healing was evident after 17 days for Leo, 7 days for Penelope, 27 days for Mir, 78 days for Ice and after 14 days for Margherito. Juta showed a considerable tissue activation in 2 days and complete wound healing in 5 days. Conclusion Our findings suggest that REAC TO-B treatment may provide advantages over other traditional methods after complete wound healing in Leo, and also suitable healing in the other patients. Then REAC device with its specific treatment TO-B protocol, which induces tissue repair without causing severe stress to the patient, could be a potential therapy for tissue damage healing

  17. High-resolution proteomic profiling of spider venom: expanding the toxin diversity of Phoneutria nigriventer venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liberato, Tarcísio; Troncone, Lanfranco Ranieri Paolo; Yamashiro, Edson T; Serrano, Solange M T; Zelanis, André

    2016-03-01

    Here we present a proteomic characterization of Phoneutria nigriventer venom. A shotgun proteomic approach allowed the identification, for the first time, of O-glycosyl hydrolases (chitinases) in P. nigriventer venom. The electrophoretic profiles under nonreducing and reducing conditions, and protein identification by mass spectrometry, indicated the presence of oligomeric toxin structures in the venom. Complementary proteomic approaches allowed for a qualitative and semi-quantitative profiling of P. nigriventer venom complexity, expanding its known venom proteome diversity.

  18. Global taxonomic diversity of living reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel; Bauer, Aaron M; Meiri, Shai; Uetz, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Reptiles are one of the most ecologically and evolutionarily remarkable groups of living organisms, having successfully colonized most of the planet, including the oceans and some of the harshest and more environmentally unstable ecosystems on earth. Here, based on a complete dataset of all the world's diversity of living reptiles, we analyse lineage taxonomic richness both within and among clades, at different levels of the phylogenetic hierarchy. We also analyse the historical tendencies in the descriptions of new reptile species from Linnaeus to March 2012. Although (non-avian) reptiles are the second most species-rich group of amniotes after birds, most of their diversity (96.3%) is concentrated in squamates (59% lizards, 35% snakes, and 2% amphisbaenians). In strong contrast, turtles (3.4%), crocodilians (0.3%), and tuataras (0.01%) are far less diverse. In terms of species discoveries, most turtles and crocodilians were described early, while descriptions of lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians are multimodal with respect to time. Lizard descriptions, in particular, have reached unprecedented levels during the last decade. Finally, despite such remarkably asymmetric distributions of reptile taxonomic diversity among groups, we found that the distributions of lineage richness are consistently right-skewed, with most clades (monophyletic families and genera) containing few lineages (monophyletic genera and species, respectively), while only a few have radiated greatly (notably the families Colubridae and Scincidae, and the lizard genera Anolis and Liolaemus). Therefore, such consistency in the frequency distribution of richness among clades and among phylogenetic levels suggests that the nature of reptile biodiversity is fundamentally fractal (i.e., it is scale invariant). We then compared current reptile diversity with the global reptile diversity and taxonomy known in 1980. Despite substantial differences in the taxonomies (relative to 2012), the patterns of

  19. Global Taxonomic Diversity of Living Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pincheira-Donoso, Daniel; Bauer, Aaron M.; Meiri, Shai; Uetz, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Reptiles are one of the most ecologically and evolutionarily remarkable groups of living organisms, having successfully colonized most of the planet, including the oceans and some of the harshest and more environmentally unstable ecosystems on earth. Here, based on a complete dataset of all the world’s diversity of living reptiles, we analyse lineage taxonomic richness both within and among clades, at different levels of the phylogenetic hierarchy. We also analyse the historical tendencies in the descriptions of new reptile species from Linnaeus to March 2012. Although (non-avian) reptiles are the second most species-rich group of amniotes after birds, most of their diversity (96.3%) is concentrated in squamates (59% lizards, 35% snakes, and 2% amphisbaenians). In strong contrast, turtles (3.4%), crocodilians (0.3%), and tuataras (0.01%) are far less diverse. In terms of species discoveries, most turtles and crocodilians were described early, while descriptions of lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians are multimodal with respect to time. Lizard descriptions, in particular, have reached unprecedented levels during the last decade. Finally, despite such remarkably asymmetric distributions of reptile taxonomic diversity among groups, we found that the distributions of lineage richness are consistently right-skewed, with most clades (monophyletic families and genera) containing few lineages (monophyletic genera and species, respectively), while only a few have radiated greatly (notably the families Colubridae and Scincidae, and the lizard genera Anolis and Liolaemus). Therefore, such consistency in the frequency distribution of richness among clades and among phylogenetic levels suggests that the nature of reptile biodiversity is fundamentally fractal (i.e., it is scale invariant). We then compared current reptile diversity with the global reptile diversity and taxonomy known in 1980. Despite substantial differences in the taxonomies (relative to 2012), the patterns of

  20. Global taxonomic diversity of living reptiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Pincheira-Donoso

    Full Text Available Reptiles are one of the most ecologically and evolutionarily remarkable groups of living organisms, having successfully colonized most of the planet, including the oceans and some of the harshest and more environmentally unstable ecosystems on earth. Here, based on a complete dataset of all the world's diversity of living reptiles, we analyse lineage taxonomic richness both within and among clades, at different levels of the phylogenetic hierarchy. We also analyse the historical tendencies in the descriptions of new reptile species from Linnaeus to March 2012. Although (non-avian reptiles are the second most species-rich group of amniotes after birds, most of their diversity (96.3% is concentrated in squamates (59% lizards, 35% snakes, and 2% amphisbaenians. In strong contrast, turtles (3.4%, crocodilians (0.3%, and tuataras (0.01% are far less diverse. In terms of species discoveries, most turtles and crocodilians were described early, while descriptions of lizards, snakes and amphisbaenians are multimodal with respect to time. Lizard descriptions, in particular, have reached unprecedented levels during the last decade. Finally, despite such remarkably asymmetric distributions of reptile taxonomic diversity among groups, we found that the distributions of lineage richness are consistently right-skewed, with most clades (monophyletic families and genera containing few lineages (monophyletic genera and species, respectively, while only a few have radiated greatly (notably the families Colubridae and Scincidae, and the lizard genera Anolis and Liolaemus. Therefore, such consistency in the frequency distribution of richness among clades and among phylogenetic levels suggests that the nature of reptile biodiversity is fundamentally fractal (i.e., it is scale invariant. We then compared current reptile diversity with the global reptile diversity and taxonomy known in 1980. Despite substantial differences in the taxonomies (relative to 2012, the

  1. Evidence-Based Reptile Housing and Nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oonincx, Dennis; van Leeuwen, Jeroen

    2017-09-01

    The provision of a good light source is important for reptiles. For instance, ultraviolet light is used in social interactions and used for vitamin D synthesis. With respect to housing, most reptilians are best kept pairwise or individually. Environmental enrichment can be effective but depends on the form and the species to which it is applied. Temperature gradients around preferred body temperatures allow accurate thermoregulation, which is essential for reptiles. Natural distributions indicate suitable ambient temperatures, but microclimatic conditions are at least as important. Because the nutrient requirements of reptiles are largely unknown, facilitating self-selection from various dietary items is preferable. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Reptile Critical Care and Common Emergencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Music, Meera Kumar; Strunk, Anneliese

    2016-05-01

    Reptile emergencies are an important part of exotic animal critical care, both true emergencies and those perceived as emergencies by owners. The most common presentations for reptile emergencies are addressed here, with information on differential diagnoses, helpful diagnostics, and approach to treatment. In many cases, reptile emergencies are actually acute presentations originating from a chronic problem, and the treatment plan must include both clinical treatment and addressing husbandry and dietary deficiencies at home. Accurate owner expectations must be set in order to have owner compliance to long-term treatment plans. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Snake venom instability | Willemse | African Zoology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Egyptian cobra Naja haje haje) and puffadder (Bills arietans). Considerable differences in electrophoretic characteristics were found between fresh venom and commercial venom samples from the same species of snake. These differences could be attributed partly to the instability of snake venom under conditions of drying ...

  4. Connectivity maps for biosimilar drug discovery in venoms: the case of Gila monster venom and the anti-diabetes drug Byetta®.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aramadhaka, Lavakumar Reddy; Prorock, Alyson; Dragulev, Bojan; Bao, Yongde; Fox, Jay W

    2013-07-01

    Like most natural product libraries animal venoms have long been recognized as potentially rich source of biologically active molecules with the potential to be mined for the discovery of drugs, drug leads and/or biosimilars. In this work we demonstrate as a proof of concept a novel approach to explore venoms for potential biosimilarity to other drugs based on their ability to alter the transcriptomes of test cell lines followed by informatic searches and Connectivity Mapping to match the action of the venom on the cell gene expression to that of other drugs in the Connectivity Map (C-Map) database. As our test animal venom we chose Heloderma suspectum venom (Gila monster) since exendin-4, a glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist, isolated from the venom is currently on the market to treat type 2 diabetes. The action of Byetta(®) (exentide, synthetic exendin-4), was also used in transcriptome studies. Analysis of transcriptomes from cells treated with the venom or the drug showed similarities as well as differences. The former case was primarily attributed to the fact that Gila monster venom likely contains a variety of biologically active molecules that could alter the MCF7 cell transcriptome compared to that of the single perturbant Byetta(®). Using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software, insulin-like growth factor 1 signaling was identified in the category of "Top Canonical Pathways" for both the venom and Byetta(®). In the category of "Top Molecules" up-regulated, both venom and Byetta(®) shared IL-8, cyclic AMP-dependent transcription factor 3 (ATF-3), neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 (NR4A3), dexamethasone-induced Ras-related protein 1 (RASD1) and early growth response protein 1, (EGR-1) all with potential relevance in diabetes. Using Connectivity Mapping, Gila monster venom showed positive correlation with 1732 instances and negative correlation with 793 instances in the Connectivity database whereas Byetta(®) showed positive correlation with 1692

  5. Serovars of Salmonella from captive reptiles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Karl; Lassen-Nielsen, Anne Marie; Nordentoft, Steen

    2009-01-01

    The distribution on serovars of 60 Salmonella isolates from reptiles kept in captivity in Denmark during the period 1995–2006 was investigated. The isolates were all recovered from clinical specimens submitted to the National Veterinary Institute. A majority of the samples were from reptiles...... in zoological gardens or similar, while a minor number was from reptiles kept in private homes. A total of 43 serovars were detected, most of them being what is usually called exotic serotypes, and many not having a trivial name, while a few isolates belonged to well-known human pathogenic serovars, such as S....... Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium, S. Bovismorbificans. One isolate was rough and two were non-typeable. Isolates from turtles belonged to the subspecies enterica, while many isolates from both sauria and snakes belonged to other subspecies. The findings underline the potential zoonotic risk by handling reptiles...

  6. 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.

  7. Optimization of antiscorpion venom production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Ozkan

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out to produce highly efficient antivenom from a small number of telsons in a short time. Venom solution was prepared through maceration of telsons from Androctonus crassicauda (Olivier, 1807 collected in the Southeastern Anatolia Region, Turkey. Lethal dose 50% (LD50 of the venom solution injected into mice was 1 ml/kg (95% confidence interval; 0.8-1.3, according to probit analysis. Different adjuvants (Freund's Complete Adjuvant, Freund's Incomplete Adjuvant, and 0.4% aluminium phosphate, at increasing doses and combined with venom, were subcutaneously injected into horses on days 0, 14, 21, 28, 35, and 42 of the experiment. Antivenom was collected from the immunized horses on days 45, 48, and 51 using the pepsin digestive method. The antivenom effective dose 50% (ED50 in mice was 0.5 ml (95% confidence interval; 0.40-0.58, according to probit analysis. It was concluded that 0.5 ml antivenom neutralized a venom dose 35-fold higher than the venom LD50. Thus, highly potent antivenom could be produced from about 238 telsons in 51 days.

  8. Blood parasites in reptiles imported to Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halla, Ursula; Ursula, Halla; Korbel, Rüdiger; Rüdiger, Korbel; Mutschmann, Frank; Frank, Mutschmann; Rinder, Monika; Monika, Rinder

    2014-12-01

    Though international trade is increasing, the significance of imported reptiles as carriers of pathogens with relevance to animal and human health is largely unknown. Reptiles imported to Germany were therefore investigated for blood parasites using light microscopy, and the detected parasites were morphologically characterized. Four hundred ten reptiles belonging to 17 species originating from 11 Asian, South American and African countries were included. Parasites were detected in 117 (29%) of individual reptiles and in 12 species. Haemococcidea (Haemogregarina, Hepatozoon, Schellackia) were found in 84% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus), 20% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Kinyongia fischeri, Gekko gecko) and 50% of turtles (Pelusios castaneus). Infections with Hematozoea (Plasmodium, Sauroplasma) were detected in 14% of lizards (Acanthocercus atricollis, Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Furcifer pardalis, Xenagama batillifera, Acanthosaura capra, Physignathus cocincinus), while those with Kinetoplastea (Trypanosoma) were found in 9% of snakes (Python regius, Corallus caninus) and 25 % of lizards (K. fischeri, Acanthosaura capra, G. gecko). Nematoda including filarial larvae parasitized in 10% of lizards (Agama agama, Agama mwanzae, K. fischeri, Fu. pardalis, Physignathus cocincinus). Light microscopy mostly allowed diagnosis of the parasites' genus, while species identification was not possible because of limited morphological characteristics available for parasitic developmental stages. The investigation revealed a high percentage of imported reptiles being carriers of parasites while possible vectors and pathogenicity are largely unknown so far. The spreading of haemoparasites thus represents an incalculable risk for pet reptiles, native herpetofauna and even human beings.

  9. Renal flagellate infections in reptiles: 29 cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juan-Sallés, Caries; Garner, Michael M; Nordhausen, Robert W; Valls, Xavier; Gallego, Miguel; Soto, Sara

    2014-03-01

    Renal infection with flagellated protozoa was retrospectively evaluated in 29 reptiles, including 12 turtles, 7 tortoises, and 6 chameleons; overall, 20 species of reptiles were represented. Most cases presented with nonspecific clinical signs or a combination of several concurrent diseases. Nineteen of 29 reptiles had tubulointerstitial nephritis associated with flagellates, and this lesion was considered contributory to death in 15 cases, although concurrent diseases were frequent. Infection was invasive into the renal interstitium in three reptiles due to tubular rupture and in one chameleon also spread to adjacent tissues, coelomic cavity, and blood vessels due to renal rupture. Cytologic or ultrastructural evaluation of trophozoites in two cases was consistent with diplomonad flagellates. Renal disease was often complicated with soft-tissue mineralization and/or gout. Gastrointestinal and cloacal infection with flagellates and inflammation were frequent in reptiles in which the digestive tract was available for histopathologic examination, and this supports the possibility of infections ascending the urinary tract from the cloaca. Renal disease associated with flagellate protozoa is rare in vertebrates but appears to be relevant in reptiles, particularly chelonians and chameleons.

  10. Molecular characterization of Hepatozoon species in reptiles from the Seychelles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, D James; Maia, João P M C; Perera, Ana

    2011-02-01

    Hepatozoon parasites were examined for the first time in reptiles from the Seychelles Islands. Although both prevalence and intensity were low, Hepatozoon species were detected in individuals from 2 endemic species, the lizard Mabuya wrightii and the snake Lycognathophis seychellensis. This was confirmed using visual identification and through sequencing part of the 18s rRNA gene. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the Hepatozoon on the Seychelles form a monophyletic lineage, although more data are clearly needed to stabilize estimates of relationships based on this marker.

  11. Update on common nutritional disorders of captive reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mans, Christoph; Braun, Jana

    2014-09-01

    Nutritional disorders of captive reptiles remain very common despite the increasing knowledge about reptile husbandry and nutrition. Many nutritional disorders are diagnosed late in the disease process; often secondary complications, such as pathologic fractures in reptiles suffering from nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism have occurred. Therefore, every attempt should be made to educate reptile owners and keepers about the proper care and dietary needs of reptiles under their care because all nutritional disorders seen in captive reptiles are preventable. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. From fins to limbs to fins: limb evolution in fossil marine reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Michael W

    2002-10-15

    Limb osteology and ontogenetic patterns of limb ossification are reviewed for extinct lineages of aquatically adapted diapsid reptiles. Phylogenies including these fossil taxa show that paddle-like limbs were independently derived, and that the varied limb morphologies were produced by evolutionary modifications to different aspects of the limb skeleton. Ancient marine reptiles modify the limb by reducing the relative size of the epipodials, modifying the perichondral and periosteal surface of elements distal to the propodials, and evolving extremes of hyperphalangy and hyperdactyly. Developmental genetic models illuminate gene systems that may have controlled limb evolution in these animals. Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. IgD in the reptile leopard gecko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambón-Deza, Francisco; Espinel, Christian Sánchez

    2008-07-01

    Immunoglobulin D (IgD) has been a mysterious antibody ever since it was discovered in mammals 40 years ago. It shares with IgM the role of antigen-receptor in the membrane of mature B cells. The absence of IgD in birds and its description in bony fishes contributed to the confusion about its evolutionary origins. Recent studies have established the presence of IgD in the amphibian Xenopus tropicalis. It is essential to study IgD genes in reptiles in order to better understand the evolution of this immunoglobulin in vertebrates. We describe in this report the IgM and IgD genes of the reptile Eublepharis macularius. The IgM gene has characteristics that are similar to those described in other species whereas IgD gene departs from the normal structure described for this antibody class in other species. It is made up of 11 immunoglobulins domains without evidence of recent intragenic duplications of exons as described in IgD genes of fish and X.tropicalis. It is possible that the immunoglobulin is comprised of domains inherited from earlier species and that this form of IgD is close to that present in animals that left the sea to live on land. Furthermore, domains CH7 and CH8 of E. macularius IgD are orthologues to domains CH2 and CH3 of mammalian IgD. The present study also describes a second IgD (IgD2) which must have appeared recently by duplication of an older immunoglobulin gene and recombination with the IgA-like gene described in this specie. Tissue expression of IgD and IgD2 mRNA is similar to that of IgM mRNA, suggesting a functional role of reptilian IgD.

  14. House spider genome uncovers evolutionary shifts in the diversity and expression of black widow venom proteins associated with extreme toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gendreau, Kerry L; Haney, Robert A; Schwager, Evelyn E; Wierschin, Torsten; Stanke, Mario; Richards, Stephen; Garb, Jessica E

    2017-02-16

    Black widow spiders are infamous for their neurotoxic venom, which can cause extreme and long-lasting pain. This unusual venom is dominated by latrotoxins and latrodectins, two protein families virtually unknown outside of the black widow genus Latrodectus, that are difficult to study given the paucity of spider genomes. Using tissue-, sex- and stage-specific expression data, we analyzed the recently sequenced genome of the house spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum), a close relative of black widows, to investigate latrotoxin and latrodectin diversity, expression and evolution. We discovered at least 47 latrotoxin genes in the house spider genome, many of which are tandem-arrayed. Latrotoxins vary extensively in predicted structural domains and expression, implying their significant functional diversification. Phylogenetic analyses show latrotoxins have substantially duplicated after the Latrodectus/Parasteatoda split and that they are also related to proteins found in endosymbiotic bacteria. Latrodectin genes are less numerous than latrotoxins, but analyses show their recruitment for venom function from neuropeptide hormone genes following duplication, inversion and domain truncation. While latrodectins and other peptides are highly expressed in house spider and black widow venom glands, latrotoxins account for a far smaller percentage of house spider venom gland expression. The house spider genome sequence provides novel insights into the evolution of venom toxins once considered unique to black widows. Our results greatly expand the size of the latrotoxin gene family, reinforce its narrow phylogenetic distribution, and provide additional evidence for the lateral transfer of latrotoxins between spiders and bacterial endosymbionts. Moreover, we strengthen the evidence for the evolution of latrodectin venom genes from the ecdysozoan Ion Transport Peptide (ITP)/Crustacean Hyperglycemic Hormone (CHH) neuropeptide superfamily. The lower expression of latrotoxins in

  15. 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

    2016-07-23

    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.

  16. Potential Environmental and Ecological Effects of Global Climate Change on Venomous Terrestrial Species in the Wilderness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Needleman, Robert K; Neylan, Isabelle P; Erickson, Timothy

    2018-06-01

    Climate change has been scientifically documented, and its effects on wildlife have been prognosticated. We sought to predict the overall impact of climate change on venomous terrestrial species. We hypothesize that given the close relationship between terrestrial venomous species and climate, a changing global environment may result in increased species migration, geographical redistribution, and longer seasons for envenomation, which would have repercussions on human health. A retrospective analysis of environmental, ecological, and medical literature was performed with a focus on climate change, toxinology, and future modeling specific to venomous terrestrial creatures. Species included venomous reptiles, snakes, arthropods, spiders, and Hymenoptera (ants and bees). Animals that are vectors of hemorrhagic infectious disease (eg, mosquitos, ticks) were excluded. Our review of the literature indicates that changes to climatic norms will have a potentially dramatic effect on terrestrial venomous creatures. Empirical evidence demonstrates that geographic distributions of many species have already shifted due to changing climatic conditions. Given that most terrestrial venomous species are ectotherms closely tied to ambient temperature, and that climate change is shifting temperature zones away from the equator, further significant distribution and population changes should be anticipated. For those species able to migrate to match the changing temperatures, new geographical locations may open. For those species with limited distribution capabilities, the rate of climate change may accelerate faster than species can adapt, causing population declines. Specifically, poisonous snakes and spiders will likely maintain their population numbers but will shift their geographic distribution to traditionally temperate zones more often inhabited by humans. Fire ants and Africanized honey bees are expected to have an expanded range distribution due to predicted warming trends

  17. from Cerastes cerastes venom gland

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sequence analysis and alignment using bioinformatic programs indicated that samples 1, 2 and 3 bear significant homology to the metalloprotease family of snake venom sequences deposited in the Genbank. Translation to the amino acid sequence and alignment using protein database showed strong homology with ...

  18. 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

  19. Correlating molecular phylogeny with venom apparatus occurrence in Panamic auger snails (Terebridae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mandë Holford

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Central to the discovery of neuroactive compounds produced by predatory marine snails of the superfamily Conoidea (cone snails, terebrids, and turrids is identifying those species with a venom apparatus. Previous analyses of western Pacific terebrid specimens has shown that some Terebridae groups have secondarily lost their venom apparatus. In order to efficiently characterize terebrid toxins, it is essential to devise a key for identifying which species have a venom apparatus. The findings presented here integrate molecular phylogeny and the evolution of character traits to infer the presence or absence of the venom apparatus in the Terebridae. Using a combined dataset of 156 western and 33 eastern Pacific terebrid samples, a phylogenetic tree was constructed based on analyses of 16S, COI and 12S mitochondrial genes. The 33 eastern Pacific specimens analyzed represent four different species: Acus strigatus, Terebra argyosia, T. ornata, and T. cf. formosa. Anatomical analysis was congruent with molecular characters, confirming that species included in the clade Acus do not have a venom apparatus, while those in the clade Terebra do. Discovery of the association between terebrid molecular phylogeny and the occurrence of a venom apparatus provides a useful tool for effectively identifying the terebrid lineages that may be investigated for novel pharmacological active neurotoxins, enhancing conservation of this important resource, while providing supplementary information towards understanding terebrid evolutionary diversification.

  20. Kinins in ant venoms--a comparison with venoms of related Hymenoptera

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piek, T.; Schmidt, J. O.; de Jong, J. M.; Mantel, P.

    1989-01-01

    1. Venom preparations have been made of six ant, one pompilid wasp, two mutillid wasp, and four social wasp species. 2. The venoms were analysed pharmacologically in order to detect kinin-like activity. 3. Due to the small amounts of venoms available only a cascade of smooth muscle preparation could

  1. Evidence-Based Advances in Reptile Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Mark A; Perry, Sean M

    2017-09-01

    Evidence-based medicine allows veterinarians to practice high-quality medicine, because the basis for all decision making is quantitative, objective, and reproducible. Case reports and case series are limited in their scope and application. Cross-sectional studies, likewise, cannot provide answers to specific variable testing with a temporal application. It is essential for the reptile specialty to expand into case-control studies, cohort studies, and experimental/intervention studies. Unfortunately, much of the reptile literature remains limited to descriptive studies. This article reviews current evidence-based topics in reptile medicine and shares how everyone practicing in the field can contribute to improving this specialty. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio; Smith, Geoffrey

    2015-01-01

    We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. The herpetofauna of Hidalgo consists of a total of 175 species: 54 amphibians (14 salamanders and 40 anurans); and 121 reptiles (one crocodile, five turtles, 36 lizards, 79 snakes). These taxa represent 32 families (12 amphibian families, 20 reptile families) and 87 genera (24 amphibian genera, 63 reptile genera). Two of these species are non-native species (Hemidactylus frenatus Duméril and Bibron, 1836 a...

  3. Molecular Biological Study of Anti-cancer Effects of Bee Venom Aqua-acupuncture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Park Chan-Yol

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available To study anti-cancer effect and molecular biological mechanism of bee venom for aqua-acupuncture, the effects of bee venom on cell viability and apoptosis were analyzed using MTT assay, tryphan blue assay, [3H]thymidine release assay, flow cytometric analysis, and activity of caspase-3 protease activity assay. To explore whether anti-cancer effects of bee venom are associated with the transcriptional control of gene expression, quantitative RT-PCR analysis of apoptosis-related genes was performed. The obtained results are summarized as follows: 1. The MTT assay demonstrated that cell viability was decreased by bee venom in a dose-dependant manner. 2. Significant induction of apoptosis was identified using tryphan blue assay, [3H]thymidine release assay, and flow cytometric analysis of sub G1 fraction. 3. In analysis of caspase-3 protease activity, the activity had increased significantly, in a dose-dependant manner. 4. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of the apoptosis-related genes showed that Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL were down-regulated whereas Bax was up-regulated by bee venom treatment.

  4. 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

  5. Science: What Reptiles Are and Aren't

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelrod, Gerry S.

    1978-01-01

    Many children have an enormous fascination for reptiles of all kinds--snakes, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, alligators and lizards. Whatever the reason for their interest, you can channel the enthusiasm of reptile fans and build the interest of curious students with a few simple activities, e.g., getting acquainted with reptile characteristics…

  6. Possibilties of using amphibians and reptiles to indicate environmental pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petrov, V.S.; Sharygin, S.A.

    1981-01-01

    Data on the presence of certain toxic elements in organisms of amphibians and reptiles are reported. Differences in chemical composition of organisms of amphibians and reptiles living in wild biotopes and in settlements are shown. Analysis of microelement concentration in organisms of amphibians and reptiles can be used to detect pollution in urban areas.

  7. Salmonella in Brazilian and imported pet reptiles

    OpenAIRE

    Sá,Isabel Valéria Abalem de; Solari,Claude André

    2001-01-01

    The presence of salmonellae in fecal samples or cloacal swabs of 97 pet reptiles (15 snakes, 24 lizards and 58 chelonians) was investigated. Thirty seven animals had national origin and 60 were imported. Salmonella spp was detected in 39.1% of the reptiles, being 62.5% in lizards, 53.3% in snakes and 25.8% in chelonians. Strains belonged to subspecies I (44.7%), II (10.5%), IIIa (5.2%), IIIb (21.0%) and IV (18.5%) of the enterica species, with predominance (55.3%) of subspecies usually found ...

  8. Common procedures in reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Navarre, Byron J S

    2006-05-01

    Reptiles and amphibians continue to be popular as pets in the United States and throughout the world. It therefore behooves veterinarians interested in caring for these exotic species to continually gather knowledge concerning both their proper husbandry and the conditions that require medical and/or surgical intervention. This article covers husbandry, physical examination, and clinical and diagnostic techniques in an effort to present guidelines for the evaluation of the reptile or amphibian patient. Gathering clinical data will aid veterinarians in arriving at the proper diagnosis,increasing the chances of success with treatment protocols, and educating the clients in proper nutrition and husbandry for their pets.

  9. An overview of Bothrops erythromelas venom

    OpenAIRE

    Nery,Neriane Monteiro; Luna,Karla Patrícia; Fernandes,Carla Freire Celedônio; Zuliani,Juliana Pavan

    2016-01-01

    Abstract This review discusses studies on the venom of Bothrops erythromelas published over the past 36 years. During this period, many contributions have been made to understand the venomous snake, its venom, and its experimental and clinical effects better. The following chronological overview is based on 29 articles that were published between 1979 and 2015, with emphasis on diverse areas. The complexity of this task demands an integration of multidisciplinary research tools to study toxin...

  10. Immunochemical studies of yellowjacket venom proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, T P; Alagon, A C; Kuan, J; Sobotka, A K; Lichtenstein, L M

    1983-03-01

    The major proteins of yellowjacket venoms have been isolated and characterized immuno-chemically. They consist of hyaluronidase, phospholipase, and antigen 5. Venoms from three species of yellowjacket were studied. Vespula germanica, V. maculifrons, and V. vulgaris. The phospholipases could be isolated in good yield only when affinity chromatography was used to minimize limited proteolysis. A kallikrein-like peptidase was found present in the yellowjacket venom. Phospholipases from these three species were immunochemically indistinguishable from each other, as were their antigen 5s. Sera from individuals sensitive to yellowjacket venom contained IgE and IgG specific for antigen 5 and phospholipase.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Sex Reversal in Reptiles: Reproductive Oddity or Powerful Driver of Evolutionary Change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holleley, Clare E; Sarre, Stephen D; O'Meally, Denis; Georges, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Is sex a product of genes, the environment, or both? In this review, we describe the diversity of sex-determining mechanisms in reptiles, with a focus on systems that display gene-environment interactions. We summarise the field and laboratory-based evidence for the occurrence of environmental sex reversal in reptiles and ask whether this is a widespread evolutionary mechanism affecting the evolution of sex chromosomes and speciation in vertebrates. Sex determination systems exist across a continuum of genetic and environmental influences, blurring the lines between what was once considered a strict dichotomy between genetic sex determination and temperature-dependent sex determination. Across this spectrum, we identify the potential for sex reversal in species with clearly differentiated heteromorphic sex chromosomes (Pogona vitticeps, Bassiana duperreyi, Eremias multiocellata, Gekko japonicus), weakly differentiated homomorphic sex chromosomes (Niveoscincus ocellatus), and species with only a weak heritable predisposition for sex (Emys orbicularis, Trachemys scripta). We argue that sex reversal is widespread in reptiles (Testudines, Lacertidae, Agamidae, Scincidae, Gekkonidae) and has the potential to have an impact on individual fitness, resulting in reproductively, morphologically, and behaviourally unique phenotypes. Sex reversal is likely to be a powerful evolutionary force responsible for generating and maintaining lability and diversity in reptile sex-determining modes. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey 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 threatened/endangered sea turtles, diamondback terrapins, and rare reptiles/amphibians in coastal Rhode...

  15. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Central California: 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 amphibians and reptiles in Central California. Vector polygons in this data set represent sea turtle...

  16. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Hudson River: REPTILES (Reptile Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for estuarine reptiles (turtles, terrapins) and amphibians (salamanders, frogs) for the Hudson River....

  17. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Upper Coast of Texas: REPTILES (Reptile 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 reptiles, and terrestrial endangered species occurrences for the Upper Coast of...

  18. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Florida Panhandle: REPTILES (Reptile Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for sea turtles and select estuarine/freshwater reptiles for the Florida Panhandle. Vector polygons in this...

  19. Extending the honey bee venome with the antimicrobial peptide apidaecin and a protein resembling wasp antigen 5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Vaerenbergh, M; Cardoen, D; Formesyn, E M; Brunain, M; Van Driessche, G; Blank, S; Spillner, E; Verleyen, P; Wenseleers, T; Schoofs, L; Devreese, B; de Graaf, D C

    2013-04-01

    Honey bee venom is a complex mixture of toxic proteins and peptides. In the present study we tried to extend our knowledge of the venom composition using two different approaches. First, worker venom was analysed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and this revealed the antimicrobial peptide apidaecin for the first time in such samples. Its expression in the venom gland was confirmed by reverse transcription PCR and by a peptidomic analysis of the venom apparatus tissue. Second, genome mining revealed a list of proteins with resemblance to known insect allergens or venom toxins, one of which showed homology to proteins of the antigen 5 (Ag5)/Sol i 3 cluster. It was demonstrated that the honey bee Ag5-like gene is expressed by venom gland tissue of winter bees but not of summer bees. Besides this seasonal variation, it shows an interesting spatial expression pattern with additional production in the hypopharyngeal glands, the brains and the midgut. Finally, our immunoblot study revealed that both synthetic apidaecin and the Ag5-like recombinant from bacteria evoke no humoral activity in beekeepers. Also, no IgG4-based cross-reactivity was detected between the honey bee Ag5-like protein and its yellow jacket paralogue Ves v 5. © 2013 Royal Entomological Society.

  20. Noteworthy reptiles records from Guanajuato, Mexico Registros notables de reptiles para Guanajuato, México

    OpenAIRE

    José Ismael Campos-Rodríguez; Berenice Pérez-Valera; Leonor E. Evaristo-Aguilar; Cynthia Elizalde-Arellano; Juan Carlos López-Vidal; Raúl Hernández-Arciga

    2010-01-01

    Five new reptile records for the Mexican state of Guanajuato are reported: Lampropeltis triangulum dixoni, Leptodeira annulata cusiliris, Oxybelis aeneus, Tropidodipsas sartorii, and Scincella silvicola caudaequinae. These records are within western versant of the Sierra Gorda at Sierra Gorda de Guanajuato. Evidence is given that supports the idea that the area supports a herpetofaunal assemblage of tropical affinities.Se presentan 5 nuevos registros de reptiles para el estado de Guanajuato; ...

  1. Evidence-Based Reptile Housing and Nutrition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oonincx, Dennis; Leeuwen, van Jeroen

    2017-01-01

    The provision of a good light source is important for reptiles. For instance, ultraviolet light is used in social interactions and used for vitamin D synthesis. With respect to housing, most reptilians are best kept pairwise or individually. Environmental enrichment can be effective but depends on

  2. Campylobacter iguaniorum sp. nov., isolated from reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    During samplings of reptiles for Epsilonproteobacteria, Campylobacter strains were isolated from lizards and chelonians not belonging to any of the established taxa. Initial AFLP, PCR, and 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that these strains were most closely related to Campylobacter fetus and Campy...

  3. Sampling methods for terrestrial amphibians and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul Stephen Corn; R. Bruce. Bury

    1990-01-01

    Methods described for sampling amphibians and reptiles in Douglas-fir forests in the Pacific Northwest include pitfall trapping, time-constrained collecting, and surveys of coarse woody debris. The herpetofauna of this region differ in breeding and nonbreeding habitats and vagility, so that no single technique is sufficient for a community study. A combination of...

  4. CONTAMINANT-ASSOCIATED ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION IN REPTILES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The data presented suggest that contaminants can alter the endocrine and reproductive system of reptiles by mimicking hormones and by various mechanisms other than direct hormonal mimicry. However, these data indicate, as do many other studies using various vertebrates, that a fo...

  5. Biogeography of amphibians and reptiles in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eric W. Stitt; Theresa M. Mau-Crimmins; Don E. Swann

    2005-01-01

    We examined patterns of species richness for amphibians and reptiles in Arizona and evaluated patterns in species distribution between ecoregions based on species range size. In Arizona, the Sonoran Desert has the highest herpetofauna diversity, and the southern ecoregions are more similar than other regions. There appear to be distinct low- and mid-elevational...

  6. Dracula's children: molecular evolution of vampire bat venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Low, Dolyce H W; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Ali, Syed A; Alagon, Alejandro C; Ruder, Tim; Jackson, Timothy N W; Pineda Gonzalez, Sandy; King, Glenn F; Jones, Alun; Antunes, Agostinho; Fry, Bryan G

    2013-08-26

    While vampire bat oral secretions have been the subject of intense research, efforts have concentrated only on two components: DSPA (Desmodus rotundus salivary plasminogen activator) and Draculin. The molecular evolutionary history of DSPA has been elucidated, while conversely draculin has long been known from only a very small fragment and thus even the basic protein class was not even established. Despite the fact that vampire bat venom has a multitude of effects unaccounted by the documented bioactivities of DSPA and draculin, efforts have not been made to establish what other bioactive proteins are secreted by their submaxillary gland. In addition, it has remained unclear whether the anatomically distinct anterior and posterior lobes of the submaxillary gland are evolving on separate gene expression trajectories or if they remain under the shared genetic control. Using a combined proteomic and transcriptomic approach, we show that identical proteins are simultaneously expressed in both lobes. In addition to recovering the known structural classes of DSPA, we recovered a novel DSPA isoform as well as obtained a very large sequence stretch of draculin and thus established that it is a mutated version of the lactotransferrin scaffold. This study reveals a much more complex secretion profile than previously recognised. In addition to obtaining novel versions of scaffolds convergently recruited into other venoms (allergen-like, CRiSP, kallikrein, Kunitz, lysozyme), we also documented novel expression of small peptides related to calcitonin, PACAP, and statherin. Other overexpressed protein types included BPI-fold, lacritin, and secretoglobin. Further, we investigate the molecular evolution of various vampire bat venom-components and highlight the dominant role of positive selection in the evolution of these proteins. Conspicuously many of the proteins identified in the proteome were found to be homologous to proteins with known activities affecting vasodilation and

  7. Recombinant snake venom prothrombin activators

    OpenAIRE

    L?vgren, 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 ...

  8. A novel peptide from the ACEI/BPP-CNP precursor in the venom of Crotalus durissus collilineatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higuchi, Shigesada; Murayama, Nobuhiro; Saguchi, Ken-ichi; Ohi, Hiroaki; Fujita, Yoshiaki; da Silva, Nelson Jorge; de Siqueira, Rodrigo José Bezerra; Lahlou, Saad; Aird, Steven D

    2006-10-01

    In crotaline venoms, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors [ACEIs, also known as bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPPs)], are products of a gene coding for an ACEI/BPP-C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) precursor. In the genes from Bothrops jararaca and Gloydius blomhoffii, ACEI/BPP sequences are repeated. Sequencing of a cDNA clone from venom glands of Crotalus durissus collilineatus showed that two ACEIs/BPPs are located together at the N-terminus, but without repeats. An additional sequence for CNP was unexpectedly found at the C-terminus. Homologous genes for the ACEI/BPP-CNP precursor suggest that most crotaline venoms contain both ACEIs/BPPs and CNP. The sequence of ACEIs/BPPs is separated from the CNP sequence by a long spacer sequence. Previously, there was no evidence that this spacer actually coded any expressed peptides. Aird and Kaiser (1986, unpublished) previously isolated and sequenced a peptide of 11 residues (TPPAGPDVGPR) from Crotalus viridis viridis venom. In the present study, analysis of the cDNA clone from C. d. collilineatus revealed a nearly identical sequence in the ACEI/BPP-CNP spacer. Fractionation of the crude venom by reverse phase HPLC (C(18)), and analysis of the fractions by mass spectrometry (MS) indicated a component of 1020.5 Da. Amino acid sequencing by MS/MS confirmed that C. d. collilineatus venom contains the peptide TPPAGPDGGPR. Its high proline content and paired proline residues are typical of venom hypotensive peptides, although it lacks the usual N-terminal pyroglutamate. It has no demonstrable hypotensive activity when injected intravenously in rats; however, its occurrence in the venoms of dissimilar species suggests that its presence is not accidental. Evidence suggests that these novel toxins probably activate anaphylatoxin C3a receptors.

  9. Analyses of venom spitting in African cobras (Elapidae: Serpentes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... all four species. The low levels of variation in venom volume, coupled with the variation in venom dispersal pattern, suggests a complexity to the regulation of venom flow in spitting cobras beyond simply neuromuscular control of the extrinsic venom gland. Keywords: defensive behaviour, snake, teeth, Naja, Hemachatus ...

  10. In-vitro diagnostics of Hymenoptera venom allergy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  11. Reptile-associated salmonellosis in Minnesota, 1996-2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitten, T; Bender, J B; Smith, K; Leano, F; Scheftel, J

    2015-05-01

    Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) occurs when Salmonella is transmitted from a reptile to a human. This study describes the epidemiology of RAS in Minnesota during 1996-2011. All Minnesotans with confirmed Salmonella infections are reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Case patients are interviewed about illness characteristics and risk factors, including foods eaten, drinking and recreational water exposures, contact with ill people, and animal contact. Willing RAS case patients can submit stool from the reptile for culture. Serotype and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) subtype of Salmonella isolates from reptiles and case patients are compared. Of 8389 sporadic (not associated with an outbreak) non-typhoidal salmonellosis case patients in Minnesotans during 1996-2011, 290 (3.5%) reported reptile exposure. The median age of case patients with reptile exposure was 11 years, 31% were under the age of 5 years and 67% were under the age of 20 years; 50% were female. The median illness duration was 8 days; 23% required hospitalization. The most commonly reported reptile exposures were lizard (47%), snake (20%), turtle (19%) and a combination of reptile types (14%). Eighty-four per cent of isolates from case patients who reported reptile exposure were Salmonella enterica subspecies I. The three most common serotypes were Typhimurium (15%), Enteritidis (7%) and subspecies IV serotypes (7%). Of 60 reptiles testing positive for Salmonella, 36 (60%) yielded the same Salmonella serotype as the human isolate. Twenty-six of 27 reptile isolates that were subtyped by PFGE were indistinguishable from the human isolate. Of these, 88% were subspecies I; the most common serotypes were Enteritidis (12%), Typhimurium (8%), and Bareilly (8%). RAS accounts for approximately 3.5% of salmonellosis cases in Minnesota, primarily affecting children. The majority of isolates from case patients and reptiles belonged to Salmonella subspecies I, suggesting that

  12. Combined Proteomic and Transcriptomic Interrogation of the Venom Gland of Conus geographus Uncovers Novel Components and Functional Compartmentalization*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Hu, Hao; Gorasia, Dhana G.; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K.; Veith, Paul D.; Young, Neil D.; Reynolds, Eric C.; Yandell, Mark; Olivera, Baldomero M.; Purcell, Anthony W.

    2014-01-01

    Cone snails are highly successful marine predators that use complex venoms to capture prey. At any given time, hundreds of toxins (conotoxins) are synthesized in the secretory epithelial cells of the venom gland, a long and convoluted organ that can measure 4 times the length of the snail's body. In recent years a number of studies have begun to unveil the transcriptomic, proteomic and peptidomic complexity of the venom and venom glands of a number of cone snail species. By using a combination of DIGE, bottom-up proteomics and next-generation transcriptome sequencing the present study identifies proteins involved in envenomation and conotoxin maturation, significantly extending the repertoire of known (poly)peptides expressed in the venom gland of these remarkable animals. We interrogate the molecular and proteomic composition of different sections of the venom glands of 3 specimens of the fish hunter Conus geographus and demonstrate regional variations in gene expression and protein abundance. DIGE analysis identified 1204 gel spots of which 157 showed significant regional differences in abundance as determined by biological variation analysis. Proteomic interrogation identified 342 unique proteins including those that exhibited greatest fold change. The majority of these proteins also exhibited significant changes in their mRNA expression levels validating the reliability of the experimental approach. Transcriptome sequencing further revealed a yet unknown genetic diversity of several venom gland components. Interestingly, abundant proteins that potentially form part of the injected venom mixture, such as echotoxins, phospholipase A2 and con-ikots-ikots, classified into distinct expression clusters with expression peaking in different parts of the gland. Our findings significantly enhance the known repertoire of venom gland polypeptides and provide molecular and biochemical evidence for the compartmentalization of this organ into distinct functional entities

  13. Profiling the venom gland transcriptomes of Costa Rican snakes by 454 pyrosequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanz Libia

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 venom gland transcriptomes of 8 Costa Rican taxa from 5 genera (Crotalus, Bothrops, Atropoides, Cerrophidion, and Bothriechis of pitvipers were investigated using high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing. 100,394 out of 330,010 masked reads produced significant hits in the available databases. 5.165,220 nucleotides (8.27% were masked by RepeatMasker, the vast majority of which corresponding to class I (retroelements and class II (DNA transposons mobile elements. BLAST hits included 79,991 matches to entries of the taxonomic suborder Serpentes, of which 62,433 displayed similarity to documented venom proteins. Strong discrepancies between the transcriptome-computed and the proteome-gathered toxin compositions were obvious at first sight. Although the reasons underlaying this discrepancy are elusive, since no clear trend within or between species is apparent, the data indicate that individual mRNA species may be translationally controlled in a species-dependent manner. The minimum number of genes from each toxin family transcribed into the venom gland transcriptome of each species was calculated from multiple alignments of reads matched to a full-length reference sequence of each toxin family. Reads encoding ORF regions of Kazal-type inhibitor-like proteins were uniquely found in Bothriechis schlegelii and B. lateralis transcriptomes, suggesting a genus-specific recruitment event during the early-Middle Miocene. A transcriptome-based cladogram supports the large

  14. Lipase and phospholipase activities of Hymenoptera venoms ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    native gel), Polistes flavis venom has four major protein bands, one of which has lipase activity; with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS-PAGE), the venom had eighteen bands with molecular weights ranging from a maximum of 94 kD and a minimum of ...

  15. 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...

  16. Pharmacological screening technologies for venom peptide discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prashanth, Jutty Rajan; Hasaballah, Nojod; Vetter, Irina

    2017-12-01

    Venomous animals occupy one of the most successful evolutionary niches and occur on nearly every continent. They deliver venoms via biting and stinging apparatuses with the aim to rapidly incapacitate prey and deter predators. This has led to the evolution of venom components that act at a number of biological targets - including ion channels, G-protein coupled receptors, transporters and enzymes - with exquisite selectivity and potency, making venom-derived components attractive pharmacological tool compounds and drug leads. In recent years, plate-based pharmacological screening approaches have been introduced to accelerate venom-derived drug discovery. A range of assays are amenable to this purpose, including high-throughput electrophysiology, fluorescence-based functional and binding assays. However, despite these technological advances, the traditional activity-guided fractionation approach is time-consuming and resource-intensive. The combination of screening techniques suitable for miniaturization with sequence-based discovery approaches - supported by advanced proteomics, mass spectrometry, chromatography as well as synthesis and expression techniques - promises to further improve venom peptide discovery. Here, we discuss practical aspects of establishing a pipeline for venom peptide drug discovery with a particular emphasis on pharmacology and pharmacological screening approaches. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Venom-derived Peptides as Pharmacological Tools.' Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. [Bites of venomous snakes in Switzerland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plate, Andreas; Kupferschmidt, Hugo; Schneemann, Markus

    2016-06-08

    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.

  19. Pharmacological Aspects of Vipera xantina palestinae Venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momic, Tatjana; Arlinghaus, Franziska T.; Arien-Zakay, Hadar; Katzhendler, Jeoshua; Eble, Johannes A.; Marcinkiewicz, Cezary; Lazarovici, Philip

    2011-01-01

    In Israel, Vipera xantina palestinae (V.x.p.) is the most common venomous snake, accounting for several hundred cases of envenomation in humans and domestic animals every year, with a mortality rate of 0.5 to 2%. In this review we will briefly address the research developments relevant to our present understanding of the structure and function of V.x.p. venom with emphasis on venom disintegrins. Venom proteomics indicated the presence of four families of pharmacologically active compounds: (i) neurotoxins; (ii) hemorrhagins; (iii) angioneurin growth factors; and (iv) different types of integrin inhibitors. Viperistatin, a α1β1selective KTS disintegrin and VP12, a α2β1 selective C-type lectin were discovered. These snake venom proteins represent promising tools for research and development of novel collagen receptor selective drugs. These discoveries are also relevant for future improvement of antivenom therapy towards V.x.p. envenomation. PMID:22174978

  20. Pharmacological evaluation of bee venom and melittin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila G. Dantas

    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.

  1. Proteomic Characterization of the Venom of Five Bombus (Thoracobombus) Species

    OpenAIRE

    Barkan, Nezahat Pınar; Bayazit, Mustafa Bilal; Ozel Demiralp, Duygu

    2017-01-01

    Venomous animals use venom, a complex biofluid composed of unique mixtures of proteins and peptides, to act on vital systems of the prey or predator. In bees, venom is solely used for defense against predators. However, the venom composition of bumble bees (Bombus sp.) is largely unknown. The Thoracobombus subgenus of Bombus sp. is a diverse subgenus represented by 14 members across Turkey. In this study, we sought out to proteomically characterize the venom of five Thoracobombus species by u...

  2. VenomKB, a new knowledge base for facilitating the validation of putative venom therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romano, Joseph D; Tatonetti, Nicholas P

    2015-11-24

    Animal venoms have been used for therapeutic purposes since the dawn of recorded history. Only a small fraction, however, have been tested for pharmaceutical utility. Modern computational methods enable the systematic exploration of novel therapeutic uses for venom compounds. Unfortunately, there is currently no comprehensive resource describing the clinical effects of venoms to support this computational analysis. We present VenomKB, a new publicly accessible knowledge base and website that aims to act as a repository for emerging and putative venom therapies. Presently, it consists of three database tables: (1) Manually curated records of putative venom therapies supported by scientific literature, (2) automatically parsed MEDLINE articles describing compounds that may be venom derived, and their effects on the human body, and (3) automatically retrieved records from the new Semantic Medline resource that describe the effects of venom compounds on mammalian anatomy. Data from VenomKB may be selectively retrieved in a variety of popular data formats, are open-source, and will be continually updated as venom therapies become better understood.

  3. Venom evolution widespread in fishes: a phylogenetic road map for the bioprospecting of piscine venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, William Leo; Wheeler, Ward C

    2006-01-01

    Knowledge of evolutionary relationships or phylogeny allows for effective predictions about the unstudied characteristics of species. These include the presence and biological activity of an organism's venoms. To date, most venom bioprospecting has focused on snakes, resulting in six stroke and cancer treatment drugs that are nearing U.S. Food and Drug Administration review. Fishes, however, with thousands of venoms, represent an untapped resource of natural products. The first step involved in the efficient bioprospecting of these compounds is a phylogeny of venomous fishes. Here, we show the results of such an analysis and provide the first explicit suborder-level phylogeny for spiny-rayed fishes. The results, based on approximately 1.1 million aligned base pairs, suggest that, in contrast to previous estimates of 200 venomous fishes, >1,200 fishes in 12 clades should be presumed venomous. This assertion was corroborated by a detailed anatomical study examining potentially venomous structures in >100 species. The results of these studies not only alter our view of the diversity of venomous fishes, now representing >50% of venomous vertebrates, but also provide the predictive phylogeny or "road map" for the efficient search for potential pharmacological agents or physiological tools from the unexplored fish venoms.

  4. Responses of riparian reptile communities to damming and urbanization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Stephanie D.; Guzy, Jacquelyn C.; Price, Steven J.; Halstead, Brian J.; Eskew, Evan A.; Dorcas, Michael E.

    2013-01-01

    Various anthropogenic pressures, including habitat loss, threaten reptile populations worldwide. Riparian zones are critical habitat for many reptile species, but these habitats are also frequently modified by anthropogenic activities. Our study investigated the effects of two riparian habitat modifications-damming and urbanization-on overall and species-specific reptile occupancy patterns. We used time-constrained search techniques to compile encounter histories for 28 reptile species at 21 different sites along the Broad and Pacolet Rivers of South Carolina. Using a hierarchical Bayesian analysis, we modeled reptile occupancy responses to a site's distance upstream from dam, distance downstream from dam, and percent urban land use. The mean occupancy response by the reptile community indicated that reptile occupancy and species richness were maximized when sites were farther upstream from dams. Species-specific occupancy estimates showed a similar trend of lower occupancy immediately upstream from dams. Although the mean occupancy response of the reptile community was positively related to distance downstream from dams, the occupancy response to distance downstream varied among species. Percent urban land use had little effect on the occupancy response of the reptile community or individual species. Our results indicate that the conditions of impoundments and subsequent degradation of the riparian zones upstream from dams may not provide suitable habitat for a number of reptile species.

  5. Evolution and Function of the Insulin and Insulin-like Signaling Network in Ectothermic Reptiles: Some Answers and More Questions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Tonia S; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2016-08-01

    The insulin and insulin-like signaling (IIS) molecular network regulates cellular growth and division, and influences organismal metabolism, growth and development, reproduction, and lifespan. As a group, reptiles have incredible diversity in the complex life history traits that have been associated with the IIS network, yet the research on the IIS network in ectothermic reptiles is sparse. Here, we review the IIS network and synthesize what is known about the function and evolution of the IIS network in ectothermic reptiles. The primary hormones of this network-the insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGFs) likely function in reproduction in ectothermic reptiles, but the precise mechanisms are unclear, and likely range from influencing mating and ovulation to maternal investment in embryonic development. In general, plasma levels of IGF1 increase with food intake in ectothermic reptiles, but the magnitude of the response to food varies across species or populations and the ages of animals. Long-term temperature treatments as well as thermal stress can alter expression of genes within the IIS network. Although relatively little work has been done on IGF2 in ectothermic reptiles, IGF2 is consistently expressed at higher levels than IGF1 in juvenile ectothermic reptiles. Furthermore, in contrast to mammals that have genetic imprinting that silences the maternal IGF2 allele, in reptiles IGF2 is bi-allelically expressed (based on findings in chickens, a snake, and a lizard). Evolutionary analyses indicate some members of the IIS network are rapidly evolving across reptile species, including IGF1, insulin (INS), and their receptors. In particular, IGF1 displays extensive nucleotide variation across lizards and snakes, which suggests that its functional role may vary across this group. In addition, genetic variation across families and populations in the response of the IIS network to environmental conditions illustrates that components of this network may be evolving in

  6. Reptiles of Lata Bukit Hijau, Kedah, Malaysia

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    Shahriza Shahrudin

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Lata Bukit Hijau is located within the Banjaran Bintang Ranges on the west coast of northern Peninsular Malaysia. The reptile fauna in this pristine area was intensively investigated from 2008 to 2011 on 10 consecutive visits. A total 37 species of reptiles from 31 genera and 10 families were recorded to inhabit this area. Out of this number, 17 species were lizards (13 genera and four families, 17 species were snakes (15 genera and four families and three species were freshwater turtles (three genera and two families. These preliminary data increased the number of lizards, snakes and freshwater turtles reported from Banjaran Bintang from 31 to 41, 30 to 44 and three to five species, respectively

  7. 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.

  8. Amphibians and reptiles of South Ossetia

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    Boris S. Tuniyev

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available For the first time we have summarised the results of the study of batraho- and herpetofauna of the Republic of South Ossetia. We present an Annotated List of species as authentically living in the region, as well as ever mentioned for it in literature, field notebooks, museum collections and our own expeditions in South Ossetia. The batrachofauna of the Republic of South Ossetia counts nine species and the herpetofauna 19 species. It provides a complete inventory of all finds (65 localities. A number of confirmed species have been assigned for the first time in scientific literature for the territory of South Ossetia: Emys orbicularis, Darevskia mixta, Natrix megalocephala, Hierophis schmidti, Pelias dinniki, P. kaznakovi. We detected the morphological specificity of the South Ossetia' populations of Darevskia praticola, D. brauneri and D. caucasica. The Assessment of conservation status has been evaluated for all forms of amphibians and reptiles in the region. According to its results, five amphibian species and ten reptile species are recommended for inclusion into the Red Data Book of the Republic of South Ossetia. The central problem of environmental activities in the Region is the lack of a network of different rank protected areas covering all natural zones and altitudinal belts. The South Ossetian State Nature Reserve is the single protected area of South Ossetia, which provides protection only for three endangered species of amphibians and three species of reptiles.

  9. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, Paola G; Ramírez, David; Alzate-Morales, Jans; Caballero, Julio; Kaas, Quentin; González, Wendy

    2017-12-22

    Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  10. 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.

  11. Computational Studies of Snake Venom Toxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola G. Ojeda

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Most snake venom toxins are proteins, and participate to envenomation through a diverse array of bioactivities, such as bleeding, inflammation, and pain, cytotoxic, cardiotoxic or neurotoxic effects. The venom of a single snake species contains hundreds of toxins, and the venoms of the 725 species of venomous snakes represent a large pool of potentially bioactive proteins. Despite considerable discovery efforts, most of the snake venom toxins are still uncharacterized. Modern bioinformatics tools have been recently developed to mine snake venoms, helping focus experimental research on the most potentially interesting toxins. Some computational techniques predict toxin molecular targets, and the binding mode to these targets. This review gives an overview of current knowledge on the ~2200 sequences, and more than 400 three-dimensional structures of snake toxins deposited in public repositories, as well as of molecular modeling studies of the interaction between these toxins and their molecular targets. We also describe how modern bioinformatics have been used to study the snake venom protein phospholipase A2, the small basic myotoxin Crotamine, and the three-finger peptide Mambalgin.

  12. 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...

  13. Salmonella infection and carriage in reptiles in a zoological collection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, Meredith M; Davis, Meghan; Valitutto, Marc T; Nelson, Kenrad; Sykes, John M

    2016-05-01

    OBJECTIVE To identify important subspecies and serovars of Salmonella enterica in a captive reptile population and clinically relevant risk factors for and signs of illness in Salmonella-positive reptiles. DESIGN Retrospective cross-sectional study. ANIMALS 11 crocodilians (4 samples), 78 snakes (91 samples), 59 lizards (57 samples), and 34 chelonians (23 samples) at the Bronx Zoo from 2000 through 2012. PROCEDURES Data pertaining to various types of biological samples obtained from reptiles with positive Salmonella culture results and the reptiles themselves were analyzed to determine period prevalence of and risk factors for various Salmonella-related outcomes. RESULTS Serovar distribution differences were identified for sample type, reptile phylogenetic family, and reptile origin and health. Salmonella enterica subsp enterica was the most common subspecies in Salmonella cultures (78/175 [45%]), identified across all reptilian taxa. Salmonella enterica subsp diarizonae was also common (42/175 [24%]) and was recovered almost exclusively from snakes (n = 33), many of which had been clinically ill (17). Clinically ill reptiles provided 37% (64) of Salmonella cultures. Factors associated with an increased risk of illness in reptiles with a positive culture result were carnivorous diet and prior confiscation. Snakes had a higher risk of illness than other reptile groups, whereas lizards had a lower risk. Bony changes, dermatitis, and anorexia were the most common clinical signs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE This study provided new information on Salmonella infection or carriage and associated clinical disease in reptiles. Associations identified between serovars or subspecies and reptile groups or clinical disease can guide management of Salmonella-positive captive reptiles.

  14. 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

  15. Canopy Venom: Proteomic Comparison among New World Arboreal Pit-Viper Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debono, Jordan; Cochran, Chip; Kuruppu, Sanjaya; Nouwens, Amanda; Rajapakse, Niwanthi W; Kawasaki, Minami; Wood, Kelly; Dobson, James; Baumann, Kate; Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Jackson, Timothy N W; Koludarov, Ivan; Low, Dolyce; Ali, Syed A; Smith, A Ian; Barnes, Andrew; Fry, Bryan G

    2016-07-08

    Central and South American pitvipers, belonging to the genera Bothrops and Bothriechis, have independently evolved arboreal tendencies. Little is known regarding the composition and activity of their venoms. In order to close this knowledge gap, venom proteomics and toxin activity of species of Bothriechis, and Bothrops (including Bothriopsis) were investigated through established analytical methods. A combination of proteomics and bioactivity techniques was used to demonstrate a similar diversification of venom composition between large and small species within Bothriechis and Bothriopsis. Increasing our understanding of the evolution of complex venom cocktails may facilitate future biodiscoveries.

  16. BEE VENOM TRAP DESIGN FOR PRODUCE BEE VENOM OF APIS MELLIFERA L. HONEY BEES

    OpenAIRE

    Budiaman

    2015-01-01

    Bee venom is one honey bee products are very expensive and are required in the pharmaceutical industry and as an anti-cancer known as nanobee, but the production technique is still done in the traditional way. The purpose of this study was to design a bee venom trap to produce bee venom of Apis mellifera L honey bees. The method used is to design several models of bee venom apparatus equipped weak current (DC current) with 3 variations of voltage, ie 12 volts, 15 volts and 18 volts coupled...

  17. The Snake with the Scorpion’s Sting: Novel Three-Finger Toxin Sodium Channel Activators from the Venom of the Long-Glanded Blue Coral Snake (Calliophis bivirgatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryl C. Yang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Millions of years of evolution have fine-tuned the ability of venom peptides to rapidly incapacitate both prey and potential predators. Toxicofera reptiles are characterized by serous-secreting mandibular or maxillary glands with heightened levels of protein expression. These glands are the core anatomical components of the toxicoferan venom system, which exists in myriad points along an evolutionary continuum. Neofunctionalisation of toxins is facilitated by positive selection at functional hotspots on the ancestral protein and venom proteins have undergone dynamic diversification in helodermatid and varanid lizards as well as advanced snakes. A spectacular point on the venom system continuum is the long-glanded blue coral snake (Calliophis bivirgatus, a specialist feeder that preys on fast moving, venomous snakes which have both a high likelihood of prey escape but also represent significant danger to the predator itself. The maxillary venom glands of C. bivirgatus extend one quarter of the snake’s body length and nestle within the rib cavity. Despite the snake’s notoriety its venom has remained largely unstudied. Here we show that the venom uniquely produces spastic paralysis, in contrast to the flaccid paralysis typically produced by neurotoxic snake venoms. The toxin responsible, which we have called calliotoxin (δ-elapitoxin-Cb1a, is a three-finger toxin (3FTx. Calliotoxin shifts the voltage-dependence of NaV1.4 activation to more hyperpolarised potentials, inhibits inactivation, and produces large ramp currents, consistent with its profound effects on contractile force in an isolated skeletal muscle preparation. Voltage-gated sodium channels (NaV are a particularly attractive pharmacological target as they are involved in almost all physiological processes including action potential generation and conduction. Accordingly, venom peptides that interfere with NaV function provide a key defensive and predatory advantage to a range of

  18. Anti-cancer effect of bee venom in prostate cancer cells through activation of caspase pathway via inactivation of NF-κB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Mi Hee; Choi, Myoung Suk; Kwak, Dong Hoon; Oh, Ki-Wan; Yoon, Do Young; Han, Sang Bae; Song, Ho Sueb; Song, Min Jong; Hong, Jin Tae

    2011-06-01

    Bee venom has been used as a traditional medicine to treat arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, cancerous tumors, and skin diseases. However, the effects of bee venom on the prostate cancer and their action mechanisms have not been reported yet. To determine the effect of bee venom and its major component, melittin on the prostate cancer cells, apoptosis is analyzed by tunnel assay and apoptotic gene expression. For xenograft studies, bee venom was administrated intraperitoneally twice per week for 4 weeks, and the tumor growth was measured and the tumor were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. To investigate whether bee venom and melittin can inactivate nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), we assessed NF-κB activity in vitro and in vivo. Bee venom (1-10 µg/ml) and melittin (0.5-2.5 µg/ml) inhibited cancer cell growth through induction of apoptotic cell death in LNCaP, DU145, and PC-3 human prostate cancer cells. These effects were mediated by the suppression of constitutively activated NF-κB. Bee venom and melittin decreased anti-apoptotic proteins but induced pro-apoptotic proteins. However, pan caspase inhibitor abolished bee venom and melittin-induced apoptotic cell death and NF-κB inactivation. Bee venom (3-6 mg/kg) administration to nude mice implanted with PC-3 cells resulted in inhibition of tumor growth and activity of NF-κB accompanied with apoptotic cell death. Therefore, these results indicated that bee venom and melittin could inhibit prostate cancer in in vitro and in vivo, and these effects may be related to NF-κB/caspase signal mediated induction of apoptotic cell death. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Ecological venomics: How genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics can shed new light on the ecology and evolution of venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunagar, Kartik; Morgenstern, David; Reitzel, Adam M; Moran, Yehu

    2016-03-01

    Animal venom is a complex cocktail of bioactive chemicals that traditionally drew interest mostly from biochemists and pharmacologists. However, in recent years the evolutionary and ecological importance of venom is realized as this trait has direct and strong influence on interactions between species. Moreover, venom content can be modulated by environmental factors. Like many other fields of biology, venom research has been revolutionized in recent years by the introduction of systems biology approaches, i.e., genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics. The employment of these methods in venom research is known as 'venomics'. In this review we describe the history and recent advancements of venomics and discuss how they are employed in studying venom in general and in particular in the context of evolutionary ecology. We also discuss the pitfalls and challenges of venomics and what the future may hold for this emerging scientific field. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Experimental Study on the comparison of antibacterial and antioxidant effects between the Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joong chul An

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Objectives : This study was conducted to compare antibacterial activities and free radical scavenging activity between the Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom in which the allergy-causing enzyme is removed. Methods : To evaluate antibacterial activities of the test samples, gram negative E. coli and gram positive St. aureus were compared using the paper disc method. For comparison of the antioxidant effects, DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl free radical scavenging assay and Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances (TBARS assay were conducted. Results : 1. Antibacterial activity against gram negative E. coli was greater in the Sweet Bee Venom group than the Bee Venom group. 2. Antibacterial activity against gram positive St. aureus was similar between the Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom groups. 3. DPPH free radical scavenging activity of the Bee Venom group showed 2.8 times stronger than that of the Sweet Bee Venom group. 4. Inhibition of lipid peroxidation of the Bee Venom group showed 782 times greater than that of the Sweet Bee Venom group. Conclusions : The Bee Venom group showed outstanding antibacterial activity against gram positive St. aureus, and allergen-removed Sweet Bee Venom group showed outstanding antibacterial activity against both gram negative E. coli and gram positive St. aureus. For antioxidant effects, the Bee Venom was superior over the Sweet Bee Venom and the superiority was far more apparent for lipid peroxidation.

  1. Hemostatic interference of Indian king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) Venom. Comparison with three other snake venoms of the subcontinent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowtham, Yashonandana J; Kumar, M S; Girish, K S; Kemparaju, K

    2012-06-01

    Unlike Naja naja, Bungarus caeruleus, Echis carinatus, and Daboia/Vipera russellii venoms, Ophiophagus hannah venom is medically ignored in the Indian subcontinent. Being the biggest poisonous snake, O. hannah has been presumed to inject several lethal doses of venom in a single bite. Lack of therapeutic antivenom to O. hannah bite in India makes any attempt to save the victim a difficult exercise. This study was initiated to compare O. hannah venom with the above said venoms for possible interference in hemostasis. Ophiophagus hannah venom was found to actively interfere in hemostatic stages such as fibrin clot formation, platelet activation/aggregation, and fibrin clot dissolution. It decreased partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), prothrombin time (PT), and thrombin clotting time (TCT). These activities are similar to that shown by E. carinatus and D. russellii venoms, and thus O. hannah venom was found to exert procoagulant activity through the common pathway of blood coagulation, while N. naja venom increased aPTT and TCT but not PT, and hence it was found to exert anticoagulant activity through the intrinsic pathway. Venoms of O. hannah, E. carinatus, and D. russellii lack plasminogen activation property as they do not hydrolyze azocasein, while they all show plasmin-like activity by degrading the fibrin clot. Although N. naja venom did not degrade azocasein, unlike other venoms, it showed feeble plasmin-like activity on fibrin clot. Venom of E. carinatus induced clotting of human platelet rich plasma (PRP), while the other three venoms interfered in agonist-induced platelet aggregation in PRP. Venom of O. hannah least inhibited the ADP induced platelet aggregation as compared to D. russellii and N. naja venoms. All these three venoms showed complete inhibition of epinephrine-induced aggregation at varied doses. However, O. hannah venom was unique in inhibiting thrombin induced aggregation.

  2. Bothrops fonsecai snake venom activities and cross-reactivity with commercial bothropic venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collaço, Rita de Cássia O; Randazzo-Moura, Priscila; Tamascia, Mariana L; da Silva, Igor Rapp F; Rocha, Thalita; Cogo, José C; Hyslop, Stephen; Sanny, Charles G; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa

    2017-01-01

    In this work, we examined some biochemical and biological activities of Bothrops fonsecai venom, a pitviper endemic to southeastern Brazil, and assessed their neutralization by commercial bothropic antivenom (CAv). Cross-reactivity of venom with CAv was also assessed by immunoblotting and size-exclusion high performance chromatography (SE-HPLC). Bothrops fonsecai venom had PLA 2 , proteolytic and esterase activities that were neutralized to varying extents by venom:antivenom ratios of 5:1 and 5:2 (PLA 2 and esterase activities) or not significantly by either venom:antivenom ratio (proteolytic activity). The minimum hemorrhagic dose (69.2μg) was totally neutralized by both ratios. Clotting time in rat citrated plasma was 33±10.5s (mean±SD; n=5) and was completely neutralized by a 5:2 ratio. Edema formation was dose-dependent (1-30μg/site) and significantly inhibited by both ratios. Venom (10-300μg/mL) caused neuromuscular blockade in extensor digitorum longus preparations; this blockade was inhibited best by a 5:2 ratio. Venom caused myonecrosis and creatine kinase release in vivo (gastrocnemius muscle) and in vitro (extensor digitorum longus) that was effectively neutralized by both venom:antivenom ratios. Immunoblotting showed that venom components of ~25-100kDa interacted with CAv. SE-HPLC profiles for venom incubated with CAv or specific anti-B. fonsecai antivenom raised in rabbits (SAv) indicated that CAv had a higher binding capacity than SAv, whereas SAv had higher affinity than CAv. These findings indicate that B. fonsecai venom contains various activities that are neutralized to different extents by CAv and suggest that CAv could be used to treat envenoming by B. fonsecai. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. [Insect venom allergies : Update 2016 for otorhinolaryngologists].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimek, L; Dippold, N; Sperl, A

    2016-12-01

    Due to the increasing incidence of hymenoptera venom allergies and the potentially life-threatening reactions, it is important for otolaryngologists working in allergology to have an understanding of modern diagnostic and treatment standards for this allergic disease. Molecular diagnosis with recombinant single allergens from bee and wasp venom components improves the diagnostics of insect venom allergies, particularly in patients with double-positive extract-based test results. Detection of specific sensitizations to bee or wasp venom enables double sensitizations to be better distinguished from cross-reactivity. Based on patient history and test results, the patient is initially advised on avoidance strategies and prescribed an emergency medication kit. Then, the indication for allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) is evaluated. The dose-increase phase can be performed using conventional, cluster, rush, or ultra-rush schedules, whereby rapid desensitization (rush AIT) performed in the clinic seems to be particularly effective as initial treatment.

  4. [Therapy control of specific hymenoptera venom allergy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aust, W; Wichmann, G; Dietz, A

    2010-12-01

    In Germany anaphylactic reactions after insect stings are mostly caused by honey bee (Apis mellifera) and wasp (Vespula vulgaris, Vespula germanica). In the majority of cases venom immunotherapy is a successful therapy and protects patients from recurrent systemic anaphylactic reaction. In some patients persistent severe reactions after insect sting can even occur in spite of venom therapy, as a sign of therapy failure. It is important to identify these patients, who do not benefit from venom immunotherapy, in an early stage of therapy. In this case dose rate of venom immunotherapy must be adjusted for a successful therapy outcome. Up to now skin prick tests, specific IgE-antibodies and in vitro diagnostics are not suitable for detecting therapy failure. Patients with treatment failure can be diagnosed by insect sting test and almost all of them will become fully protected by increasing the maintenance dose. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  5. Radiating sterilization of the venom of snake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abiyev, H.A.; Topchiyeva, Sh.A.; Rustamov, V.R.

    2006-01-01

    Full text: Water solutions of venoms are unstable and they lose toxicity in some day. Snake venoms inactivate under action of some physical factors: the UV-irradiation, x-rays beams. The purpose of the present work was sterilization of venom Vipera lebetina obtusa under influence of small dozes γ-radiations. Object of research was integral venom of adult individuals. Transcaucasian viper, and also the water solutions of venom irradiated with small dozes scale of radiation. An irradiation of venom carried out to radioisotope installation 60NI. For experiment tests of dry venom, and also their water solutions have been taken. Water solutions of venom have been subjected -radiation up to dozes 1.35, 2.7, 4.05, 5.4 kGr simultaneously dry venom of vipers was exposed -radiation before absorption of a doze 5.4 kGr. In comparative aspect action scale of radiation on ultra-violet spectra of absorption of venom was studied. Ultra-violet spectra venom have been taken off on device Specord UV-VIS. In 12 months after an irradiation spectra of absorption of venom have been repeatedly taken off. In spectra irradiated dry and solutions of venom new maxima of absorption have been revealed in the field of 285 nm and 800 nm describing change of toxicity. It is shown, that the increase in absorption of a doze of radiation occurs decrease of intensity of strips of absorption reduction of intensity of absorption.It is revealed at 260 and 300 nm testifying to course of biochemical reactions of separate enzymes zootoxins. It is necessary to note, that at comparison of intensity of absorption of control samples of poison with irradiated up to dozes 1.35 kGr it has not been revealed essential changes. The subsequent increase in a doze scale of radiation up to 2.7, 4.05, 5.4 kGr promotes proportional reduction of intensity of the absorption, describing toxicity of snake venom. At repeated (later 12 months) measurement of the irradiated water solutions of venom are not revealed changes in

  6. Comparative Genomics of Campylobacter fetus from Reptiles and Mammals Reveals Divergent Evolution in Host-Associated Lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Miller, William G; Yee, Emma; Zomer, Aldert L; van der Graaf-van Bloois, Linda; Fitzgerald, Collette; Forbes, Ken J; Méric, Guillaume; Sheppard, Samuel K; Wagenaar, Jaap A; Duim, Birgitta

    2016-07-02

    Campylobacter fetus currently comprises three recognized subspecies, which display distinct host association. Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus and C fetus subsp. venerealis are both associated with endothermic mammals, primarily ruminants, whereas C fetus subsp. testudinum is primarily associated with ectothermic reptiles. Both C. fetus subsp. testudinum and C. fetus subsp. fetus have been associated with severe infections, often with a systemic component, in immunocompromised humans. To study the genetic factors associated with the distinct host dichotomy in C. fetus, whole-genome sequencing and comparison of mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was performed. The genomes of C fetus subsp. testudinum isolated from either reptiles or humans were compared with elucidate the genetic factors associated with pathogenicity in humans. Genomic comparisons showed conservation of gene content and organization among C fetus subspecies, but a clear distinction between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus was observed. Several genomic regions appeared to be subspecies specific, including a putative tricarballylate catabolism pathway, exclusively present in C fetus subsp. testudinum strains. Within C fetus subsp. testudinum, sapA, sapB, and sapAB type strains were observed. The recombinant locus iamABC (mlaFED) was exclusively associated with invasive C fetus subsp. testudinum strains isolated from humans. A phylogenetic reconstruction was consistent with divergent evolution in host-associated strains and the existence of a barrier to lateral gene transfer between mammal- and reptile-associated C fetus Overall, this study shows that reptile-associated C fetus subsp. testudinum is genetically divergent from mammal-associated C fetus subspecies. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  7. 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.

  8. Venom On-a-Chip: A Fast and Efficient Method for Comparative Venomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zancolli, Giulia; Sanz, Libia; Calvete, Juan J; Wüster, Wolfgang

    2017-05-28

    Venom research has attracted an increasing interest in disparate fields, from drug development and pharmacology, to evolutionary biology and ecology, and rational antivenom production. Advances in "-omics" technologies have allowed the characterization of an increasing number of animal venoms, but the methodology currently available is suboptimal for large-scale comparisons of venom profiles. Here, we describe a fast, reproducible and semi-automated protocol for investigating snake venom variability, especially at the intraspecific level, using the Agilent Bioanalyzer on-chip technology. Our protocol generated a phenotype matrix which can be used for robust statistical analysis and correlations of venom variation with ecological correlates, or other extrinsic factors. We also demonstrate the ease and utility of combining on-chip technology with previously fractionated venoms for detection of specific individual toxin proteins. Our study describes a novel strategy for rapid venom discrimination and analysis of compositional variation at multiple taxonomic levels, allowing researchers to tackle evolutionary questions and unveiling the drivers of the incredible biodiversity of venoms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 becoming aware of venomous and non-venomous snakes; but in northern Michigan and Minnesota where venomous snakes have been absent for millennia, black bears showed little or no fear in four encounters with non-venomous snakes of three species. The possible roles of experience and evolution in bear reactions to snakes and vice versa are discussed. In all areas studied, black bears had difficulty to recognize non-moving snakes by smell or sight. Bears did not react until snakes moved in 11 of 12 encounters with non-moving timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) and four species of harmless snakes. However, in additional tests in this study, bears were repulsed by garter snakes that had excreted pungent anal exudates, which may help explain the absence of snakes, both venomous and harmless, in bear diets reported to date. PMID:25635152

  10. Combined Venom Gland Transcriptomic and Venom Peptidomic Analysis of the Predatory Ant Odontomachus monticola

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Kazuma

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ants (hymenoptera: Formicidae have adapted to many different environments and have become some of the most prolific and successful insects. To date, 13,258 ant species have been reported. They have been classified into 333 genera and 17 subfamilies. Except for a few Formicinae, Dolichoderinae, and members of other subfamilies, most ant species have a sting with venom. The venoms are composed of formic acid, alkaloids, hydrocarbons, amines, peptides, and proteins. Unlike the venoms of other animals such as snakes and spiders, ant venoms have seldom been analyzed comprehensively, and their compositions are not yet completely known. In this study, we used both transcriptomic and peptidomic analyses to study the composition of the venom produced by the predatory ant species Odontomachus monticola. The transcriptome analysis yielded 49,639 contigs, of which 92 encoded toxin-like peptides and proteins with 18,106,338 mapped reads. We identified six pilosulin-like peptides by transcriptomic analysis in the venom gland. Further, we found intact pilosulin-like peptide 1 and truncated pilosulin-like peptides 2 and 3 by peptidomic analysis in the venom. Our findings related to ant venom peptides and proteins may lead the way towards development and application of novel pharmaceutical and biopesticidal resources.

  11. Técnica de Necropsia en Reptiles

    OpenAIRE

    L S Martínez-Acevedo

    2012-01-01

    Se describen los procedimientos que se llevan a cabo, antes durante y posterior a un examen de necropsia en reptiles, como parte integral del diagnóstico veterinario en este grupo de animales, reconociéndolo como herramienta para una aproximación sistemática al comportamiento de las enfermedades de los pacientes, útil además para la aplicación de medidas preventivas en coespecíficos. Las técnicas de necropsia tienen algunas variaciones según la especie y en este caso se detallan tres grupos: ...

  12. Reptile habitat preference in heathland: implications for heathland management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stumpel, A.H.P.; Werf, van der D.C.

    2012-01-01

    A two-year reptile survey was conducted in a heathland in the north of the Netherlands, using artificial refuges placed in different habitats. The studied habitats differed in their botanical composition and physical structure. Five reptile species were recorded: slow worm (Anguis fragilis),

  13. Molecules, morphology, and the monophyly of diapsid reptiles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lee, Michael S.Y.

    2001-01-01

    The morphological and molecular evidence for higher-level reptile relationships is reassessed, A combined analysis of 176 osteological, 40 soft anatomical, and 2903 (1783 aligned) molecular characters in 28 amniote taxa yields the traditional reptile tree. Synapsids (including mammals) are the

  14. Prevalence of salmonella in captive reptiles from Croatia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lukac, Maja; Pedersen, Karl; Prukner-Radovcic, Estella

    2015-01-01

    from 200 apparently healthy reptiles were tested for Salmonella excretions by bacteriologic culture and serotyping. These 200 individual reptiles included 31 lizards, 79 chelonians, and 90 snakes belonging to private owners or housed at the Zagreb Zoo, Croatia. Salmonella was detected in a total of 13...

  15. Seven new species of helminths for reptiles from Armenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelli, Sargsyan; Felix, Danielyan; Marine, Arakelyan

    2014-09-01

    Helminthic infections of reptiles habiting in the territory of Armenia are examined. Seven species of helminths new for reptiles from Armenia are registered: Parapharyngodon skrjabini, Oswaldocruzia goezei, Neoxysomatium sp., Telorchis assula, Nematotaenia tarentolae, Mesocestoides lineatus and Spirometra erinacei europea. Descriptions and pictures of them are given.

  16. 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.

  17. Reptiles and Amphibians of Curaçao

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rooij, de Nelly

    1922-01-01

    The Zoological Museum of Amsterdam received some collections of reptiles from Curaçao made by Dr. J. BOEKE in 1905, by Dr. C. J. VAN DER HORST in 1920 and by Mr. G. J. H. MOLENGRAAFF „Engineer” in 1921. I had the opportunity of studying them and will here give an enumeration of all the reptiles

  18. A review on human attitudes towards reptiles in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; Vieira, Kleber Silva; Santana, Gindomar Gomes; Vieira, Washington Luiz Silva; Almeida, Waltécio Oliveira; Souto, Wedson Medeiros Silva; Montenegro, Paulo Fernando Guedes Pereira; Pezzuti, Juarez Carlos Brito

    2012-11-01

    For many millennia humans and reptiles have interacted, but the attitude of humans towards these animals has depended on culture, environment, and personal experience. At least 719 reptile species are known to occur in Brazil and about 11% of this fauna has been exploited for many different purposes, including bushmeat, leather, ornamental and magic/religious uses, and as folk medicines. Brazil can therefore serve as an interesting case study for better understanding reptile use by human societies, and the present paper catalogues some of the reptile species being used in Brazil and discusses implications for their conservation. A literature review indicated that 81 reptile species are culturally important in this country, with 47 (58%) species having multiple uses, 54 being used for medicinal purposes, 38 as food, 28 for ornamental or decorative purposes, 20 used in magic/religious practices, 18 as pets, and 40 are commonly killed when they come into contact with humans. Regarding their conservation status, 30 (37.5%) are included on State's Red List, Brazilian Red List or the IUCN Red List. There are many forms of interaction between reptiles and humans in Brazil-although most of them are quite negative in terms of wildlife conservation-which reinforces the importance of understanding such uses and interactions in the context of protecting reptiles in Brazil. A better understanding of the cultural, social, and traditional roles of these reptiles is fundamental to establishing management plans for their sustainable use.

  19. All about Reptiles. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000

    Dinosaurs may be extinct, but reptiles are distant cousins to the beasts that once walked the earth. From snakes and lizards to iguanas and tuataras, children learn what factors make them different from other animals. In this videotape, students explore the mysterious, often misunderstood, world of reptiles and learn about their characteristics…

  20. Reptiles traded in markets for medicinal purposes in contemporary Morocco

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijman, V.; Bergin, D.

    2017-01-01

    Reptiles are traded globally for medicinal purposes. Historic qualitative accounts of reptiles used as medicine in Morocco are numerous, but contemporary quantitative data are rare. In 2013-2014, we surveyed 49 wildlife markets in 20 towns throughout Morocco, plus the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and

  1. Vintage venoms: proteomic and pharmacological stability of snake venoms stored for up to eight decades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jesupret, Clémence; Baumann, Kate; Jackson, Timothy N W; Ali, Syed Abid; Yang, Daryl C; Greisman, Laura; Kern, Larissa; Steuten, Jessica; Jouiaei, Mahdokht; Casewell, Nicholas R; Undheim, Eivind A B; Koludarov, Ivan; Debono, Jordan; Low, Dolyce H W; Rossi, Sarah; Panagides, Nadya; Winter, Kelly; Ignjatovic, Vera; Summerhayes, Robyn; Jones, Alun; Nouwens, Amanda; Dunstan, Nathan; Hodgson, Wayne C; Winkel, Kenneth D; Monagle, Paul; Fry, Bryan Grieg

    2014-06-13

    For over a century, venom samples from wild snakes have been collected and stored around the world. However, the quality of storage conditions for "vintage" venoms has rarely been assessed. The goal of this study was to determine whether such historical venom samples are still biochemically and pharmacologically viable for research purposes, or if new sample efforts are needed. In total, 52 samples spanning 5 genera and 13 species with regional variants of some species (e.g., 14 different populations of Notechis scutatus) were analysed by a combined proteomic and pharmacological approach to determine protein structural stability and bioactivity. When venoms were not exposed to air during storage, the proteomic results were virtually indistinguishable from that of fresh venom and bioactivity was equivalent or only slightly reduced. By contrast, a sample of Acanthophis antarcticus venom that was exposed to air (due to a loss of integrity of the rubber stopper) suffered significant degradation as evidenced by the proteomics profile. Interestingly, the neurotoxicity of this sample was nearly the same as fresh venom, indicating that degradation may have occurred in the free N- or C-terminus chains of the proteins, rather than at the tips of loops where the functional residues are located. These results suggest that these and other vintage venom collections may be of continuing value in toxin research. This is particularly important as many snake species worldwide are declining due to habitat destruction or modification. For some venoms (such as N. scutatus from Babel Island, Flinders Island, King Island and St. Francis Island) these were the first analyses ever conducted and these vintage samples may represent the only venom ever collected from these unique island forms of tiger snakes. Such vintage venoms may therefore represent the last remaining stocks of some local populations and thus are precious resources. These venoms also have significant historical value as

  2. Allergen-specific immunotherapy of Hymenoptera venom allergy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiener, Maximilian; Graessel, Anke; Ollert, Markus

    2017-01-01

    Stings of hymenoptera can induce IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions in venom-allergic patients, ranging from local up to severe systemic reactions and even fatal anaphylaxis. Allergic patients' quality of life can be mainly improved by altering their immune response to tolerate the venoms...... by injecting increasing venom doses over years. This venom-specific immunotherapy is highly effective and well tolerated. However, component-resolved information about the venoms has increased in the last years. This knowledge is not only able to improve diagnostics as basis for an accurate therapy......, but was additionally used to create tools which enable the analysis of therapeutic venom extracts on a molecular level. Therefore, during the last decade the detailed knowledge of the allergen composition of hymenoptera venoms has substantially improved diagnosis and therapy of venom allergy. This review focuses...

  3. SNAKE VENOM INSTABILITY • Department of Physiology, Medical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    preferable to desiccated samples for use in snake venom research (Bjork ... experimental results suggest that dried venom samples may be influenced by different ..... true for the commercial samples, as these are collectively pooled before ...

  4. 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.

  5. Mycobacterium chelonae infections associated with bee venom acupuncture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Sun Young; Peck, Kyong Ran; Kim, Jungok; Ha, Young Eun; Kang, Cheol-In; Chung, Doo Ryeon; Lee, Nam Yong; Song, Jae-Hoon

    2014-03-01

    We report 3 cases of Mycobacterium chelonae infections after bee venom acupuncture. All were treated with antibiotics and surgery. Mycobacterium chelonae infections should be included in the differential diagnosis of chronic skin and soft tissue infections following bee venom acupuncture.

  6. Salmonella prevalence among reptiles in a Zoo education setting

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hydeskov, H. B.; Guardabassi, Luca; Aalbæk, Bent

    2013-01-01

    Clinically healthy reptiles may shed Salmonella and therefore act as a potential zoonotic threat. Most people in Northern European countries are rarely exposed to reptiles, but many zoos have education departments where children have direct contact with this group of animals. The objectives...... of this study were to determine the prevalence and serotype distribution of Salmonella among reptiles in the Education Department (n = 55) at Copenhagen Zoo and compare it to the Zoo's main reptile collection (n = 145) to evaluate the zoonotic risk. Salmonella was isolated from cloacal swabs by selective...... enrichment, and a single isolate from each positive sample was further identified by biochemical tests and serotyped. The overall prevalence was 35% (69/200) with significant difference between the Education Department (64%, 35/55) and the main reptile collection (23%, 34/145). A total of 28 serotypes were...

  7. 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.

  8. Purification and functional characterisation of rhiminopeptidase A, a novel aminopeptidase from the venom of Bitis gabonica rhinoceros.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakthivel Vaiyapuri

    2010-08-01

    with the functional data, mass spectrometry analysis of the purified protein confirmed this as an aminopeptidase A and thus this has been named as rhiminopeptidase A. The complete gene sequence of rhiminopeptidase A was obtained by sequencing the PCR amplified aminopeptidase A gene from the venom gland cDNA of B. g. rhinoceros. The gene codes for a predicted protein of 955 amino acids (110 kDa, which contains the key amino acids necessary for functioning as an aminopeptidase A. A structural model of rhiminopeptidase A shows the structure to consist of 4 domains: an N-terminal saddle-shaped beta domain, a mixed alpha and beta catalytic domain, a beta-sandwich domain and a C-terminal alpha helical domain.This study describes the discovery and characterisation of a novel aminopeptidase A from the venom of B. g. rhinoceros and highlights its potential biological importance. Similar to mammalian aminopeptidases, rhiminopeptidase A might be capable of playing roles in altering the blood pressure and brain function of victims. Furthermore, it could have additional effects on the biological functions of other host proteins by cleaving their N-terminal amino acids. This study points towards the importance of complete analysis of individual components of snake venom in order to develop effective therapies for snake bites.

  9. Snake antivenom for snake venom induced consumption coagulopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Maduwage, Kalana; Buckley, Nick A.; Janaka de Silva, H.; Lalloo, David; Isbister, Geoffrey K.

    2015-01-01

    Background\\ud \\ud Snake venom induced consumption coagulopathy is a major systemic effect of envenoming. Observational studies suggest that antivenom improves outcomes for venom induced consumption coagulopathy in some snakebites and not others. However, the effectiveness of snake antivenom in all cases of venom induced consumption coagulopathy is controversial.\\ud \\ud Objectives\\ud \\ud To assess the effect of snake antivenom as a treatment for venom induced consumption coagulopathy in people...

  10. 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.

  11. Anti-arthritic effects of microneedling with bee venom gel

    OpenAIRE

    Mengdi Zhao; Jie Bai; Yang Lu; Shouying Du; Kexin Shang; Pengyue Li; Liu Yang; Boyu Dong; Ning Tan

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To combine with transdermal drug delivery using microneedle to simulate the bee venom therapy to evaluate the permeation of bee venom gel. Methods: In this study, the sodium urate and LPS were used on rats and mice to construct the model. Bee venom gel–microneedle combination effect on the model is to determine the role of microneedle gel permeation by observing inflammation factors. Results: Compared with the model group, the bee venom gel–microneedle combination group can r...

  12. Salmonella prevalence among reptiles in a zoo education setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hydeskov, H B; Guardabassi, L; Aalbaek, B; Olsen, K E P; Nielsen, S S; Bertelsen, M F

    2013-06-01

    Clinically healthy reptiles may shed Salmonella and therefore act as a potential zoonotic threat. Most people in Northern European countries are rarely exposed to reptiles, but many zoos have education departments where children have direct contact with this group of animals. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and serotype distribution of Salmonella among reptiles in the Education Department (n = 55) at Copenhagen Zoo and compare it to the Zoo's main reptile collection (n = 145) to evaluate the zoonotic risk. Salmonella was isolated from cloacal swabs by selective enrichment, and a single isolate from each positive sample was further identified by biochemical tests and serotyped. The overall prevalence was 35% (69/200) with significant difference between the Education Department (64%, 35/55) and the main reptile collection (23%, 34/145). A total of 28 serotypes were detected. Ten serotypes were isolated from more than one specimen and four from more than one species. Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Eastbourne was the predominant serotype (32%, 22/69) and was also the serotype isolated from most reptile species (n = 7). Transmission of serotypes from one department to another was very limited indicated by the serotype distribution. Despite the relative high prevalence observed among the reptiles in the Zoo's Education Department compared to the reptiles in the Zoo's main reptile collection, no Salmonella cases have been linked to the Zoo, and Salmonella ser. Eastbourne is very rarely isolated from humans in Denmark. Simple hygienic procedures such as hand washing which is consistently carried out following handling of reptiles at the Education Department may reduce the risk and therefore contribute to this low prevalence. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  13. Crocodilians and other reptiles: bioindicators of pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Manolis, S C; Webb, G J; Britton, A R [Wildlife Management International, NT (Australia)

    2002-03-01

    The detrimental effects of environmental contamination and pollution (e.g. heavy metals, organochlorines, radionuclides) on wildlife are generally not well known or understood. Research is providing baseline information for various groups of animals, usually because of their sensitivity to changes in their environment (e.g. fish, amphibians), but also where there is a potential conservation threat (e.g. marine mammals). Little research has been directed at reptiles, which may be good bioindicators of their environment. Crocodilians in particular, because of their position in the food chain, aquatic habits and longevity (generally >50 years; Webb and Manolis 1989) may reflect changes in an area over longer periods (Burger et al., 2000). Radioactive contaminants are not generally encountered in crocodilian populations. Radiocesium levels in American alligators living near a reservoir receiving radionuclide-contaminated water from a nuclear reactor were quantified by Brisbin (1989); levels were lower than in various prey items (e.g. fish, waterbirds). This paper provides a brief overview on environmental contamination and reptiles, with particular reference to crocodilians.

  14. Crocodilians and other reptiles: bioindicators of pollution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manolis, S.C.; Webb, G.J.; Britton, A.R.

    2002-01-01

    The detrimental effects of environmental contamination and pollution (e.g. heavy metals, organochlorines, radionuclides) on wildlife are generally not well known or understood. Research is providing baseline information for various groups of animals, usually because of their sensitivity to changes in their environment (e.g. fish, amphibians), but also where there is a potential conservation threat (e.g. marine mammals). Little research has been directed at reptiles, which may be good bioindicators of their environment. Crocodilians in particular, because of their position in the food chain, aquatic habits and longevity (generally >50 years; Webb and Manolis 1989) may reflect changes in an area over longer periods (Burger et al., 2000). Radioactive contaminants are not generally encountered in crocodilian populations. Radiocesium levels in American alligators living near a reservoir receiving radionuclide-contaminated water from a nuclear reactor were quantified by Brisbin (1989); levels were lower than in various prey items (e.g. fish, waterbirds). This paper provides a brief overview on environmental contamination and reptiles, with particular reference to crocodilians

  15. Another reptile translocation to a national park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W.R. Branch

    1990-10-01

    Full Text Available On 4 May 1988 a sub-adult (50 mm snout-vent length, 42 mm tail Jones' girdled lizard Cordylus tropidosternum jonesi was collected in a pile of wood being off-loaded at the new restcamp in the Karoo National Park, Beaufort West. The wood had been transported by lorry from the Kruger National Park. The specimen is deposited in the herpetological collection of the Port Elizabeth Museum (PEM R 4584. Jones' girdled lizard is a small, arboreal cordylid that shelters under tree bark and in hollow logs. It is common and widely-distributed in the Kruger National Park (Pienaar, Haacke & Jacobsen 1983, The Reptiles of the Kruger National Park, 3rd edition. Pretoria: National Parks Board and adjacent lowveld, being replaced in northern Zimbabwe and East Africa by the nominate race. Hewitt & Power (1913, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 3: 147-176, 1913 reported a similar translocation of the species to Kimberley in association with timber brought to the diamond mining camps. One of us noted recently the ease and danger of the unwitting spread of commensal reptile species into conservation areas (Branch 1978, Koedoe 30: 165, and this is confirmed by this additional example. We recommend that should similar shipments of wood be considered essential, then they be fumigated to prevent the translocation of other alien organisms that may potentially have more dangerous consequences.

  16. Campylobacter iguaniorum sp. nov., isolated from reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, Maarten J; Kik, Marja; Miller, William G; Duim, Birgitta; Wagenaar, Jaap A

    2015-03-01

    During sampling of reptiles for members of the class Epsilonproteobacteria, strains representing a member of the genus Campylobacter not belonging to any of the established taxa were isolated from lizards and chelonians. Initial amplified fragment length polymorphism, PCR and 16S rRNA sequence analysis showed that these strains were most closely related to Campylobacter fetus and Campylobacter hyointestinalis. A polyphasic study was undertaken to determine the taxonomic position of five strains. The strains were characterized by 16S rRNA and atpA sequence analysis, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and conventional phenotypic testing. Whole-genome sequences were determined for strains 1485E(T) and 2463D, and the average nucleotide and amino acid identities were determined for these strains. The strains formed a robust phylogenetic clade, divergent from all other species of the genus Campylobacter. In contrast to most currently known members of the genus Campylobacter, the strains showed growth at ambient temperatures, which might be an adaptation to their reptilian hosts. The results of this study clearly show that these strains isolated from reptiles represent a novel species within the genus Campylobacter, for which the name Campylobacter iguaniorum sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is 1485E(T) ( = LMG 28143(T) = CCUG 66346(T)). © 2015 IUMS.

  17. Identification and comparative analysis of the protocadherin cluster in a reptile, the green anole lizard.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Juan Jiang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The vertebrate protocadherins are a subfamily of cell adhesion molecules that are predominantly expressed in the nervous system and are believed to play an important role in establishing the complex neural network during animal development. Genes encoding these molecules are organized into a cluster in the genome. Comparative analysis of the protocadherin subcluster organization and gene arrangements in different vertebrates has provided interesting insights into the history of vertebrate genome evolution. Among tetrapods, protocadherin clusters have been fully characterized only in mammals. In this study, we report the identification and comparative analysis of the protocadherin cluster in a reptile, the green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We show that the anole protocadherin cluster spans over a megabase and encodes a total of 71 genes. The number of genes in the anole protocadherin cluster is significantly higher than that in the coelacanth (49 genes and mammalian (54-59 genes clusters. The anole protocadherin genes are organized into four subclusters: the delta, alpha, beta and gamma. This subcluster organization is identical to that of the coelacanth protocadherin cluster, but differs from the mammalian clusters which lack the delta subcluster. The gene number expansion in the anole protocadherin cluster is largely due to the extensive gene duplication in the gammab subgroup. Similar to coelacanth and elephant shark protocadherin genes, the anole protocadherin genes have experienced a low frequency of gene conversion. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that similar to the protocadherin clusters in other vertebrates, the evolution of anole protocadherin cluster is driven mainly by lineage-specific gene duplications and degeneration. Our analysis also shows that loss of the protocadherin delta subcluster in the mammalian lineage occurred after the divergence of mammals and reptiles

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hati, A.K.; Mandal, M.; Hati, R.N.; Das, S.

    1995-01-01

    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

  19. Differential evolution and neofunctionalization of snake venom metalloprotease domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brust, Andreas; Sunagar, Kartik; Undheim, Eivind A B; Vetter, Irina; Yang, Daryl C; Yang, Dary C; Casewell, Nicholas R; Jackson, Timothy N W; Koludarov, Ivan; Alewood, Paul F; Hodgson, Wayne C; Lewis, Richard J; King, Glenn F; Antunes, Agostinho; Hendrikx, Iwan; Fry, Bryan G

    2013-03-01

    Snake venom metalloproteases (SVMP) are composed of five domains: signal peptide, propeptide, metalloprotease, disintegrin, and cysteine-rich. Secreted toxins are typically combinatorial variations of the latter three domains. The SVMP-encoding genes of Psammophis mossambicus venom are unique in containing only the signal and propeptide domains. We show that the Psammophis SVMP propeptide evolves rapidly and is subject to a high degree of positive selection. Unlike Psammophis, some species of Echis express both the typical multidomain and the unusual monodomain (propeptide only) SVMP, with the result that a lower level of variation is exerted upon the latter. We showed that most mutations in the multidomain Echis SVMP occurred in the protease domain responsible for proteolytic and hemorrhagic activities. The cysteine-rich and disintegrin-like domains, which are putatively responsible for making the P-III SVMPs more potent than the P-I and P-II forms, accumulate the remaining variation. Thus, the binding sites on the molecule's surface are evolving rapidly whereas the core remains relatively conserved. Bioassays conducted on two post-translationally cleaved novel proline-rich peptides from the P. mossambicus propeptide domain showed them to have been neofunctionalized for specific inhibition of mammalian a7 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. We show that the proline rich postsynaptic specific neurotoxic peptides from Azemiops feae are the result of convergent evolution within the precursor region of the C-type natriuretic peptide instead of the SVMP. The results of this study reinforce the value of studying obscure venoms for biodiscovery of novel investigational ligands.

  20. Cysteine-free peptides in scorpion venom: geographical distribution ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GRACE

    2006-12-29

    Dec 29, 2006 ... In 1993, the first cysteine-free peptide was isolated from scorpion venom. ..... Venom is produced by 2 venom glands in the tail and stored in 2 ... The resistance of a variety of bacterial micro-organisms .... Biopolymers 55: 4-30.

  1. Allergen-specific immunotherapy of Hymenoptera venom allergy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schiener, Maximilian; Graessel, Anke; Ollert, Markus

    2017-01-01

    by injecting increasing venom doses over years. This venom-specific immunotherapy is highly effective and well tolerated. However, component-resolved information about the venoms has increased in the last years. This knowledge is not only able to improve diagnostics as basis for an accurate therapy...

  2. Some Neuropharmacological Effects of the Crude Venom Extract of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study reports some neuropharmacological effects of the crude venom extract of Conus musicus (family Conidae) in mice using various experimental models. The crude venom was found to significantly increase tail flick reaction time in mice. The effects of the venom on the central nervous system were studied by ...

  3. Cloning and sequence analysis of serine proteinase of Gloydius ussuriensis venom gland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sun Dejun; Liu Shanshan; Yang Chunwei; Zhao Yizhuo; Chang Shufang; Yan Weiqun

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To construct a cDNA library by using mRNA from Gloydius ussuriensis (G. Ussuriensis) venom gland, to clone and analyze serine proteinase gene from the cDNA library. Methods: Total RNA was isolated from venom gland of G. ussuriensis, mRNA was purified by using mRNA isolation Kit. The whole length cDNA was synthesized by means of smart cDNA synthesis strategy, and amplified by long distance PCR procedure, lately cDAN was cloned into vector pBluescrip-sk. The recombinant cDNA was transformed into E. coli DH5α. The cDNA of serine proteinase gene in the venom gland of G. ussuriensis was detected and amplified using the in situ hybridization. The cDNA fragment was inserted into pGEMT vector, cloned and its nucleotide sequence was determined. Results: The capacity of cDNA library of venom gland was above 2.3 x 10 6 . Its open reading frame was composed of 702 nucleotides and coded a protein pre-zymogen of 234 amino acids. It contained 12 cysteine residues. The sequence analysis indicated that the deduced amino acid sequence of the cDNA fragment shared high identity with the thrombin-like enzyme genes of other snakes in the GenBank. the query sequence exhibited strong amino acid sequence homology of 85% to the serine proteas of T. gramineus, thrombin-like serine proteinase I of D. acutus and serine protease catroxase II of C. atrox respectively. Based on the amino acid sequences of other thrombin-like enzymes, the catalytic residues and disulfide bridges of this thrombin-like enzyme were deduced as follows: catalytic residues, His 41 , Asp 86 , Ser 180 ; and six disulfide bridges Cys 7 -Cys 139 , Cys 26 -Cys 42 , Cys 74 -Cys 232 , Cys 118 -Cys 186 , Cys 150 -Cys 165 , Cys 176 -Cys 201 . Conclusion: The capacity of cDNA library of venom gland is above 2.3 x 10 6 , overtop the level of 10 5 capicity. The constructed cDNA library of G. ussuriensis venom gland would be helpful platform to detect new target genes and further gene manipulate. The cloned serine

  4. 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). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Min-Ki Kim; Si Hyeong, Lee; Jo Young Shin; Kang San Kim; Nam Guen Cho; Ki Rok Kwon; Tae Jin Rhim

    2007-01-01

    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 Ve...

  6. High-throughput expression of animal venom toxins in Escherichia coli to generate a large library of oxidized disulphide-reticulated peptides for drug discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turchetto, Jeremy; Sequeira, Ana Filipa; Ramond, Laurie; Peysson, Fanny; Brás, Joana L A; Saez, Natalie J; Duhoo, Yoan; Blémont, Marilyne; Guerreiro, Catarina I P D; Quinton, Loic; De Pauw, Edwin; Gilles, Nicolas; Darbon, Hervé; Fontes, Carlos M G A; Vincentelli, Renaud

    2017-01-17

    Animal venoms are complex molecular cocktails containing a wide range of biologically active disulphide-reticulated peptides that target, with high selectivity and efficacy, a variety of membrane receptors. Disulphide-reticulated peptides have evolved to display improved specificity, low immunogenicity and to show much higher resistance to degradation than linear peptides. These properties make venom peptides attractive candidates for drug development. However, recombinant expression of reticulated peptides containing disulphide bonds is challenging, especially when associated with the production of large libraries of bioactive molecules for drug screening. To date, as an alternative to artificial synthetic chemical libraries, no comprehensive recombinant libraries of natural venom peptides are accessible for high-throughput screening to identify novel therapeutics. In the accompanying paper an efficient system for the expression and purification of oxidized disulphide-reticulated venom peptides in Escherichia coli is described. Here we report the development of a high-throughput automated platform, that could be adapted to the production of other families, to generate the largest ever library of recombinant venom peptides. The peptides were produced in the periplasm of E. coli using redox-active DsbC as a fusion tag, thus allowing the efficient formation of correctly folded disulphide bridges. TEV protease was used to remove fusion tags and recover the animal venom peptides in the native state. Globally, within nine months, out of a total of 4992 synthetic genes encoding a representative diversity of venom peptides, a library containing 2736 recombinant disulphide-reticulated peptides was generated. The data revealed that the animal venom peptides produced in the bacterial host were natively folded and, thus, are putatively biologically active. Overall this study reveals that high-throughput expression of animal venom peptides in E. coli can generate large

  7. Immunoreactivity between venoms and commercial antiserums in four Chinese snakes and venom identification by species-specific antibody.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jian-Fang; Wang, Jin; Qu, Yan-Fu; Ma, Xiao-Mei; Ji, Xiang

    2013-01-31

    We studied the immunoreactivity between venoms and commercial antiserums in four Chinese venomous snakes, Bungarus multicinctus, Naja atra, Deinagkistrodon acutus and Gloydius brevicaudus. Venoms from the four snakes shared common antigenic components, and most venom components expressed antigenicity in the immunological reaction between venoms and antiserums. Antiserums cross-reacted with heterologous venoms. Homologous venom and antiserum expressed the highest reaction activity in all cross-reactions. Species-specific antibodies (SSAbs) were obtained from four antiserums by immunoaffinity chromatography: the whole antiserum against each species was gradually passed through a medium system coated with heterologous venoms, and the cross-reacting components in antiserum were immunoabsorbed by the common antigens in heterologous venoms; the unbound components (i.e., SSAbs) were collected, and passed through Hitrap G protein column and concentrated. The SSAbs were found to have high specificity by western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A 6-well ELISA strip coated with SSAbs was used to assign a venom sample and blood and urine samples from the envenomed rats to a given snake species. Our detections could differentiate positive and negative samples, and identify venoms of a snake species in about 35 min. The ELISA strips developed in this study are clinically useful in rapid and reliable identification of venoms from the above four snake species. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Noteworthy reptiles records from Guanajuato, Mexico Registros notables de reptiles para Guanajuato, México

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Ismael Campos-Rodríguez

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Five new reptile records for the Mexican state of Guanajuato are reported: Lampropeltis triangulum dixoni, Leptodeira annulata cusiliris, Oxybelis aeneus, Tropidodipsas sartorii, and Scincella silvicola caudaequinae. These records are within western versant of the Sierra Gorda at Sierra Gorda de Guanajuato. Evidence is given that supports the idea that the area supports a herpetofaunal assemblage of tropical affinities.Se presentan 5 nuevos registros de reptiles para el estado de Guanajuato; Lampropeltis triangulum dixoni, Leptodeira annulata cusiliris, Oxybelis aeneus, Tropidodipsas sartorii y Scincella silvicola caudaequinae. Todos localizados en la vertiente oeste de la sierra Madre Oriental, en la sierra Gorda de Guanajuato. Se proporciona evidencia de un ensamble herpetofaunístico de afinidad tropical a subtropical presente en la región.

  9. Caution: Reptile pets shuttle grasshopper allergy and asthma into homes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen-Jarolim, Erika; Pali-Schöll, Isabella; Jensen, Sebastian A F; Robibaro, Bruno; Kinaciyan, Tamar

    2015-01-01

    The numbers of reptiles in homes has at least doubled in the last decade in Europe and the USA. Reptile purchases are increasingly triggered by the attempt to avoid potentially allergenic fur pets like dogs and cats. Consequently, reptiles are today regarded as surrogate pets initiating a closer relationship with the owner than ever previously observed. Reptile pets are mostly fed with insects, especially grasshoppers and/or locusts, which are sources for aggressive airborne allergens, best known from occupational insect breeder allergies. Exposure in homes thus introduces a new form of domestic allergy to grasshoppers and related insects. Accordingly, an 8-year old boy developed severe bronchial hypersensitivity and asthma within 4 months after purchase of a bearded dragon. The reptile was held in the living room and regularly fed with living grasshoppers. In the absence of a serological allergy diagnosis test, an IgE immunoblot on grasshopper extract and prick-to-prick test confirmed specific sensitization to grasshoppers. After 4 years of allergen avoidance, a single respiratory exposure was sufficient to trigger a severe asthma attack again in the patient. Based on literature review and the clinical example we conclude that reptile keeping is associated with introducing potent insect allergens into home environments. Patient interviews during diagnostic procedure should therefore by default include the question about reptile pets in homes.

  10. Analysis of Reptile Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services within ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    A focus for resource management, conservation planning, and environmental decision analysis has been mapping and quantifying biodiversity and ecosystem services. The challenge has been to integrate ecology with economics to better understand the effects of human policies and actions and their subsequent impacts on human well-being and ecosystem function. Biodiversity is valued by humans in varied ways, and thus is an important input to include in assessing the benefits of ecosystems to humans. Some biodiversity metrics more clearly reflect ecosystem services (e.g., game species, threatened and endangered species), whereas others may indicate indirect and difficult to quantify relationships to services (e.g., taxa richness and cultural value). In the present study, we identify and map reptile biodiversity and ecosystem services metrics. The importance of reptiles to biodiversity and ecosystems services is not often described. We used species distribution models for reptiles in the conterminous United States from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Gap Analysis Program. We focus on species richness metrics including all reptile species richness, taxa groupings of lizards, snakes and turtles, NatureServe conservation status (G1, G2, G3) species, IUCN listed reptiles, threatened and endangered species, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation listed reptiles, and rare species. These metrics were analyzed with the Protected Areas Database of the United States to

  11. Pentastomiasis and other parasitic zoonoses from reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pantchev, Nikola; Tappe, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles are growing in popularity as pets.The colonization of reptiles and amphibians by parasites and the resulting disease conditions are the most common problems seen in captive animals.This review focuses on pentastomiasis and sparganosis, important parasitic zoonoses of reptiles and amphibians, respectively, and free living-amoebae. Humans are suitable accidental hosts for some pentastomid species (particularly Armillifer and Porocephalus). In geographical areas with special ethnics, such as in West and Central Africa, and East Asia, 8-45% of the human population can be affected. Usually the larvae are coincidentally found during abdominal surgeries. However, fatalities have been described. Extreme caution is necessary when handling infected reptiles. Ocular or cerebral sparganosis is not uncommonly found in humans in East Asia. This disease is caused by spargana, tapeworm larvae (plerocercoids) of Spirometra sp. The infection occurs when uncooked meat from reptiles or amphibians is applied to wounds or eyes and the parasites migrate directly to human tissue, or by consumption of contaminated food or water. As a consequence of the reptile's predatory behaviour, the full spectrum of endo- and ectoparasites from potential prey animals can be found as transiting parasites in the intestinal tract, e. g. Hymenolepis nana, Cryptosporidium (C.) muris, C parvum or Capillaria hepatica. Occasionally, free-living amoebae are also found in reptile faeces (Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmanella, Vahlkampfia or Echinamoeba sp.).

  12. 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.

  13. Mast Cells Can Enhance Resistance to Snake and Honeybee Venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metz, Martin; Piliponsky, Adrian M.; Chen, Ching-Cheng; Lammel, Verena; Åbrink, Magnus; Pejler, Gunnar; Tsai, Mindy; Galli, Stephen J.

    2006-07-01

    Snake or honeybee envenomation can cause substantial morbidity and mortality, and it has been proposed that the activation of mast cells by snake or insect venoms can contribute to these effects. We show, in contrast, that mast cells can significantly reduce snake-venom-induced pathology in mice, at least in part by releasing carboxypeptidase A and possibly other proteases, which can degrade venom components. Mast cells also significantly reduced the morbidity and mortality induced by honeybee venom. These findings identify a new biological function for mast cells in enhancing resistance to the morbidity and mortality induced by animal venoms.

  14. Use of immunoturbidimetry to detect venom-antivenom binding using snake venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Leary, M A; Maduwage, K; Isbister, G K

    2013-01-01

    Immunoturbidimetry studies the phenomenon of immunoprecipitation of antigens and antibodies in solution, where there is the formation of large, polymeric insoluble immunocomplexes that increase the turbidity of the solution. We used immunoturbidimetry to investigate the interaction between commercial snake antivenoms and snake venoms, as well as cross-reactivity between different snake venoms. Serial dilutions of commercial snake antivenoms (100μl) in water were placed in the wells of a microtitre plate and 100μl of a venom solution (50μg/ml in water) was added. Absorbance readings were taken at 340nm every minute on a BioTek ELx808 plate reader at 37°C. Limits imposed were a 30minute cut-off and 0.004 as the lowest significant maximum increase. Reactions with rabbit antibodies were carried out similarly, except that antibody dilutions were in PBS. Mixing venom and antivenom/antibodies resulted in an immediate increase in turbidity, which either reached a maximum or continued to increase until a 30minute cut-off. There was a peak in absorbance readings for most Australian snake venoms mixed with the corresponding commercial antivenom, except for Pseudonaja textilis venom and brown snake antivenom. There was cross-reactivity between Naja naja venom from Sri Lanka and tiger snake antivenom indicated by turbidity when they were mixed. Mixing rabbit anti-snake antibodies with snake venoms resulted in increasing turbidity, but there was not a peak suggesting the antibodies were not sufficiently concentrated. The absorbance reading at pre-determined concentrations of rabbit antibodies mixed with different venoms was able to quantify the cross-reactivity between venoms. Indian antivenoms from two manufacturers were tested against four Sri Lankan snake venoms (Daboia russelli, N. naja, Echis carinatus and Bungarus caeruleus) and showed limited formation of immunocomplexes with antivenom from one manufacturer. The turbidity test provides an easy and rapid way to compare

  15. Full-Length Venom Protein cDNA Sequences from Venom-Derived mRNA: Exploring Compositional Variation and Adaptive Multigene Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modahl, Cassandra M; Mackessy, Stephen P

    2016-06-01

    Envenomation of humans by snakes is a complex and continuously evolving medical emergency, and treatment is made that much more difficult by the diverse biochemical composition of many venoms. Venomous snakes and their venoms also provide models for the study of molecular evolutionary processes leading to adaptation and genotype-phenotype relationships. To compare venom complexity and protein sequences, venom gland transcriptomes are assembled, which usually requires the sacrifice of snakes for tissue. However, toxin transcripts are also present in venoms, offering the possibility of obtaining cDNA sequences directly from venom. This study provides evidence that unknown full-length venom protein transcripts can be obtained from the venoms of multiple species from all major venomous snake families. These unknown venom protein cDNAs are obtained by the use of primers designed from conserved signal peptide sequences within each venom protein superfamily. This technique was used to assemble a partial venom gland transcriptome for the Middle American Rattlesnake (Crotalus simus tzabcan) by amplifying sequences for phospholipases A2, serine proteases, C-lectins, and metalloproteinases from within venom. Phospholipase A2 sequences were also recovered from the venoms of several rattlesnakes and an elapid snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus), and three-finger toxin sequences were recovered from multiple rear-fanged snake species, demonstrating that the three major clades of advanced snakes (Elapidae, Viperidae, Colubridae) have stable mRNA present in their venoms. These cDNA sequences from venom were then used to explore potential activities derived from protein sequence similarities and evolutionary histories within these large multigene superfamilies. Venom-derived sequences can also be used to aid in characterizing venoms that lack proteomic profiles and identify sequence characteristics indicating specific envenomation profiles. This approach, requiring only venom, provides

  16. [Strategies for Conservation of Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Species].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles.

  17. Integrating developmental biology and the fossil record of reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Numerous new discoveries and new research techniques have influenced our understanding of reptile development from a palaeontological perspective. They suggest for example that transition from mineralized to leathery eggshells and from oviparity to viviparity appeared much more often in the evolution of reptiles than was previously thought. Most marine reptiles evolved from viviparous terrestrial ancestors and had probably genetic sex determination. Fossil forms often display developmental traits absent or rare among modern ones such as polydactyly, hyperphalangy, the presence of ribcage armour, reduction of head ornamentation during ontogeny, extreme modifications of vertebral count or a wide range of feather-like structures. Thus, they provide an empirical background for many morphogenetic considerations.

  18. Marine reptiles from the Late Cretaceous of northern Patagonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasparini, Z.; Casadio, S.; Fernández, M.; Salgado, L.

    2001-04-01

    During the Campanian-Maastrichtian, Patagonia was flooded by the Atlantic and reduced to an archipelago. Several localities of northern Patagonia have yielded marine reptiles. Analysis of several assemblages suggests that the diversity and abundance of pelagic marine reptiles in northern Patagonia was higher by the end of the Cretaceous than previously thought. Several plesiosaurids, including Aristonectes parvidens and the polycotylid Sulcusuchus, and the first remains of mosasaurinae have been found. The Cretaceous marine reptile record from South America is scanty. Nevertheless, materials described here suggest that Tethyan and Weddelian forms converged in northern Patagonia, as seen with invertebrates.

  19. 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.

  20. Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-10

    Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA C on st ru ct io n E n gi n ee ri n g R es ea rc...online library at http://acwc.sdp.sirsi.net/client/default. ERDC/CERL TR-13-5 May 2013 Reptiles and Amphibians of Fairchild Air Force Base, WA...Washington, DC 20314-1000 ERDC/CERL TR-13-5 ii Abstract Many reptile and amphibian (collectively termed “herpetofauna”) populations are declining at

  1. Diversification rates and phenotypic evolution in venomous snakes (Elapidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Michael S Y; Sanders, Kate L; King, Benedict; Palci, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between rates of diversification and of body size change (a common proxy for phenotypic evolution) was investigated across Elapidae, the largest radiation of highly venomous snakes. Time-calibrated phylogenetic trees for 175 species of elapids (more than 50% of known taxa) were constructed using seven mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Analyses using these trees revealed no evidence for a link between speciation rates and changes in body size. Two clades (Hydrophis, Micrurus) show anomalously high rates of diversification within Elapidae, yet exhibit rates of body size evolution almost identical to the general elapid 'background' rate. Although correlations between speciation rates and rates of body size change exist in certain groups (e.g. ray-finned fishes, passerine birds), the two processes appear to be uncoupled in elapid snakes. There is also no detectable shift in diversification dynamics associated with the colonization of Australasia, which is surprising given that elapids appear to be the first clade of venomous snakes to reach the continent.

  2. Snake venom poisoning in the Plovdiv region from 2004 to 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iliev, Yanko T; Tufkova, Stoilka G; Zagorov, Marin Y; Nikolova, Stanka M

    2014-01-01

    Envenomation by poisons of biological origin is very common globally in the tropical and subtropical areas mainly, where the biological diversity of the species clearly leads to evolution of highly toxic species. The weather warming trend in Bulgaria, whether cyclic or permanent, allows for a change in the biological response of reptiles and insects inhabiting the temperate zone by a possible migration of biological species from the subtropical zone towards the temperate zone because of the new environmental conditions. There are very few studies on snake bite envenoming in Bulgaria. The AIM of the study was to find the incidence of the acute accidental intoxication (AAI) caused by snake venom in adult individuals in a large region of Bulgaria between 2004 and 2012 and characterises it by number, type, main clinical features, course and socio-demographic parameters of the victims so that preventive measures can be taken, wherever necessary. We studied retrospectively all 68 cases of AAI caused by snake venom in adult individuals (> 18 years old) hospitalized in the Clinic of Toxicology in St. George University Hospital, Plovdiv over the period from 2004 to 2012 by 23 quantitative and qualitative parameters. We found that the average annual incidence of snake venom AAI in adult population in the region of Plovdiv was relatively low for the specified period (9.5 per 100000 residents); the snake venom AAI increases or decreases every other year, with no clearly delineated trend for now. The prevalence of envenomation by poisons of biological origin increased from 2.3% in 1990-1998 to 9.5-10.33% between 2007 and 2012. The main sociodemographic characteristics of snake bite victims are similar to those in other Balkan and Central European countries. The clinical response to poisons of biological origin is generally identical with the response to the viper (Vipera ammodytes)--mild to medium intensity with predominantly local toxic syndrome. The algorithm of Clinical

  3. Comparison of Vespula germanica venoms obtained from different sources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, F; Blanca, M; Miranda, A; Carmona, M J; Garcia, J; Fernandez, J; Torres, M J; Rondon, M C; Juarez, C

    1994-08-01

    This study was carried out to compare the allergenic potency of Vespula germanica (VG) venoms extracted by different methods and commercially available venoms from Vespula species currently used for in vivo and in vitro studies including immunotherapy. Pure VG venom was used as the reference material. Protein content and enzymatic and allergenic properties of all venoms studied were determined by dye stain reagent, hyaluronidase and phospholipase A1B enzyme activities, and radioallergosorbent test inhibition studies, respectively. Radioallergosorbent test discs sensitized with commercial and pure VG venom were compared using specific IgE antibodies from subjects allergic to VG venom. The data obtained indicate that there were important differences in the allergenic potency between the Vespula species venoms employed for in vivo and/or in vitro assays, VG venom obtained by sac dissection, and pure VG venom. These results indicate that venoms from Vespula species used for in vitro and in vivo tests have a lower concentration of allergens and contain nonvenom proteins. These data should be taken into account when these vespid venoms are used for diagnostic purposes and also when evaluating immunotherapy studies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Md Abdul Hakim

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qiu Yuling; Choo, Young Moo; Yoon, Hyung Joo; Jia Jingming; Cui Zheng; Wang Dong; Kim, Doh Hoon; Sohn, Hung Dae; Jin, Byung Rae

    2011-01-01

    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.

  6. First large-scale DNA barcoding assessment of reptiles in the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar, based on newly designed COI primers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Zoltán T; Sonet, Gontran; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    DNA barcoding of non-avian reptiles based on the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene is still in a very early stage, mainly due to technical problems. Using a newly developed set of reptile-specific primers for COI we present the first comprehensive study targeting the entire reptile fauna of the fourth-largest island in the world, the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar. Representatives of the majority of Madagascan non-avian reptile species (including Squamata and Testudines) were sampled and successfully DNA barcoded. The new primer pair achieved a constantly high success rate (72.7-100%) for most squamates. More than 250 species of reptiles (out of the 393 described ones; representing around 64% of the known diversity of species) were barcoded. The average interspecific genetic distance within families ranged from a low of 13.4% in the Boidae to a high of 29.8% in the Gekkonidae. Using the average genetic divergence between sister species as a threshold, 41-48 new candidate (undescribed) species were identified. Simulations were used to evaluate the performance of DNA barcoding as a function of completeness of taxon sampling and fragment length. Compared with available multi-gene phylogenies, DNA barcoding correctly assigned most samples to species, genus and family with high confidence and the analysis of fewer taxa resulted in an increased number of well supported lineages. Shorter marker-lengths generally decreased the number of well supported nodes, but even mini-barcodes of 100 bp correctly assigned many samples to genus and family. The new protocols might help to promote DNA barcoding of reptiles and the established library of reference DNA barcodes will facilitate the molecular identification of Madagascan reptiles. Our results might be useful to easily recognize undescribed diversity (i.e. novel taxa), to resolve taxonomic problems, and to monitor the international pet trade without specialized expert knowledge.

  7. First Large-Scale DNA Barcoding Assessment of Reptiles in the Biodiversity Hotspot of Madagascar, Based on Newly Designed COI Primers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Zoltán T.; Sonet, Gontran; Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel

    2012-01-01

    Background DNA barcoding of non-avian reptiles based on the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene is still in a very early stage, mainly due to technical problems. Using a newly developed set of reptile-specific primers for COI we present the first comprehensive study targeting the entire reptile fauna of the fourth-largest island in the world, the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar. Methodology/Principal Findings Representatives of the majority of Madagascan non-avian reptile species (including Squamata and Testudines) were sampled and successfully DNA barcoded. The new primer pair achieved a constantly high success rate (72.7–100%) for most squamates. More than 250 species of reptiles (out of the 393 described ones; representing around 64% of the known diversity of species) were barcoded. The average interspecific genetic distance within families ranged from a low of 13.4% in the Boidae to a high of 29.8% in the Gekkonidae. Using the average genetic divergence between sister species as a threshold, 41–48 new candidate (undescribed) species were identified. Simulations were used to evaluate the performance of DNA barcoding as a function of completeness of taxon sampling and fragment length. Compared with available multi-gene phylogenies, DNA barcoding correctly assigned most samples to species, genus and family with high confidence and the analysis of fewer taxa resulted in an increased number of well supported lineages. Shorter marker-lengths generally decreased the number of well supported nodes, but even mini-barcodes of 100 bp correctly assigned many samples to genus and family. Conclusions/Significance The new protocols might help to promote DNA barcoding of reptiles and the established library of reference DNA barcodes will facilitate the molecular identification of Madagascan reptiles. Our results might be useful to easily recognize undescribed diversity (i.e. novel taxa), to resolve taxonomic problems, and to monitor the international pet trade

  8. 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.

  9. Tracing monotreme venom evolution in the genomics era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittington, Camilla M; Belov, Katherine

    2014-04-02

    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.

  10. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. The first venomous crustacean revealed by transcriptomics and functional morphology: remipede venom glands express a unique toxin cocktail dominated by enzymes and a neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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 remipede crustaceans are venomous and that venoms evolved in all four major arthropod groups. We produced a three-dimensional reconstruction of the venom delivery apparatus of the remipede Speleonectes tulumensis, showing that remipedes can inject venom in a controlled manner. A transcriptomic profile of its venom glands shows that they express a unique cocktail of transcripts coding for known venom toxins, including a diversity of enzymes and a probable paralytic neurotoxin very similar to one described from spider venom. We screened a transcriptomic library obtained from whole animals and identified a nontoxin paralog of the remipede neurotoxin that is not expressed in the venom glands. This allowed us to reconstruct its probable evolutionary origin and underlines the importance of incorporating data derived from nonvenom gland tissue to elucidate the evolution of candidate venom proteins. This first glimpse into the venom of a crustacean and primitively aquatic arthropod reveals conspicuous differences from the venoms of other predatory arthropods such as centipedes, scorpions, and spiders and contributes valuable information for ultimately disentangling the many factors shaping the biology and evolution of venoms and venomous species.

  12. Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Venoms from Russian Vipers of Pelias Group: Phospholipases A₂ are the Main Venom Components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalchuk, Sergey I; Ziganshin, Rustam H; Starkov, Vladislav G; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2016-04-12

    Venoms of most Russian viper species are poorly characterized. Here, by quantitative chromato-mass-spectrometry, we analyzed protein and peptide compositions of venoms from four Vipera species (V. kaznakovi, V. renardi, V. orlovi and V. nikolskii) inhabiting different regions of Russia. In all these species, the main components were phospholipases A₂, their content ranging from 24% in V. orlovi to 65% in V. nikolskii. Altogether, enzyme content in venom of V. nikolskii reached ~85%. Among the non-enzymatic proteins, the most abundant were disintegrins (14%) in the V. renardi venom, C-type lectin like (12.5%) in V. kaznakovi, cysteine-rich venom proteins (12%) in V. orlovi and venom endothelial growth factors (8%) in V. nikolskii. In total, 210 proteins and 512 endogenous peptides were identified in the four viper venoms. They represented 14 snake venom protein families, most of which were found in the venoms of Vipera snakes previously. However, phospholipase B and nucleotide degrading enzymes were reported here for the first time. Compositions of V. kaznakovi and V. orlovi venoms were described for the first time and showed the greatest similarity among the four venoms studied, which probably reflected close relationship between these species within the "kaznakovi" complex.

  13. Allergen immunotherapy for insect venom allergy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dhami, S; Zaman, H; Varga, E-M

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) is in the process of developing the EAACI Guidelines on Allergen Immunotherapy (AIT) for the management of insect venom allergy. To inform this process, we sought to assess the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and safety...... of AIT in the management of insect venom allergy. METHODS: We undertook a systematic review, which involved searching 15 international biomedical databases for published and unpublished evidence. Studies were independently screened and critically appraised using established instruments. Data were...

  14. STUDY ON ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF BEE VENOM.

    OpenAIRE

    Yeon Jo Ha; Chi Won Noh; Woo Young Bang; Sam Woong Kim; Sang Wan Gal.

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial activity against Salmonella infection which causes intestinal diseases from bee venom which is one of the social insects, and to find a way which use ghost vaccine. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of bee venom against Salmonella Typhimurium χ3339 was 101.81 ug/ml. Based on the result of MIC, the antimicrobial activity according to amount of the cells showed strong activities below 106 CFU/ml, but exhibited no and low ac...

  15. 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

    2008-05-01

    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.

  16. Book review: Reptiles and amphibians: Self-assessment color review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, David E.

    2017-01-01

    No abstract available.Book information: Reptiles and Amphibians: Self-Assessment Color Review. 2nd Edition. By Fredric L. Frye. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton, Florida USA. 2015. 252 pp. ISBN 9781482257601.

  17. 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.

  18. A protorothyridid captorhinomorph reptile from the Lower Permian of Oklahoma

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Reisz, Robert R

    1980-01-01

    A new primitive captorhinomorph reptile has been found near Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in fissure fill deposits believed to be contemporaneous with the lower part of the Arroyo Formation, Clear Fork Group (Leonardian...

  19. Biodiversity, ecology, and evolution of Campylobacter in reptiles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gilbert, M.J.

    2015-01-01

    Species of the Epsilonproteobacteria genera Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Helicobacter are frequently isolated from endothermic mammals and birds. However, little information was available about the presence of Epsilonproteobacteria in ectothermic reptiles and no comprehensive studies had been

  20. South African red data book - Reptiles and Amphibians

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mclachlan, GR

    1978-02-01

    Full Text Available Data sheets are provided for 46 threatened South African reptiles and amphibians, two being endangered (leatherback turtle, geometric tortoise) ten vulnerable (loggerhead turtle, Nile crocodile, veld monitor, water monitor, giant girdled lizard...

  1. On characteristics of hematological indices of reptiles (Reptilia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Y. Gasso

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Content of the haemoglobin, erythrocytes, leucocytes and leukogram pattern in six reptile species of the central steppeDnieperregion are studied. Morphological features of the blood cells are described.

  2. Transitions between sex-determining systems in reptiles and amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarre, Stephen D; Ezaz, Tariq; Georges, Arthur

    2011-01-01

    Important technological advances in genomics are driving a new understanding of the evolution of sex determination in vertebrates. In particular, comparative chromosome mapping in reptiles has shown an intriguing distribution of homology in sex chromosomes across reptile groups. When this new understanding is combined with the widespread distribution of genetic and temperature-dependent sex-determination mechanisms among reptiles, it is apparent that transitions between modes have occurred many times, as they have for amphibians (particularly between male and female heterogamety). It is also likely that thermosensitivity in sex determination is a key factor in those transitions in reptiles, and possibly in amphibians too. New models of sex determination involving temperature thresholds are providing the framework for the investigation of transitions and making possible key predictions about the homologies and sex-determination patterns expected among taxa in these groups. Molecular cytogenetics and other genomic approaches are essential to providing the fundamental material necessary to make advances in this field.

  3. Venomous snakes of Costa Rica: biological and medical implications of their venom proteomic profiles analyzed through the strategy of snake venomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lomonte, Bruno; Fernández, Julián; Sanz, Libia; Angulo, Yamileth; Sasa, Mahmood; Gutiérrez, José María; Calvete, Juan J

    2014-06-13

    In spite of its small territory of ~50,000km(2), Costa Rica harbors a remarkably rich biodiversity. Its herpetofauna includes 138 species of snakes, of which sixteen pit vipers (family Viperidae, subfamily Crotalinae), five coral snakes (family Elapidae, subfamily Elapinae), and one sea snake (Family Elapidae, subfamily Hydrophiinae) pose potential hazards to human and animal health. In recent years, knowledge on the composition of snake venoms has expanded dramatically thanks to the development of increasingly fast and sensitive analytical techniques in mass spectrometry and separation science applied to protein characterization. Among several analytical strategies to determine the overall protein/peptide composition of snake venoms, the methodology known as 'snake venomics' has proven particularly well suited and informative, by providing not only a catalog of protein types/families present in a venom, but also a semi-quantitative estimation of their relative abundances. Through a collaborative research initiative between Instituto de Biomedicina de Valencia (IBV) and Instituto Clodomiro Picado (ICP), this strategy has been applied to the study of venoms of Costa Rican snakes, aiming to obtain a deeper knowledge on their composition, geographic and ontogenic variations, relationships to taxonomy, correlation with toxic activities, and discovery of novel components. The proteomic profiles of venoms from sixteen out of the 22 species within the Viperidae and Elapidae families found in Costa Rica have been reported so far, and an integrative view of these studies is hereby presented. In line with other venomic projects by research groups focusing on a wide variety of snakes around the world, these studies contribute to a deeper understanding of the biochemical basis for the diverse toxic profiles evolved by venomous snakes. In addition, these studies provide opportunities to identify novel molecules of potential pharmacological interest. Furthermore, the

  4. Production of antibacterial peptide from bee venom via a new strategy for heterologous expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Chunsheng; Guo, Liqiong; Lin, Junfang; You, Linfeng; Wu, Wuhua

    2014-12-01

    Honey bee is important economic insect that not only pollinates fruits and crops but also provides products with various physiological activities. Bee venom is a functional agent that is widely applied in clinical treatment and pharmacy. Secapin is one of these agents that have a significant role in therapy. The functions of secapin from the bee venom have been documented, but little information is known about its heterologous expression under natural condition. Moreover, few scholars verified experimentally the functions of secapin from bee venom in vitro. In this study, we successfully constructed a heterologous expression vector, which is different from conventional expression system. A transgenic approach was established for transformation of secapin gene from the venom of Apis mellifera carnica (Ac-sec) into the edible fungi, Coprinus cinereus. Ac-sec was encoded by a 234 bp nucleotide that contained a signal peptide domain and two potential phosphorylation sites. The sequence exhibited highly homology with various secapins characterized from honey bee and related species. Southern blot data indicated that Ac-sec was present as single or multiple copy loci in the C. cinereus genome. By co-transformation and double-layer active assay, Ac-sec was expressed successfully in C. cinereus and the antibacterial activity of the recombinants was identified, showing notable antibacterial activities on different bacteria. Although Ac-sec is from the venom of Apidae, phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that Ac-sec was more closely related to that of Vespid than to bee species from Apidae. The molecular characteristics of Ac-sec and the potential roles of small peptides in biology were discussed.

  5. Mexico in the international reptile skin trade: A case study

    OpenAIRE

    Arroyo-Quiroz, Ines; Perez-Gil, Ramon; Leader-Williams, Nigel

    2007-01-01

    This paper examines the role of Mexico as importer, manufacturer, producer and distributor centre of reptile skins from non-native and native species, through a combination of documentary research and survey methods. A number of key findings were derived from this study. Although Mexico has adopted the "System for the Conservation, Management and Sustainable Use of Wildlife" (SUMA), the country still relies on reptile skins from non-native species. In contrast, the smaller numbers of skins us...

  6. Extinction risks and the conservation of Madagascar's reptiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard K B Jenkins

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in

  7. Extinction Risks and the Conservation of Madagascar's Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Richard K. B.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L.; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R.; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D.; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F.; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H.; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A.; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J. Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H.; Randrianirina, Jasmin E.; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P.; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M.; Raxworthy, Christopher J.; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P.; Yoder, Anne D.; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    Background An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Methodology/Principal Findings Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. Conclusions/Significance With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and

  8. The conservation status of the world’s reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhm, Monika; Reynolds, Robert P.; ,

    2013-01-01

    Effective and targeted conservation action requires detailed information about species, their distribution, systematics and ecology as well as the distribution of threat processes which affect them. Knowledge of reptilian diversity remains surprisingly disparate, and innovative means of gaining rapid insight into the status of reptiles are needed in order to highlight urgent conservation cases and inform environmental policy with appropriate biodiversity information in a timely manner. We present the first ever global analysis of extinction risk in reptiles, based on a random representative sample of 1500 species (16% of all currently known species). To our knowledge, our results provide the first analysis of the global conservation status and distribution patterns of reptiles and the threats affecting them, highlighting conservation priorities and knowledge gaps which need to be addressed urgently to ensure the continued survival of the world’s reptiles. Nearly one in five reptilian species are threatened with extinction, with another one in five species classed as Data Deficient. The proportion of threatened reptile species is highest in freshwater environments, tropical regions and on oceanic islands, while data deficiency was highest in tropical areas, such as Central Africa and Southeast Asia, and among fossorial reptiles. Our results emphasise the need for research attention to be focussed on tropical areas which are experiencing the most dramatic rates of habitat loss, on fossorial reptiles for which there is a chronic lack of data, and on certain taxa such as snakes for which extinction risk may currently be underestimated due to lack of population information. Conservation actions specifically need to mitigate the effects of human-induced habitat loss and harvesting, which are the predominant threats to reptiles.

  9. Extinction risks and the conservation of Madagascar's reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Richard K B; Tognelli, Marcelo F; Bowles, Philip; Cox, Neil; Brown, Jason L; Chan, Lauren; Andreone, Franco; Andriamazava, Alain; Andriantsimanarilafy, Raphali R; Anjeriniaina, Mirana; Bora, Parfait; Brady, Lee D; Hantalalaina, Elisoa F; Glaw, Frank; Griffiths, Richard A; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Katariya, Vineet; Rabibisoa, Nirhy H; Rafanomezantsoa, Jeannot; Rakotomalala, Domoina; Rakotondravony, Hery; Rakotondrazafy, Ny A; Ralambonirainy, Johans; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Randriamahazo, Herilala; Randrianantoandro, J Christian; Randrianasolo, Harison H; Randrianirina, Jasmin E; Randrianizahana, Hiarinirina; Raselimanana, Achille P; Rasolohery, Andriambolantsoa; Ratsoavina, Fanomezana M; Raxworthy, Christopher J; Robsomanitrandrasana, Eric; Rollande, Finoana; van Dijk, Peter P; Yoder, Anne D; Vences, Miguel

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and western regions of Madagascar and this study highlights the importance of

  10. Enzymatic analysis of Hemiscorpius lepturus scorpion venom using zymography and venom-specific antivenin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seyedian, Ramin; Pipelzadeh, Mohammad Hassan; Jalali, Amir; Kim, Euikyung; Lee, Hyunkyoung; Kang, Changkeun; Cha, Mijin; Sohn, Eun-Tae; Jung, Eun-Sun; Rahmani, Ali Hassan; Mirakabady, Abbas Zare

    2010-09-15

    Hemiscorpius lepturus envenomation exhibits various pathological changes in the affected tissues, including skin, blood cells, cardiovascular and central nervous systems. The enzymatic activity and protein component of the venom have not been described previously. In the present study, the electrophoretic profile of H. lepturus venom was determined by SDS-PAGE (12 and 15%), resulting in major protein bands at 3.5-5, 30-35 and 50-60 kDa. The enzymatic activities of the venom was, for the first time, investigated using various zymography techniques, which showed the gelatinolytic, caseinolytic, and hyaluronidase activities mainly at around 50-60 kDa, 30-40 kDa, and 40-50 kDa, respectively. Among these, the proteolytic activities was almost completely disappeared in the presence of a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor, 1, 10-phenanthroline. Antigen-antibody interactions between the venom and its Iranian antivenin was observed by Western blotting, and it showed several antigenic proteins in the range of 30-160 kDa. This strong antigen-antibody reaction was also demonstrated through an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The gelatinase activity of the venom was suppressed by Razi institute polyvalent antivenin, suggesting the inhibitory effect of the antivenin against H. lepturus venom protease activities. Prudently, more extensive clinical studies are necessary for validation of its use in envenomed patients. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. PREVALENCE OF SALMONELLA IN CAPTIVE REPTILES FROM CROATIA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukac, Maja; Pedersen, Karl; Prukner-Radovcic, Estella

    2015-06-01

    Salmonellosis transmitted by pet reptiles is an increasing public health issue worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Salmonella strains from captive reptiles in Croatia. From November 2009 to November 2011 a total of 292 skin, pharyngeal, cloacal, and fecal samples from 200 apparently healthy reptiles were tested for Salmonella excretions by bacteriologic culture and serotyping. These 200 individual reptiles included 31 lizards, 79 chelonians, and 90 snakes belonging to private owners or housed at the Zagreb Zoo, Croatia. Salmonella was detected in a total of 13% of the animals, among them 48.4% lizards, 8.9% snakes, and 3.8% turtles. Representatives of five of the six Salmonella enterica subspecies were identified with the following proportions in the total number of isolates: Salmonella enterica enterica 34.6%, Salmonella enterica houtenae 23.1%, Salmonella enterica arizonae 23.1%, Salmonella enterica diarizonae 15.4%, and Salmonella enterica salamae 3.8%. The 14 different serovars isolated included several rarely occurring serovars such as Salmonella Apapa, Salmonella Halle, Salmonella Kisarawe, and Salmonella Potengi. These findings confirm that the prevalence of Salmonella is considerable in captive reptiles in Croatia, indicating that these animals may harbor serovars not commonly seen in veterinary or human microbiologic practice. This should be addressed in the prevention and diagnostics of human reptile-transmitted infections.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Gihyun; Bae, Hyunsu

    2016-02-22

    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.

  13. Simplification of intradermal skin testing in Hymenoptera venom allergic children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cichocka-Jarosz, Ewa; Stobiecki, Marcin; Brzyski, Piotr; Rogatko, Iwona; Nittner-Marszalska, Marita; Sztefko, Krystyna; Czarnobilska, Ewa; Lis, Grzegorz; Nowak-Węgrzyn, Anna

    2017-03-01

    The direct comparison between children and adults with Hymenoptera venom anaphylaxis (HVA) has never been extensively reported. Severe HVA with IgE-documented mechanism is the recommendation for venom immunotherapy, regardless of age. To determine the differences in the basic diagnostic profile between children and adults with severe HVA and its practical implications. We reviewed the medical records of 91 children and 121 adults. Bee venom allergy was exposure dependent, regardless of age (P bee venom allergic group, specific IgE levels were significantly higher in children (29.5 kU A /L; interquartile range, 11.30-66.30 kU A /L) compared with adults (5.10 kU A /L; interquartile range, 2.03-8.30 kU A /L) (P venom were higher in bee venom allergic children compared with the wasp venom allergic children (P venom. At concentrations lower than 0.1 μg/mL, 16% of wasp venom allergic children and 39% of bee venom allergic children had positive intradermal test results. The median tryptase level was significantly higher in adults than in children for the entire study group (P = .002), as well as in bee (P = .002) and wasp venom allergic groups (P = .049). The basic diagnostic profile in severe HVA reactors is age dependent. Lower skin test reactivity to culprit venom in children may have practical application in starting the intradermal test procedure with higher venom concentrations. Copyright © 2016 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Hyaluronidase and hyaluronan in insect venom allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Te Piao; Wittkowski, Knut M

    2011-01-01

    Insect venoms contain an allergen hyaluronidase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of hyaluronan (HA), a polymer of disaccharide GlcUA-GlcNAc in skin. HAs depending on their size have variable function in inflammation and immunity. This paper reports on whether hyaluronidase, HA polymers and oligomers can promote antibody response in mice. HA oligomers (8- to 50-mer; 3-20 kDa) were obtained by bee venom hyaluronidase digestion of HA polymers (750- to 5,000-mer; 300-2,000 kDa). Antibody responses in mice were compared following 3 biweekly subcutaneous injection of ovalbumin (OVA) with or without test adjuvant. OVA-specific IgG1 levels were approximately 2 times higher in BALB/c and C3H/HeJ mice receiving OVA and HA oligomer or polymer than those treated with OVA alone, and no increase in total IgE level was observed. In C57Bl/6 mice, observed increases in IgG1 and IgE were 3.5- and 1.7-fold, respectively, for the oligomer and 16- and 5-fold (p Insect venoms also have cytolytic peptides and phospholipases with inflammatory roles. These activities found in mice may contribute to venom allergenicity in susceptible people. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. Snake venomics across genus Lachesis. Ontogenetic changes in the venom composition of Lachesis stenophrys and comparative proteomics of the venoms of adult Lachesis melanocephala and Lachesis acrochorda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madrigal, Marvin; Sanz, Libia; Flores-Díaz, Marietta; Sasa, Mahmood; Núñez, Vitelbina; Alape-Girón, Alberto; Calvete, Juan J

    2012-12-21

    We report the proteomic analysis of ontogenetic changes in venom composition of the Central American bushmaster, Lachesis stenophrys, and the characterization of the venom proteomes of two congeneric pitvipers, Lachesis melanocephala (black-headed bushmaster) and Lachesis acrochorda (Chochoan bushmaster). Along with the previous characterization of the venom proteome of Lachesis muta muta (from Bolivia), our present outcome enables a comparative overview of the composition and distribution of the toxic proteins across genus Lachesis. Comparative venomics revealed the close kinship of Central American L. stenophrys and L. melanocephala and support the elevation of L. acrochorda to species status. Major ontogenetic changes in the toxin composition of L. stenophrys venom involves quantitative changes in the concentration of vasoactive peptides and serine proteinases, which steadily decrease from birth to adulthood, and age-dependent de novo biosynthesis of Gal-lectin and snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). The net result is a shift from a bradykinin-potentiating and C-type natriuretic peptide (BPP/C-NP)-rich and serine proteinase-rich venom in newborns and 2-years-old juveniles to a (PI>PIII) SVMP-rich venom in adults. Notwithstanding minor qualitative and quantitative differences, the venom arsenals of L. melanocephala and L. acrochorda are broadly similar between themselves and also closely mirror those of adult L. stenophrys and L. muta venoms. The high conservation of the overall composition of Central and South American bushmaster venoms provides the ground for rationalizing the "Lachesis syndrome", characterized by vagal syntomatology, sensorial disorders, hematologic, and cardiovascular manifestations, documented in envenomings by different species of this wide-ranging genus. This finding let us predict that monospecific Lachesic antivenoms may exhibit paraspecificity against all congeneric species. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Risk for zoonotic Salmonella transmission from pet reptiles: A survey on knowledge, attitudes and practices of reptile-owners related to reptile husbandry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrente, Marialaura; Sangiorgio, Giancarlo; Grandolfo, Erika; Bodnar, Livia; Catella, Cristiana; Trotta, Adriana; Martella, Vito; Buonavoglia, Domenico

    2017-10-01

    Reptiles are becoming increasingly popular as pets. Those animals are reservoirs of a wide variety of Salmonella serotypes, that may be transmitted to warm-blooded animals, including humans. Accordingly, good hygiene practices related to husbandry are important for prevention of Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS). A cross-sectional study was conducted among reptile owners, by administration of a detailed questionnaire. In addition, the cloacal swabs of the sampled reptiles were screened for Salmonella spp. and the husbandry management practices were evaluated in order to assess any possible link between the presence of Salmonella spp. and the hygiene practices. The response rate to the questionnaire was 66.6% (100 out of 150 contacted owners). In 26 out of 100 families, members at risk of RAS (children and elderly) were present. One hundred animals were screened for the presence of Salmonella spp. The prevalence of Salmonella spp. carriers was 57% (Confidence interval 47-66%). Co-habitation of the animals with other reptiles in the same terrarium was associated with a 2-fold increase in the risk of infection by Salmonella spp.(Odds ratio=2.3, CI 1.2;13, p=0.02). Animals handled by owners that did not report washing their hands after the cleaning procedures or the handling were exposed to a 3-fold increase in the risk of infection (OR=3.1, CI 1.1;16, p=0.019). When drinking water was not replaced regularly, the animals were 7 times more exposed to infection (OR=6.8, CI 1.8;25, p=0.005). When the diet was constituted by rodents, 27 out of 48 reptiles (56.3%) were fed with live animals. In the present survey the typical reptile owner was a person, aware of ethological aspects of reptile husbandry but ignorant of some ethical recommendations and poorly informed about the health risks for himself and for the other family members. Prevention of RAS must rely mainly on information and education, with the veterinarian health bodies primarily involved in this difficult

  17. A novel IgA-like immunoglobulin in the reptile Eublepharis macularius.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deza, Francisco Gambón; Espinel, Christian Sánchez; Beneitez, Julio Valdueza

    2007-01-01

    The appearance of antibody genes over evolution coincided with the origin of the vertebrates. Reptiles are of great interest in evolution since they are the link between the amphibians, birds, and mammals. This work describes the presence of a gene in the reptile leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius) where phylogenetic studies suggest that it is the gene orthologue of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin X (IgX) in Xenopus. Messenger RNA samples taken from different tissues showed expression of this antibody in intestinal tissue. Data on the structure deduced from the sequence of nucleotides showed an antibody with four domains in the constant region. There is a sequence of 20 amino acids in the C terminus similar to the secretory tail of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgA. A detailed analysis of the sequence of amino acids displayed a paradox, i.e., domains CH1 and CH2 showed a clear homology with domains CH1 and CH2 of immunoglobulin Y (IgY) while domains CH3 and CH4 were homologous with domains CH3 and CH4 of IgM. This homology pattern is also seen in Xenopus IgX and bird IgA. The most logical explanation for this phenomenon is that a recombination between the IgM and IgY gave rise to the IgA.

  18. Transcriptome analysis of the venom gland of the scorpion Scorpiops jendeki: implication for the evolution of the scorpion venom arsenal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Yingliang

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The family Euscorpiidae, which covers Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, is one of the most widely distributed scorpion groups. However, no studies have been conducted on the venom of a Euscorpiidae species yet. In this work, we performed a transcriptomic approach for characterizing the venom components from a Euscorpiidae scorpion, Scorpiops jendeki. Results There are ten known types of venom peptides and proteins obtained from Scorpiops jendeki. Great diversity is observed in primary sequences of most highly expressed types. The most highly expressed types are cytolytic peptides and serine proteases. Neurotoxins specific for sodium channels, which are major groups of venom components from Buthidae scorpions, are not detected in this study. In addition to those known types of venom peptides and proteins, we also obtain nine atypical types of venom molecules which haven't been observed in any other scorpion species studied to date. Conclusion This work provides the first set of cDNAs from Scorpiops jendeki, and one of the few transcriptomic analyses from a scorpion. This allows the characterization of a large number of venom molecules, belonging to either known or atypical types of scorpion venom peptides and proteins. Besides, our work could provide some clues to the evolution of the scorpion venom arsenal by comparison with venom data from other scorpion lineages.

  19. 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.

  20. Multiple paternity in reptiles: patterns and processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uller, Tobias; Olsson, Mats

    2008-06-01

    The evolution of female promiscuity poses an intriguing problem as benefits of mating with multiple males often have to arise via indirect, genetic, effects. Studies on birds have documented that multiple paternity is common in natural populations but strong evidence for selection via female benefits is lacking. In an attempt to evaluate the evidence more broadly, we review studies of multiple paternity in natural populations of all major groups of nonavian reptiles. Multiple paternity has been documented in all species investigated so far and commonly exists in over 50% of clutches, with particularly high levels in snakes and lizards. Marine turtles and lizards with prolonged pair-bonding have relatively low levels of multiple paternity but levels are nevertheless higher than in many vertebrates with parental care. There is no evidence that high levels of polyandry are driven by direct benefits to females and the evidence that multiple paternity arises from indirect genetic benefits is weak. Instead, we argue that the most parsimonious explanation for patterns of multiple paternity is that it represents the combined effect of mate-encounter frequency and conflict over mating rates between males and females driven by large male benefits and relatively small female costs, with only weak selection via indirect benefits. A crucial step for researchers is to move from correlative approaches to experimental tests of assumptions and predictions of theory under natural settings, using a combination of molecular techniques and behavioural observations.

  1. 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.

  2. Reptile thermogenesis and the origins of endothermy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Glenn J

    2016-10-01

    Extant endotherms have high rates of metabolism, elevated body temperatures, usually tight control over body temperature, and a reasonable scope for further increases in metabolism through locomotor activity. Vertebrate ectotherms, on the other hand, rely on behavioural thermoregulation and cardiovascular adjustments to facilitate warming, and generally lack specific biochemical and cellular mechanisms for sustained, elevated metabolism. Nevertheless, the ancestral condition to endothermy is thought to resemble that of many extant reptiles, which raises the question of the origins and selection pressures relevant to the transitional state. Numerous hypotheses have emerged to explain the multiple origins of endothermy in vertebrates, including thermoregulatory, locomotory, and reproductive activity as possible drivers for these sustained and elevated metabolic rates. In this article, I discuss recent evidence for facultative endothermy in an extant lepidosaur, the tegu lizard. Since lepidosaurs are a sister group to the archosaurs, understanding how a novel form of endothermy evolved will open up opportunities to test the compatibility or incompatibility of the various endothermy hypotheses, with potential to elucidate and resolve long contentious ideas in evolutionary physiology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Analysis of Brazilian snake venoms by neutron activation analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saiki, M.; Vasconcellos, M.B.A.; Rogero, J.R.; Cruz, M.C.G.

    1991-01-01

    Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) has been applied to multielemental determinations of Brazilian snake venoms from the species: Bothrops jararacussu, Crotalus durissus terrificus and Bothrops jararaca. Concentrations of Br, Ca, Cl, Cs, K, Mg, Na, Rb, Sb, Se and Zn have been determined in lyophilized venoms by using short and long irradiations in the IEA-RI nuclear reactor under a thermal neutron flux of 10 11 to 10 13 n · cm -2 · s -1 . The reference materials NIST Bovine Liver 1577 and IUPAC Bowen's Kale were also analyzed simultaneously with the venoms to evaluate the accuracy and the reproducibility of the method. The concentrations of the elements found in snake venoms from different species were compared. The Crotalus durissus terrificus venoms presented high concentration of Se but low concentrations of Zn when these results are compared with those obtained from genera Bothrops venoms. (author) 9 refs.; 2 tabs

  4. Pathophysiological significance and therapeutic applications of snake venom protease inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Rupamoni; Mukherjee, Ashis K

    2017-06-01

    Protease inhibitors are important constituents of snake venom and play important roles in the pathophysiology of snakebite. Recently, research on snake venom protease inhibitors has provided valuable information to decipher the molecular details of various biological processes and offer insight for the development of some therapeutically important molecules from snake venom. The process of blood coagulation and fibrinolysis, in addition to affecting platelet function, are well known as the major targets of several snake venom protease inhibitors. This review summarizes the structure-functional aspects of snake venom protease inhibitors that have been described to date. Because diverse biological functions have been demonstrated by protease inhibitors, a comparative overview of their pharmacological and pathophysiological properties is also highlighted. In addition, since most snake venom protease inhibitors are non-toxic on their own, this review evaluates the different roles of individual protease inhibitors that could lead to the identification of drug candidates and diagnostic molecules. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Bee venom therapy: Potential mechanisms and therapeutic applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuai; Liu, Yi; Ye, Yang; Wang, Xue-Rui; Lin, Li-Ting; Xiao, Ling-Yong; Zhou, Ping; Shi, Guang-Xia; Liu, Cun-Zhi

    2018-04-11

    Bee venom is a very complex mixture of natural products extracted from honey bee which contains various pharmaceutical properties such as peptides, enzymes, biologically active amines and nonpeptide components. The use of bee venom into the specific points is so called bee venom therapy, which is widely used as a complementary and alternative therapy for 3000 years. A growing number of evidence has demonstrated the anti-inflammation, the anti-apoptosis, the anti-fibrosis and the anti-arthrosclerosis effects of bee venom therapy. With these pharmaceutical characteristics, bee venom therapy has also been used as the therapeutic method in treating rheumatoid arthritis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, liver fibrosis, atherosclerosis, pain and others. Although widely used, several cases still reported that bee venom therapy might cause some adverse effects, such as local itching or swelling. In this review, we summarize its potential mechanisms, therapeutic applications, and discuss its existing problems. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Human antibody fragments specific for Bothrops jararacussu venom reduce the toxicity of other Bothrops sp. venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roncolato, Eduardo Crosara; Pucca, Manuela Berto; Funayama, Jaqueline Carlos; Bertolini, Thaís Barboza; Campos, Lucas Benício; Barbosa, José Elpidio

    2013-01-01

    Approximately 20,000 snakebites are registered each year in Brazil. The classical treatment for venomous snakebite involves the administration of sera obtained from immunized horses. Moreover, the production and care of horses is costly, and the use of heterologous sera can cause hypersensitivity reactions. The production of human antibody fragments by phage display technology is seen as a means of overcoming some of these disadvantages. The studies here attempted to test human monoclonal antibodies specific to Bothrops jararacussu against other Bothrops sp. venoms, using the Griffin.1 library of human single-chain fragment-variable (scFv) phage antibodies. Using the Griffin.1 phage antibody library, this laboratory previously produced scFvs capable of inhibiting the phospholipase and myotoxic activities of Bothrops jararacussu venom. The structural and functional similarities of the various forms of phospholipase A2 (PLA₂) in Bothrops venom served as the basis for the present study wherein the effectiveness of those same scFvs were evaluated against B. jararaca, B. neuwiedi, and B. moojeni venoms. Each clone was found to recognize all three Bothrops venoms, and purified scFvs partially inhibited their in vitro phospholipase activity. In vivo assays demonstrated that the scFv clone P2B7 reduced myotoxicity and increased the survival of animals that received the test venoms. The results here indicate that the scFv P2B7 is a candidate for inclusion in a mixture of specific antibodies to produce a human anti-bothropic sera. This data demonstrates that the human scFv P2B7 represents an alternative therapeutic approach to heterologous anti-bothropic sera available today.

  7. The physiology of lipid storage and use in reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, Edwin R

    2017-08-01

    Lipid metabolism is central to understanding whole-animal energetics. Reptiles store most excess energy in lipid form, mobilise those lipids when needed to meet energetic demands, and invest lipids in eggs to provide the primary source of energy to developing embryos. Here, I review the mechanisms by which non-avian reptiles store, transport, and use lipids. Many aspects of lipid absorption, transport, and storage appear to be similar to birds, including the hepatic synthesis of lipids from glucose substrates, the transport of triglycerides in lipoproteins, and the storage of lipids in adipose tissue, although adipose tissue in non-avian reptiles is usually concentrated in abdominal fat bodies or the tail. Seasonal changes in fat stores suggest that lipid storage is primarily for reproduction in most species, rather than for maintenance during aphagic periods. The effects of fasting on plasma lipid metabolites can differ from mammals and birds due to the ability of non-avian reptiles to reduce their metabolism drastically during extended fasts. The effect of fasting on levels of plasma ketones is species specific: β-hydroxybutyrate concentration may rise or fall during fasting. I also describe the process by which the bulk of lipids are deposited into oocytes during vitellogenesis. Although this process is sometimes ascribed to vitellogenin-based transport in reptiles, the majority of lipid deposition occurs via triglycerides packaged in very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs), based on physiological, histological, biochemical, comparative, and genomic evidence. I also discuss the evidence for non-avian reptiles using 'yolk-targeted' VLDLs during vitellogenesis. The major physiological states - feeding, fasting, and vitellogenesis - have different effects on plasma lipid metabolites, and I discuss the possibilities and potential problems of using plasma metabolites to diagnose feeding condition in non-avian reptiles. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  8. Functional and proteomic comparison of Bothrops jararaca venom from captive specimens and the Brazilian Bothropic Reference Venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farias, Iasmim Baptista de; Morais-Zani, Karen de; Serino-Silva, Caroline; Sant'Anna, Sávio S; Rocha, Marisa M T da; Grego, Kathleen F; Andrade-Silva, Débora; Serrano, Solange M T; Tanaka-Azevedo, Anita M

    2018-03-01

    Snake venom is a variable phenotypic trait, whose plasticity and evolution are critical for effective antivenom production. A significant reduction of the number of snake donations to Butantan Institute (São Paulo, Brazil) occurred in recent years, and this fact may impair the production of the Brazilian Bothropic Reference Venom (BBRV). Nevertheless, in the last decades a high number of Bothrops jararaca specimens have been raised in captivity in the Laboratory of Herpetology of Butantan Institute. Considering these facts, we compared the biochemical and biological profiles of B. jararaca venom from captive specimens and BBRV in order to understand the potential effects of snake captivity upon the venom composition. Electrophoretic analysis and proteomic profiling revealed few differences in venom protein bands and some differentially abundant toxins. Comparison of enzymatic activities showed minor differences between the two venoms. Similar cross-reactivity recognition pattern of both venoms by the antibothropic antivenom produced by Butantan Institute was observed. Lethality and neutralization of lethality for B. jararaca venom from captive specimens and BBRV showed similar values. Considering these results we suggest that the inclusion of B. jararaca venom from captive specimens in the composition of BBRV would not interfere with the quality of this reference venom. Snakebite envenomation is a neglected tropical pathology whose treatment is based on the use of specific antivenoms. Bothrops jararaca is responsible for the majority of snakebites in South and Southeastern Brazil. Its venom shows individual, sexual, and ontogenetic variability, however, the effect of animal captivity upon venom composition is unknown. Considering the reduced number of wild-caught snakes donated to Butantan Institute in the last decades, and the increased life expectancy of the snakes raised in captivity in the Laboratory of Herpetology, this work focused on the comparative

  9. Anti-arthritic effects of microneedling with bee venom gel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mengdi Zhao

    2016-10-01

    Conclusions: Bee venom can significantly suppress the occurrence of gouty arthritis inflammation in rats and mice LPS inflammatory reaction. Choose the 750 μm microneedle with 10N force on skin about 3 minutes, bee venom can play the optimal role, and the anti-inflammatory effect is obvious. Microneedles can promote the percutaneous absorption of the active macromolecules bee venom gel.

  10. 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.

  11. Analysis of the intersexual variation in Thalassophryne maculosa fish venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica; Sosa-Rosales, Ines; Bruni, Fernanda M; Ramos, Anderson D; Vieira Portaro, Fernanda Calheta; Conceição, Katia; Lima, Carla

    2016-06-01

    Gender related variation in the molecular composition of venoms and secretions have been described for some animal species, and there are some evidences that the difference in the toxin (s) profile among males and females may be related to different physiopathological effects caused by the envenomation by either gender. In order to investigate whether this same phenomenon occurs to the toadfish Thalassophryne maculosa, we have compared some biological and biochemical properties of female and male venoms. Twenty females and males were collected in deep waters of the La Restinga lagoon (Venezuela) and, after protein concentration assessed, the induction of toxic activities in mice and the biochemical properties were analyzed. Protein content is higher in males than in females, which may be associated to a higher size and weight of the male body. In vivo studies showed that mice injected with male venoms presented higher nociception when compared to those injected with female venoms, and both venoms induced migration of macrophages into the paw of mice. On the other hand, mice injected with female venoms had more paw edema and extravasation of Evans blue in peritoneal cavity than mice injected with male venoms. We observed that the female venoms had more capacity for necrosis induction when compared with male venoms. The female samples present a higher proteolytic activity then the male venom when gelatin, casein and FRETs were used as substrates. Evaluation of the venoms of females and males by SDS-PAGE and chromatographic profile showed that, at least three components (present in two peaks) are only present in males. Although the severity of the lesion, characterized by necrosis development, is related with the poisoning by female specimens, the presence of exclusive toxins in the male venoms could be associated with the largest capacity of nociception induction by this sample. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. In vitro neutralization of the scorpion, Buthus tamulus venom toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkateswarlu, Y; Janakiram, B; Reddy, G R

    1988-01-01

    Scorpion (Buthus tamulus) venom was subjected to neutralization by treating the venom with various chemicals such as hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, thiourea, formaldehyde, zinc sulphate, acetic acid and trichloroacetic acid. The venom was also subjected to heat treatment. The levels of total protein, free amino acids and protease activity in neutralized venom decreased significantly. The decrease in venom protein and free amino acids was in proportion to the duration of the heat treatment and the concentration of chemicals used except zinc sulphate, sodium hydroxide and thiourea. Protease activity of neutralized venom samples also showed a decrease except with zinc sulphate which enhanced the enzyme activity. Intramuscular injection of formaldehyde, trichlcroacetic acid and heat treated venoms into albino rats produced low mortality while thiourea and zinc sulphate were not effective in reducing the mortality. Hydrochloric acid and acetic acid treated venoms reduced the mortality by 50% with a decrease in the symptoms of envenomation. The changes were attributed to the denaturing of venom protein by chemical and heat treatments.

  13. Snake Venom As An Effective Tool Against Colorectal Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzair, Bushra; Atlas, Nagina; Malik, Sidra Batool; Jamil, Nazia; Salaam, Temitope Ojuolape; Rehman, Mujaddad Ur; Khan, Barkat Ali

    2018-06-13

    Cancer is considered one of the most predominant causes of morbidity and mortality all over the world and colorectal cancer is the most common fatal cancers, triggering the second cancer related death. Despite progress in understanding carcinogenesis and development in chemotherapeutics, there is an essential need to search for improved treatment. More than the half a century, cytotoxic and cytostatic agents have been examined as a potential treatment of cancer, among these agents; remarkable progresses have been reported by the use of the snake venom. Snake venoms are secreting materials of lethal snakes are store in venomous glands. Venoms are composite combinations of various protein, peptides, enzymes, toxins and non proteinaceous secretions. Snake venom possesses immense valuable mixtures of proteins and enzymes. Venoms have potential to combat with the cancerous cells and produce positive effect. Besides the toxicological effects of venoms, several proteins of snake venom e.g. disintegrins, phospholipases A2, metalloproteinases, and L-amino acid oxidases and peptides e.g. bradykinin potentiators, natriuretic, and analgesic peptides have shown potential as pharmaceutical agents, including areas of diagnosis and cancer treatment. In this review we have discussed recent remarkable research that has involved the dynamic snake venoms compounds, having anticancer bustle especially in case of colorectal cancer. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murugesan, S.; Noronha, O.P.D.; Samuel, A.M.; Murthy, K. Radha Krishna

    1999-01-01

    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)

  15. Treating autoimmune disorders with venom-derived peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Bingzheng; Cao, Zhijian; Li, Wenxin; Sabatier, Jean-Marc; Wu, Yingliang

    2017-09-01

    The effective treatment of autoimmune diseases remains a challenge. Voltage-gated potassium Kv1.3 channels, which are expressed in lymphocytes, are a new therapeutic target for treating autoimmune disease. Consequently, Kv1.3 channel-inhibiting venom-derived peptides are a prospective resource for new drug discovery and clinical application. Area covered: Preclinical and clinical studies have produced a wealth of information on Kv1.3 channel-inhibiting venom-derived peptides, especially from venomous scorpions and sea anemones. This review highlights the advances in screening and design of these peptides with diverse structures and potencies. It focuses on representative strategies for improving peptide selectivity and discusses the preclinical research on those venom-derived peptides as well as their clinical developmental status. Expert opinion: Encouraging results indicate that peptides isolated from the venom of venomous animals are a large resource for discovering immunomodulators that act on Kv1.3 channels. Since the structural diversity of venom-derived peptides determines the variety of their pharmacological activities, the design and optimization of venom-peptides for improved Kv1.3 channel-specificity has been advanced through some representative strategies, such as peptide chemical modification, amino acid residue truncation and binding interface modulation. These advances should further accelerate research, development and the future clinical application of venom-derived peptides selectively targeting Kv1.3 channels.

  16. Proteomic identification of gender molecular markers in Bothrops jararaca venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelanis, André; Menezes, Milene C; Kitano, Eduardo S; Liberato, Tarcísio; Tashima, Alexandre K; Pinto, Antonio F M; Sherman, Nicholas E; Ho, Paulo L; Fox, Jay W; Serrano, Solange M T

    2016-04-29

    Variation in the snake venom proteome is a well-documented phenomenon; however, sex-based variation in the venom proteome/peptidome is poorly understood. Bothrops jararaca shows significant sexual size dimorphism and here we report a comparative proteomic/peptidomic analysis of venoms from male and female specimens and correlate it with the evaluation of important venom features. We demonstrate that adult male and female venoms have distinct profiles of proteolytic activity upon fibrinogen and gelatin. These differences were clearly reflected in their different profiles of SDS-PAGE, two-dimensional electrophoresis and glycosylated proteins. Identification of differential protein bands and spots between male or female venoms revealed gender-specific molecular markers. However, the proteome comparison by in-solution trypsin digestion and label-free quantification analysis showed that the overall profiles of male and female venoms are similar at the polypeptide chain level but show striking variation regarding their attached carbohydrate moieties. The analysis of the peptidomes of male and female venoms revealed different contents of peptides, while the bradykinin potentiating peptides (BPPs) showed rather similar profiles. Furthermore we confirmed the ubiquitous presence of four BPPs that lack the C-terminal Q-I-P-P sequence only in the female venom as gender molecular markers. As a result of these studies we demonstrate that the sexual size dimorphism is associated with differences in the venom proteome/peptidome in B. jararaca species. Moreover, gender-based variations contributed by different glycosylation levels in toxins impact venom complexity. Bothrops jararaca is primarily a nocturnal and generalist snake species, however, it exhibits a notable ontogenetic shift in diet and in venom proteome upon neonate to adult transition. As is common in the Bothrops genus, B. jararaca shows significant sexual dimorphism in snout-vent length and weight, with females being

  17. Mechanisms of bee venom-induced acute renal failure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisotto, Luciana S D; Mendes, Glória E; Castro, Isac; Baptista, Maria A S F; Alves, Venancio A; Yu, Luis; Burdmann, Emmanuel A

    2006-07-01

    The spread of Africanized bees in the American continent has increased the number of severe envenomation after swarm attacks. Acute renal failure (ARF) is one of the major hazards in surviving patients. To assess the mechanisms of bee venom-induced ARF, rats were evaluated before, up to 70 min and 24h after 0.5mg/kg of venom injection. Control rats received saline. Bee venom caused an early and significant reduction in glomerular filtration rate (GFR, inulin clearance, 0.84+/-0.05 to 0.40+/-0.08 ml/min/100g, pbee venom-induced ARF that may occur even without hemolysis or hypotension.

  18. Effects of gamma radiation on bee venom: preliminary studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Costa, H.; Boni-Mitake, M.; Souza, C.F.; Rogero, J.R.

    1999-01-01

    Africanized honeybees are very common insects in Brazil and frequently cause accidents followed by important immunological reactions and even deaths. Their venoms are composed of a complex mixture of substances of general biological actions. several works utilizing ionizing radiation showed that it is able to modify protein structures, and successfully detoxify snake venoms toxins, although maintaining its immunological properties. The main objective of this paper was to study the effects of gamma radiation on bee venom, regarding some biochemical and toxicological aspects. Africanized Apis melllifera whole venom (2 mg/ml) in 0.15 M Na Cl solution was irradiated with 2 kGy in a 60 Co source. Preliminary studies has been carried out in order to identify some biochemical changes after irradiation. Concerning this, irradiated and native venom were submitted to a molecular exclusion chromatography (Sephadex G-100), UV absorption spectrum and protein concentration analysis. It could be seen that irradiated bee venom spectrum presented differences when compared to native bee venom, suggesting that some structural alterations has occurred. Protein concentration and chromatography profiles were not changes after irradiation. In order to evaluate the toxicity a lethality assay (L D 50 ) has been performed with both venoms, and irradiated venom showed to be less toxic than native one. (author)

  19. Inactivation of complement by Loxosceles reclusa spider venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebel, H M; Finke, J H; Elgert, K D; Cambell, B J; Barrett, J T

    1979-07-01

    Zymosan depletion of serum complement in guinea pigs rendered them highly resistant to lesion by Loxosceles reclusa spider venom. Guinea pigs deficient in C4 of the complement system are as sensitive to the venom as normal guinea pigs. The injection of 35 micrograms of whole recluse venom intradermally into guinea pigs lowered their complement level by 35.7%. Brown recluse spider venom in concentrations as slight as 0.02 micrograms protein/ml can totally inactivate one CH50 of guinea pig complement in vitro. Bee, scorpion, and other spider venoms had no influence on the hemolytic titer of complement. Fractionation of recluse spider venom by Sephadex G-200 filtration separated the complement-inactivating property of the venom into three major regions which could be distinguished on the basis of heat stability as well as size. None was neutralized by antivenom. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of venom resolved the complement inactivators into five fractions. Complement inactivated by whole venom or the Sephadex fractions could be restored to hemolytic activity by supplements of fresh serum but not by heat-inactivated serum, pure C3, pure C5, or C3 and C5 in combination.

  20. 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.

  1. Effects of gamma radiation on bee venom: preliminary studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Costa, H.; Boni-Mitake, M.; Souza, C.F.; Rogero, J.R. [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Div. de Radiobiologia

    1999-11-01

    Africanized honeybees are very common insects in Brazil and frequently cause accidents followed by important immunological reactions and even deaths. Their venoms are composed of a complex mixture of substances of general biological actions. several works utilizing ionizing radiation showed that it is able to modify protein structures, and successfully detoxify snake venoms toxins, although maintaining its immunological properties. The main objective of this paper was to study the effects of gamma radiation on bee venom, regarding some biochemical and toxicological aspects. Africanized Apis melllifera whole venom (2 mg/ml) in 0.15 M Na Cl solution was irradiated with 2 kGy in a {sup 60} Co source. Preliminary studies has been carried out in order to identify some biochemical changes after irradiation. Concerning this, irradiated and native venom were submitted to a molecular exclusion chromatography (Sephadex G-100), UV absorption spectrum and protein concentration analysis. It could be seen that irradiated bee venom spectrum presented differences when compared to native bee venom, suggesting that some structural alterations has occurred. Protein concentration and chromatography profiles were not changes after irradiation. In order to evaluate the toxicity a lethality assay (L D{sub 50}) has been performed with both venoms, and irradiated venom showed to be less toxic than native one. (author) 23 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  2. 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

  3. Immunohistochemical study on gastrointestinal endocrine cells of four reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xu-Gen; Wu, Xiao-Bing

    2005-01-01

    AIM: To clarify the types, regional distributions and distribution densities as well as morphological features of gastrointestinal (GI) endocrine cells in various parts of the gastrointestinal track (GIT) of four reptiles, Gekko japonicus, Eumeces chinensis, Sphenomorphus indicus and Eumeces elegans. METHODS: Paraffin-embedded sections (5 μm) of seven parts (cardia, fundus, pylorus, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, rectum) of GIT dissected from the four reptiles were prepared. GI endocrine cells were revealed by using immunohistochemical techniques of streptavidin-peroxidase (S-P) method. Seven types of antisera against 5-hydroxy-tryptamine (5-HT), somatostatin (SS), gastrin (GAS), glucagon (GLU), substance P (SP), insulin and pancreatic polypeptide were identified and then GI endocrine cells were photomicrographed and counted. RESULTS: The GI endocrine system of four reptiles was a complex structure containing many endocrine cell types similar in morphology to those found in higher vertebrates. Five types of GI endocrine cells, namely 5-HT, SS, GAS, SP and GLU immunoreactive (IR) cells were identified in the GIT of G. japonicus, E. chinensis and S. indicus; while in the GIT of E. elegans only the former three types of endocrine cells were observed. No PP- and INS- IR cells were found in all four reptiles. 5-HT-IR cells, which were most commonly found in the pylorus or duodenum, distributed throughout the whole GIT of four reptiles. However, their distribution patterns varied from each other. SS-IR cells, which were mainly found in the stomach especially in the pylorus and/or fundus, were demonstrated in the whole GIT of E. chinensis, only showed restricted distribution in the other three species. GAS-IR cells, with a much restricted distribution, were mainly demonstrated in the pylorus and/or the proximal small intestine of four reptiles. GLU-IR cells exhibited a limited and species-dependent variant distribution in the GIT of four reptiles. SP-IR cells were found

  4. 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

  5. Snake Venom Metalloproteinases and Their Peptide Inhibitors from Myanmar Russell’s Viper Venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khin Than Yee

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Russell’s viper bites are potentially fatal from severe bleeding, renal failure and capillary leakage. Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs are attributed to these effects. In addition to specific antivenom therapy, endogenous inhibitors from snakes are of interest in studies of new treatment modalities for neutralization of the effect of toxins. Two major snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs: RVV-X and Daborhagin were purified from Myanmar Russell’s viper venom using a new purification strategy. Using the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS approach to explore the Myanmar RV venom gland transcriptome, mRNAs of novel tripeptide SVMP inhibitors (SVMPIs were discovered. Two novel endogenous tripeptides, pERW and pEKW were identified and isolated from the crude venom. Both purified SVMPs showed caseinolytic activity. Additionally, RVV-X displayed specific proteolytic activity towards gelatin and Daborhagin showed potent fibrinogenolytic activity. These activities were inhibited by metal chelators. Notably, the synthetic peptide inhibitors, pERW and pEKW, completely inhibit the gelatinolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities of respective SVMPs at 5 mM concentration. These complete inhibitory effects suggest that these tripeptides deserve further study for development of a therapeutic candidate for Russell’s viper envenomation.

  6. [Reptile-associated salmonellosis as an important epidemiological problem].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawlak, Aleksandra

    2014-11-17

    of food poisoning. One of the reservoirs of Salmonella are reptiles, which are increasingly kept as pets. Most reptiles are asymptomatic carriers of Salmonella. These strains, isolated from reptiles, can cause serious infections, especially in infants, young children and people with immunodeficiencies. The disease called reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) may manifest with bloody diarrhea, meningitis, and arthritis, and consequently can cause bacteremia and sepsis. Among the strains described in the literature, Salmonella strains possessing the O48 antigen are an important group. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Salmonella O48 contains sialic acid (NeuAc) in an O-specific-chain. LPS containing NeuAc exhibits antigenic similarity to antigens found in the human body, including blood serum, and therefore is correlated with the occurrence of the dangerous phenomenon of molecular mimicry. Bacteria containing NeuAc in their outer structures can evade the immunological response of the host, which significantly increases their virulence. Most data about RAS come from the USA, but in recent years cases from European countries are more frequent in the literature. Unfortunately, the occurrence of RAS in Poland has not been monitored so far. There is also no campaign to inform the public about the health risks connected with contact of people with reptiles.

  7. Annual Report: 2014: Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, P.; Apodaca, J.J.; Williams, J.

    2015-01-01

    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 effects from overexploitation; these animals are also burdened by humans attitudes – 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 and cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation to ensure healthy populations of these animals has never been more important. As you will see herein, PARC’s 15th anniversary has been marked with major accomplishments and an ever-increasing momentum. With your help, PARC can continue to build on its successes and protect these vital species.

  8. Control of respiration in fish, amphibians and reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.W. Taylor

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. A review of the evolution of viviparity in squamate reptiles: the past, present and future role of molecular biology and genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Bridget F; Thompson, Michael B

    2011-07-01

    Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) offer a unique model system for testing hypotheses about the evolutionary transition from oviparity (egg-laying) to viviparity (live-bearing) in amniote vertebrates. The evolution of squamate viviparity has occurred remarkably frequently (>108 times) and has resulted in major changes in reproductive physiology. Such frequent changes in reproductive strategy pose two questions: (1) what are the molecular mechanisms responsible for the evolution of squamate viviparity? (2) Are these molecular mechanisms the same for separate origins of viviparity? Molecular approaches, such as RT-PCR, in situ hybridisation, Western blotting and immunofluorescence, have been invaluable for identifying genes and proteins that are involved in squamate placental development, materno-foetal immunotolerance, placental transport, placental angiogenesis, hormone synthesis and hormone receptor expression. However, the candidate-gene or -protein approach that has been used until now does not allow for de novo gene/protein discovery; results to date suggest that the reproductive physiologies of mammals and squamate reptiles are very similar, but this conclusion may simply be due to a limited capacity to study the subset of genes and proteins that are unique to reptiles. Progress has also been slowed by the lack of appropriate molecular and genomic resources for squamate reptiles. The advent of next-generation sequencing provides a relatively inexpensive way to conduct rapid high-throughput sequencing of genomes and transcriptomes. We discuss the potential use of next-generation sequencing technologies to analyse differences in gene expression between oviparous and viviparous squamates, provide important sequence information for reptiles, and generate testable hypotheses for the evolution of viviparity.

  12. Proteomic characterization of venom of the medically important Southeast Asian Naja sumatrana (Equatorial spitting cobra).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yap, Michelle Khai Khun; Fung, Shin Yee; Tan, Kae Yi; Tan, Nget Hong

    2014-05-01

    The proteome of Naja sumatrana (Equatorial spitting cobra) venom was investigated by shotgun analysis and a combination of ion-exchange chromatography and reverse phase HPLC. Shotgun analysis revealed the presence of 39 proteins in the venom while the chromatographic approach identified 37 venom proteins. The results indicated that, like other Asiatic cobra venoms, N. sumatrana contains large number of three finger toxins and phospholipases A2, which together constitute 92.1% by weight of venom protein. However, only eight of the toxins can be considered as major venom toxins. These include two phospholipases A2, three neurotoxins (two long neurotoxins and a short neurotoxin) and three cardiotoxins. The eight major toxins have relative abundance of 1.6-27.2% venom proteins and together account for 89.8% (by weight) of total venom protein. Other venom proteins identified include Zn-metalloproteinase-disintegrin, Thaicobrin, CRISP, natriuretic peptide, complement depleting factors, cobra venom factors, venom nerve growth factor and cobra serum albumin. The proteome of N. sumatrana venom is similar to proteome of other Asiatic cobra venoms but differs from that of African spitting cobra venom. Our results confirm that the main toxic action of N. sumatrana venom is neurotoxic but the large amount of cardiotoxins and phospholipases A2 are likely to contribute significantly to the overall pathophysiological action of the venom. The differences in toxin distribution between N. sumatrana venom and African spitting cobra venoms suggest possible differences in the pathophysiological actions of N. sumatrana venom and the African spitting cobra venoms, and explain why antivenom raised against Asiatic cobra venom is not effective against African spitting cobra venoms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Detection of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. in Ticks Associated with Exotic Reptiles and Amphibians Imported into Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andoh, Masako; Sakata, Akiko; Takano, Ai; Kawabata, Hiroki; Fujita, Hiromi; Une, Yumi; Goka, Koichi; Kishimoto, Toshio; Ando, Shuji

    2015-01-01

    One of the major routes of transmission of rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases is via ticks that infest numerous host species, including humans. Besides mammals, reptiles and amphibians also carry ticks that may harbor Rickettsia and Ehrlichia strains that are pathogenic to humans. Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians are exempt from quarantine in Japan, thus facilitating the entry of parasites and pathogens to the country through import. Accordingly, in the current study, we examined the presence of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. genes in ticks associated with reptiles and amphibians originating from outside Japan. Ninety-three ticks representing nine tick species (genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma) were isolated from at least 28 animals spanning 10 species and originating from 12 countries (Ghana, Jordan, Madagascar, Panama, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Uzbekistan, and Zambia). None of the nine tick species are indigenous in Japan. The genes encoding the common rickettsial 17-kDa antigen, citrate synthase (gltA), and outer membrane protein A (ompA) were positively detected in 45.2% (42/93), 40.9% (38/93), and 23.7% (22/93) of the ticks, respectively, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The genes encoding ehrlichial heat shock protein (groEL) and major outer membrane protein (omp-1) were PCR-positive in 7.5% (7/93) and 2.2% (2/93) of the ticks, respectively. The p44 gene, which encodes the Anaplasma outer membrane protein, was not detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed that several of the rickettsial and ehrlichial sequences isolated in this study were highly similar to human pathogen genes, including agents not previously detected in Japan. These data demonstrate the global transportation of pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia through reptile- and amphibian-associated ticks. These imported animals have potential to transfer pathogens into human life. These results highlight the need to control the international transportation of known and

  14. Detection of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. in Ticks Associated with Exotic Reptiles and Amphibians Imported into Japan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masako Andoh

    Full Text Available One of the major routes of transmission of rickettsial and ehrlichial diseases is via ticks that infest numerous host species, including humans. Besides mammals, reptiles and amphibians also carry ticks that may harbor Rickettsia and Ehrlichia strains that are pathogenic to humans. Furthermore, reptiles and amphibians are exempt from quarantine in Japan, thus facilitating the entry of parasites and pathogens to the country through import. Accordingly, in the current study, we examined the presence of Rickettsia and Ehrlichia spp. genes in ticks associated with reptiles and amphibians originating from outside Japan. Ninety-three ticks representing nine tick species (genera Amblyomma and Hyalomma were isolated from at least 28 animals spanning 10 species and originating from 12 countries (Ghana, Jordan, Madagascar, Panama, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Uzbekistan, and Zambia. None of the nine tick species are indigenous in Japan. The genes encoding the common rickettsial 17-kDa antigen, citrate synthase (gltA, and outer membrane protein A (ompA were positively detected in 45.2% (42/93, 40.9% (38/93, and 23.7% (22/93 of the ticks, respectively, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR. The genes encoding ehrlichial heat shock protein (groEL and major outer membrane protein (omp-1 were PCR-positive in 7.5% (7/93 and 2.2% (2/93 of the ticks, respectively. The p44 gene, which encodes the Anaplasma outer membrane protein, was not detected. Phylogenetic analysis showed that several of the rickettsial and ehrlichial sequences isolated in this study were highly similar to human pathogen genes, including agents not previously detected in Japan. These data demonstrate the global transportation of pathogenic Rickettsia and Ehrlichia through reptile- and amphibian-associated ticks. These imported animals have potential to transfer pathogens into human life. These results highlight the need to control the international transportation of known

  15. Biological risks associated with consumption of reptile products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Magnino, S.; Colin, P.; Dei-Cas, E.

    2009-01-01

    recently increased in some areas of the world. Biological risks associated with the consumption of products from both farmed and wild reptile meat and eggs include infections caused by bacteria (Salmonella spp., Vibrio spp.). parasites (Spirometra, Trichinella, Gnathostoma, pentastomids), as well...... to increase the occurrence of biological hazards in reptile meat. Application of GHP, GMP and HACCP procedures, respectively at farm and slaughterhouse level, is crucial for controlling the hazards.......The consumption of a wide variety of species of reptiles caught from the wild has been an important source of protein for humans world-wide for millennia. Terrapins. snakes, lizards, crocodiles and iguanas are now farmed and the consumption and trade of their meat and other edible products have...

  16. Physiological, behavioral, and ecological aspects of migration in reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southwood, Amanda; Avens, Larisa

    2010-01-01

    Seasonal movements between foraging, breeding, and overwintering sites occur in a wide variety of reptile species. Terrestrial snakes, lizards, and turtles migrate short distances (\\20 km) between seasonal habitats, whereas fully aquatic marine turtles migrate hundreds to thousands of kilometers between foraging and breeding areas. The purpose of this article is to summarize aspects of migratory physiology and behavior in reptiles, particularly with regards to energetics and sensory mechanisms for navigation and orientation. We discuss the influence of aerobic scope, endurance, and cost of transport on migratory capacity, the effects of temperature and circulating hormones on activity and behavior, and mechanisms of detecting and transducing environmental cues to successfully navigate and orient toward a goal during migration. Topics worthy of further research are highlighted in the text, and we conclude with a discussion of how information on migration patterns of reptiles may be used to manage and conserve threatened populations.

  17. Use of Tricaine Methanesulfonate (MS222) for Euthanasia of Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conroy, CJ; Papenfuss, T; Parker, J; Hahn, NE

    2009-01-01

    Tricaine methanesulfonate (MS222) injected into the intracoelomic cavity of reptiles was evaluated as a chemical euthanasia method. Three western fence lizards, 2 desert iguanas, 4 garter snakes, and 6 geckos were euthanized by intracoelomic injection of 250 to 500 mg/kg of 0.7% to 1% sodium-bicarbonate–buffered MS222 solution followed by intracoelomic injection of 0.1 to 1.0 ml unbuffered 50% (v/v) MS222 solution. A simple 2-stage protocol for euthanasia of reptiles by using MS222 is outlined. In addition, the conditions for safe use of MS222 are discussed. MS222 offers an alternative to sodium pentobarbital for euthanasia of reptiles. PMID:19245747

  18. Diagnostic Imaging of Reproductive Tract Disorders in Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gumpenberger, Michaela

    2017-05-01

    Diagnostic imaging of the reproductive tract in reptiles is used for gender determination, evaluation of breeding status, detection of pathologic changes, and supervising treatment. Whole-body radiographs provide an overview and support detection of mineralized egg shells. Sonography is used to evaluate follicles, nonmineralized eggs, and the salpinx in all reptiles. Computed tomography is able to overcome imaging limitations in chelonian species. This article provides detailed information about the performance of different imaging techniques. Multiple images demonstrate the physiologic appearance of the male and female reproductive tract in various reptile species and pathologic changes. Advantages and disadvantages of radiography, sonography, and computed tomography are described. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Anatomical influences on internally coupled ears in reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Bruce A

    2016-10-01

    Many reptiles, and other vertebrates, have internally coupled ears in which a patent anatomical connection allows pressure waves generated by the displacement of one tympanic membrane to propagate (internally) through the head and, ultimately, influence the displacement of the contralateral tympanic membrane. The pattern of tympanic displacement caused by this internal coupling can give rise to novel sensory cues. The auditory mechanics of reptiles exhibit more anatomical variation than in any other vertebrate group. This variation includes structural features such as diverticula and septa, as well as coverings of the tympanic membrane. Many of these anatomical features would likely influence the functional significance of the internal coupling between the tympanic membranes. Several of the anatomical components of the reptilian internally coupled ear are under active motor control, suggesting that in some reptiles the auditory system may be more dynamic than previously recognized.

  20. Reptiles: a new model for brain evo-devo research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Tadashi; Kawaguchi, Masahumi; Ono, Katsuhiko; Murakami, Yasunori

    2013-03-01

    Vertebrate brains exhibit vast amounts of anatomical diversity. In particular, the elaborate and complex nervous system of amniotes is correlated with the size of their behavioral repertoire. However, the evolutionary mechanisms underlying species-specific brain morphogenesis remain elusive. In this review we introduce reptiles as a new model organism for understanding brain evolution. These animal groups inherited ancestral traits of brain architectures. We will describe several unique aspects of the reptilian nervous system with a special focus on the telencephalon, and discuss the genetic mechanisms underlying reptile-specific brain morphology. The establishment of experimental evo-devo approaches to studying reptiles will help to shed light on the origin of the amniote brains. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Effects of environmental contaminants on reptiles: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, R.J.

    1980-01-01

    The literature relating to the effects of environmental contaminants on reptiles is reviewed and certain generalizations based on studies of other kinds of vertebrates are presented. Reports of reptilian mortality from pesticide applications are numerous enough to establish the sensitivity of reptiles to these materials. Reports of residue analyses demonstrate the ability of reptiles to accumulate various contaminants. but the significance of the residues to reptilian populations is unknown. A few authors have reported the distribution of residues in reptilian tissues; others have investigated uptake or loss rates. Physiological studies have shown that organochlorines may inhibit enzymes involved in active transport and have correlated the activity of potential detoxifying enzymes with residue levels. There is some suggestion that pesticide residues may interfere with reproduction in oviparous snakes. Needs for future research are discussed.

  2. Competency of reptiles and amphibians for eastern equine encephalitis virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Gregory; Ottendorfer, Christy; Graham, Sean; Unnasch, Thomas R

    2011-09-01

    Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is endemic throughout most of the eastern United States. Although it is transmitted year round in Florida, transmission elsewhere is seasonal. The mechanism that enables EEEV to overwinter in seasonal foci remains obscure. In previous field studies, early season EEEV activity was detected in mosquito species that feed primarily upon ectothermic hosts, suggesting that reptiles and amphibians might represent overwintering reservoir hosts for EEEV. To determine if this might be possible, two commonly fed upon amphibian and reptile species were evaluated as hosts for the North American subtype I strain of EEEV. Neither amphibian species was a competent host. However, circulating viremias were detected in both reptile species examined. Hibernating infected garter snakes remained viremic after exiting hibernation. These data suggest that snakes may represent an overwintering host for North American EEEV.

  3. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico, with comparison with adjoining states

    OpenAIRE

    Lemos-Espinal, Julio A.; Smith, Geoffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We compiled a checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the state of Coahuila, Mexico. The list comprises 133 species (24 amphibians, 109 reptiles), representing 27 families (9 amphibians, 18 reptiles) and 65 genera (16 amphibians, 49 reptiles). Coahuila has a high richness of lizards in the genus Sceloporus . Coahuila has relatively few state endemics, but has several regional endemics. Overlap in the herpetofauna of Coahuila and bordering states is fairly extensive. Of the 132 sp...

  4. Characterization of the gila monster (Heloderma suspectum suspectum) venom proteome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Thomsen, Line R; Nielsen, Tania A; Brøndum, Lars; Wang, Tobias; Thøgersen, Ida B; Enghild, Jan J

    2015-03-18

    The archetypical venomous lizard species are the helodermatids, the gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum) and the beaded lizards (Heloderma horridum). In the present study, the gila monster venom proteome was characterized using 2D-gel electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry-based de novo peptide sequencing followed by protein identification based on sequence homology. A total of 39 different proteins were identified out of the 58 selected spots that represent the major constituents of venom. Of these proteins, 19 have not previously been identified in helodermatid venom. The data showed that helodermatid venom is complex and that this complexity is caused by genetic isoforms and post-translational modifications including proteolytic processing. In addition, the venom proteome analysis revealed that the major constituents of the gila monster venom are kallikrein-like serine proteinases (EC 3.4.21) and phospholipase A2 (type III) enzymes (EC 3.1.1.4). A neuroendocrine convertase 1 homolog that most likely converts the proforms of the previously identified bioactive exendins into the mature and active forms was identified suggesting that these peptide toxins are secreted as proforms that are activated by proteolytic cleavage following secretion as opposed to being activated intracellularly. The presented global protein identification-analysis provides the first overview of the helodermatid venom composition. The helodermatid lizards are the classical venomous lizards, and the pharmacological potential of the venom from these species has been known for years; best illustrated by the identification of exendin-4, which is now used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Despite the potential, no global analyses of the protein components in the venom exist. A hindrance is the lack of a genome sequence because it prevents protein identification using a conventional approach where MS data are searched against predicted protein sequences based on the genome sequence

  5. Effects of gamma radiation on snake venoms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nascimento, N.; Spencer, P.J.; Andrade, H.F.; Guarnieri, M.C.; Rogero, J.R.

    1998-01-01

    Ionizing radiation is able to detoxify several venoms, including snake venoms, without affecting significantly their immunogenic properties. In order to elucidate this phenomena, we conceived a comparative pharmacological study between native and irradiated (2,000 Gy) crotoxin, the main toxin of the South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus. Crotoxin was isolated and purified by molecular exclusion chromatography, pI precipitation and, subsequently submitted to irradiation. Gel filtration of the irradiated toxin resulted in some high molecular weight aggregates formation. Crotoxin toxicity decreased two folds after irradiation, as determined by LD 50 in mice. Native and irradiated crotoxin biodistribution ocurred in the same general manner, with renal elimination. However, in contrast to irradiated crotoxin, the native form was initially retained in kidneys. A later concentration (2-3 hr) appeared in phagocytic mononuclear cells rich organs (liver and spleen) and neural junction rich organs (muscle and brain)

  6. Harvesting Venom Toxins from Assassin Bugs and Other Heteropteran Insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Andrew Allan; Rosenthal, Max; Undheim, Eivind E A; King, Glenn F

    2018-04-21

    Heteropteran insects such as assassin bugs (Reduviidae) and giant water bugs (Belostomatidae) descended from a common predaceous and venomous ancestor, and the majority of extant heteropterans retain this trophic strategy. Some heteropterans have transitioned to feeding on vertebrate blood (such as the kissing bugs, Triatominae; and bed bugs, Cimicidae) while others have reverted to feeding on plants (most Pentatomomorpha). However, with the exception of saliva used by kissing bugs to facilitate blood-feeding, little is known about heteropteran venoms compared to the venoms of spiders, scorpions and snakes. One obstacle to the characterization of heteropteran venom toxins is the structure and function of the venom/labial glands, which are both morphologically complex and perform multiple biological roles (defense, prey capture, and extra-oral digestion). In this article, we describe three methods we have successfully used to collect heteropteran venoms. First, we present electrostimulation as a convenient way to collect venom that is often lethal when injected into prey animals, and which obviates contamination by glandular tissue. Second, we show that gentle harassment of animals is sufficient to produce venom extrusion from the proboscis and/or venom spitting in some groups of heteropterans. Third, we describe methods to harvest venom toxins by dissection of anaesthetized animals to obtain the venom glands. This method is complementary to other methods, as it may allow harvesting of toxins from taxa in which electrostimulation and harassment are ineffective. These protocols will enable researchers to harvest toxins from heteropteran insects for structure-function characterization and possible applications in medicine and agriculture.

  7. Important biological activities induced by Thalassophryne maculosa fish venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa-Rosales, Josefina Ines; Piran-Soares, Ana Amélia; Farsky, Sandra H P; Takehara, Harumi Ando; Lima, Carla; Lopes-Ferreira, Mônica

    2005-02-01

    The accidents caused by Thalassophryne maculosa fish venoms are frequent and represent a public health problem in some regions of Venezuela. Most accidents occur in the fishing communities and tourists. The clinical picture is characterized by severe pain, dizziness, fever, edema, and necrosis. Due to the lack of efficient therapy it may take weeks, or even months for complete recovery of the victims. The investigations presented here were undertaken to assess the eletrophoretical profile and principal biological properties of the T. maculosa venom. Venom obtained from fresh captured specimens of this fish was tested in vitro or in animal models for a better characterization of its toxic activities. In contrast to other fish venoms, T. maculosa venom showed relative low LD50. The injection of venom in the footpad of mice reproduced a local inflammatory lesion similar to that described in humans. Significant increase of the nociceptive and edematogenic responses was observed followed within 48 h by necrosis. Pronounced alterations on microvascular hemodynamics were visualized after venom application. These alterations were represented by fibrin depots and thrombus formation followed by complete venular stasis and transient arteriolar contraction. T. maculosa venom is devoid of phospholipase A2 activity, but the venom showed proteolytic and myotoxic activities. SDS-Page analysis of the crude venom showed important bands: one band located above 97 M(w), one band between 68 and 97 M(w), one major band between 29 and 43 M(w) and the last one located below 18.4 M(w) Then, the results presented here support that T. maculosa venom present a mixture of bioactive toxins involved in a local inflammatory lesion.

  8. Removing forest canopy cover restores a reptile assemblage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pike, David A; Webb, Jonathan K; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Humans are rapidly altering natural systems, leading to changes in the distribution and abundance of species. However, so many changes are occurring simultaneously (e.g., climate change, habitat fragmentation) that it is difficult to determine the cause of population fluctuations from correlational studies. We used a manipulative field experiment to determine whether forest canopy cover directly influences reptile assemblages on rock outcrops in southeastern Australia. Our experimental design consisted of three types of rock outcrops: (1) shady sites in which overgrown vegetation was manually removed (n = 25); (2) overgrown controls (n = 30); and (3) sun-exposed controls (n = 20). Following canopy removal, we monitored reptile responses over 30 months. Canopy removal increased reptile species richness, the proportion of shelter sites used by reptiles, and relative abundances of five species that prefer sun-exposed habitats. Our manipulation also decreased the abundances of two shade-tolerant species. Canopy cover thus directly influences this reptile assemblage, with the effects of canopy removal being dependent on each species' habitat preferences (i.e., selection or avoidance of sun-exposed habitat). Our study suggests that increases in canopy cover can cause declines of open-habitat specialists, as previously suggested by correlative studies from a wide range of taxa. Given that reptile colonization of manipulated outcrops occurred rapidly, artificially opening the canopy in ecologically informed ways could help to conserve imperiled species with patchy distributions and low vagility that are threatened by vegetation overgrowth. One such species is Australia's most endangered snake, the broadheaded snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides).

  9. 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.

  10. Morpho-functional characterization of the systemic venous pole of the reptile heart

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jensen, Bjarke; Vesterskov, Signe; Boukens, Bastiaan J.; Nielsen, Jan M.; Moorman, Antoon F. M.; Christoffels, Vincent M.; Wang, Tobias

    2017-01-01

    Mammals evolved from reptile-like ancestors, and while the mammalian heart is driven by a distinct sinus node, a sinus node is not apparent in reptiles. We characterized the myocardial systemic venous pole, the sinus venosus, in reptiles to identify the dominant pacemaker and to assess whether the

  11. 19 CFR 12.26 - Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ..., reptiles, mollusks, and crustaceans; prohibited and endangered and threatened species; designated ports of..., Birds, and Insects § 12.26 Importations of wild animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, and... crustacea), amphibians, reptiles, or the offspring or eggs of any of the foregoing which the Secretary of...

  12. 50 CFR 16.15 - Importation of live reptiles 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 reptiles or their eggs... live reptiles or their eggs. (a) The importation, transportation, or acquisition is prohibited of any... of live reptiles or their eggs may be imported, transported, and possessed in captivity, without a...

  13. Biological risks associated with consumption of reptile products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnino, Simone; Colin, Pierre; Dei-Cas, Eduardo; Madsen, Mogens; McLauchlin, Jim; Nöckler, Karsten; Maradona, Miguel Prieto; Tsigarida, Eirini; Vanopdenbosch, Emmanuel; Van Peteghem, Carlos

    2009-09-15

    The consumption of a wide variety of species of reptiles caught from the wild has been an important source of protein for humans world-wide for millennia. Terrapins, snakes, lizards, crocodiles and iguanas are now farmed and the consumption and trade of their meat and other edible products have recently increased in some areas of the world. Biological risks associated with the consumption of products from both farmed and wild reptile meat and eggs include infections caused by bacteria (Salmonella spp., Vibrio spp.), parasites (Spirometra, Trichinella, Gnathostoma, pentastomids), as well as intoxications by biotoxins. For crocodiles, Salmonella spp. constitute a significant public health risk due to the high intestinal carrier rate which is reflected in an equally high contamination rate in their fresh and frozen meat. There is a lack of information about the presence of Salmonella spp. in meat from other edible reptilians, though captive reptiles used as pets (lizards or turtles) are frequently carriers of these bacteria in Europe. Parasitic protozoa in reptiles represent a negligible risk for public health compared to parasitic metazoans, of which trichinellosis, pentastomiasis, gnathostomiasis and sparganosis can be acquired through consumption of contaminated crocodile, monitor lizard, turtle and snake meat, respectively. Other reptiles, although found to harbour the above parasites, have not been implicated with their transmission to humans. Freezing treatment inactivates Spirometra and Trichinella in crocodile meat, while the effectiveness of freezing of other reptilian meat is unknown. Biotoxins that accumulate in the flesh of sea turtles may cause chelonitoxism, a type of food poisoning with a high mortality rate in humans. Infections by fungi, including yeasts, and viruses widely occur in reptiles but have not been linked to a human health risk through the contamination of their meat. Currently there are no indications that natural transmissible spongiform

  14. Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Oliveira-Filho, Edmilson F; Soares, Fábio Angelo M; Souza, Bruno O F; Valença, Raul Baltazar P; Sá, Fabrício B

    2008-01-01

    Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in the State of Pernambuco are reviewed, based on the current literature and new collections recently carried out by the authors. To date, three tick species have been found on amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco. Amblyomma fuscum appears to be exclusively associated with Boa constrictor, its type host. Amblyomma rotundatum has a relatively low host-specificity, being found on toads, snakes, and iguana. Amblyomma dissimile has been found on a lizard and also small mammals (i.e., rodents and marsupials). New tick-host associations and locality records are given.

  15. Chem I Supplement: Bee Sting: The Chemistry of an Insect Venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Rod; Peck, Larry

    1980-01-01

    Considers various aspects of bee stings including the physical mechanism of the venom apparatus in the bee, categorization of physiological responses of nonprotected individuals to bee sting, chemical composition of bee venom and the mechanisms of venom action, and areas of interest in the synthesis of bee venom. (CS)

  16. Los géneros de Anfibios y Reptiles de Colombia, II. Segunda Parte: Reptiles, Orden de los Saurios

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunn Emmett Reid

    1944-09-01

    Full Text Available El presente trabajo es una relación de nuestros conocimientos actuales acerca de los Reptiles Saurios de Colombia. Lo que sabemos hasta la fecha respecto de la fauna reptil de este país deja mucho que desear por cuanto no existen publicaciones referentes a las especies que habitan en los extensos territorios del Sur y del oriente de Colombia ni se dispone de ejemplares de aquellas regiones.  Al publicar este trabajo espero que sirva a manera de núcleo alrededor del cual se acumulen datos y observaciones que aumenten -en el futuro más rápidamente que en el pasado- nuestros conocimientos sobre los reptiles de Colombia.

  17. Single venom-based immunotherapy effectively protects patients with double positive tests to honey bee and Vespula venom

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Referring to individuals with reactivity to honey bee and Vespula venom in diagnostic tests, the umbrella terms “double sensitization” or “double positivity” cover patients with true clinical double allergy and those allergic to a single venom with asymptomatic sensitization to the other. There is no international consensus on whether immunotherapy regimens should generally include both venoms in double sensitized patients. Objective We investigated the long-term outcome of single venom-based immunotherapy with regard to potential risk factors for treatment failure and specifically compared the risk of relapse in mono sensitized and double sensitized patients. Methods Re-sting data were obtained from 635 patients who had completed at least 3 years of immunotherapy between 1988 and 2008. The adequate venom for immunotherapy was selected using an algorithm based on clinical details and the results of diagnostic tests. Results Of 635 patients, 351 (55.3%) were double sensitized to both venoms. The overall re-exposure rate to Hymenoptera stings during and after immunotherapy was 62.4%; the relapse rate was 7.1% (6.0% in mono sensitized, 7.8% in double sensitized patients). Recurring anaphylaxis was statistically less severe than the index sting reaction (P = 0.004). Double sensitization was not significantly related to relapsing anaphylaxis (P = 0.56), but there was a tendency towards an increased risk of relapse in a subgroup of patients with equal reactivity to both venoms in diagnostic tests (P = 0.15). Conclusions Single venom-based immunotherapy over 3 to 5 years effectively and long-lastingly protects the vast majority of both mono sensitized and double sensitized Hymenoptera venom allergic patients. Double venom immunotherapy is indicated in clinically double allergic patients reporting systemic reactions to stings of both Hymenoptera and in those with equal reactivity to both venoms in diagnostic tests who have not reliably identified the

  18. Cross reactivity between European hornet and yellow jacket venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Severino, M G; Caruso, B; Bonadonna, P; Labardi, D; Macchia, D; Campi, P; Passalacqua, G

    2010-08-01

    Cross-reactions between venoms may be responsible for multiple diagnostic positivities in hymenoptera allergy. There is limited data on the cross-reactivity between Vespula spp and Vespa crabro, which is an important cause of severe reactions in some parts of Europe. We studied by CAP-inhibition assays and immunoblotting the cross-reactivity between the two venoms. Sera from patients with non discriminative skin/CAP positivity to both Vespula and Vespa crabro were collected for the analyses. Inhibition assays were carried out with a CAP method, incubating the sera separately with both venoms and subsequently measuring the specific IgE to venoms themselves. Immunoblotting was performed on sera with ambiguous results at the CAP-inhibition. Seventeen patients had a severe reaction after Vespa crabro sting and proved skin and CAP positive also to vespula. In 11/17 patients, Vespula venom completely inhibited IgE binding to VC venom, whereas VC venom inhibited binding to Vespula venom only partially (Vespula germanica, thus indicating a true sensitisation to crabro. In the case of multiple positivities to Vespa crabro and Vespula spp the CAP inhibition is helpful in detecting the cross-reactivities.

  19. Protein pattern of the honeybee venoms of Egypt | Zalat | Egyptian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The venom composition of the Egyptian honeybee Apis mellifera lamarckii, the Carniolan honeybee Apis mellifera carnica and a hybrid with unknown origin were analyzed using electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). All venoms shared six bands with molecular weights of 97.400, 67.400, 49.000, 45.000, 43.000 and 14.000D.

  20. Effect of Trimeresurus albolabris (green pit viper) venom on mean ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An in vitro study was conducted by mixing small amounts of green pit viper venom with blood and observing changes. At a concentration of 10 mg crude venom, red blood cells (RBC) osmotic fragility slightly increased. RBC morphology changed to spherical shape which was compatible with what was observed in scanning ...

  1. Analysis of scorpion venom composition by Raman Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Zérega, Brenda E.; González-Solís, José L.

    2015-01-01

    In this work we study the venom of two Centruroides scorpion species using Raman spectroscopy. The spectra analysis allows to determine the venoms chemical composition and to establish the main differences and similarities among the species. It is also shown that the use of Principal Component Analysis may help to tell apart between the scorpion species.

  2. Venom gland components of the ectoparasitoid wasp, Anisopteromalus calandrae

    Science.gov (United States)

    The wasp Anisopteromalus calandrae is a small ectoparasitoid that attacks stored product pest beetle larvae that develop inside grain kernels, and is thus a potential insect control tool. The components of the venom have not been studied, but venom peptides from other organisms have been identified ...

  3. 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.

  4. Proteomic Characterization of the Venom of Five Bombus (Thoracobombus Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nezahat Pınar Barkan

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Venomous animals use venom, a complex biofluid composed of unique mixtures of proteins and peptides, to act on vital systems of the prey or predator. In bees, venom is solely used for defense against predators. However, the venom composition of bumble bees (Bombus sp. is largely unknown. The Thoracobombus subgenus of Bombus sp. is a diverse subgenus represented by 14 members across Turkey. In this study, we sought out to proteomically characterize the venom of five Thoracobombus species by using bottom-up proteomic techniques. We have obtained two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel (2D-PAGE images of each species’ venom sample. We have subsequently identified the protein spots by using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS. We have identified 47 proteins for Bombus humilis, 32 for B. pascuorum, 60 for B. ruderarius, 39 for B. sylvarum, and 35 for B. zonatus. Moreover, we illustrated that intensities of 2DE protein spots corresponding to putative venom toxins vary in a species-specific manner. Our analyses provide the primary proteomic characterization of five bumble bee species’ venom composition.

  5. Immune and clinical response to honeybee venom in beekeepers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Matysiak

    2016-03-01

    The differences in the immune response to a bee sting between the beekeepers and individuals not exposed to bees were probably due to the high exposure of the beekeepers to honeybee venom allergens. This may suggest a different approach to the bee venom allergy diagnostic tests in this occupational group.

  6. Radioactive elements definition in composition of snake venom

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mekhrabova, M.A.; Topchieva, Sh.F.; Abiev, G.A.; Nagiev, Dj.A.

    2010-11-01

    Full text: The given article presents questions concerned to usage of snake venom in medicine and pharmacy for medicinal drugs production, zootoxin base antidotes, thorough treatment of many deseases, especially onkological, also have a widespread in biology as a specific test-material for biological sistem analises. It is experimentally proved that certain amount of snake venom can replace morphine drugs, taking into acount that snake venom solutions make longer prolonged influence than other drugs, vithout causing an accustoming. It is also marked about possibility of usage of snake venom for cancer treatment. Many expeditions had been conducted with the purpose to research snake venom crytals on the territory of Azerbaijan. During these expeditions snakes capturing had been made with the purpose of taking the venom and also soil samples had been taken in order to research the quantity of radioactive elements. Measurements made with the help of electronic microscope C anberra . Revealed uranium activity in spectrum of venom as a result of radiation background, which appears under influence of ionizing radiation on the environment. On the base of analises data it can be ascertained that snake venom can be used for production of medicinal and also other necessary drugs. [ru

  7. Proteomic Characterization of the Venom of Five Bombus (Thoracobombus) Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barkan, Nezahat Pınar; Bayazit, Mustafa Bilal; Ozel Demiralp, Duygu

    2017-11-11

    Venomous animals use venom, a complex biofluid composed of unique mixtures of proteins and peptides, to act on vital systems of the prey or predator. In bees, venom is solely used for defense against predators. However, the venom composition of bumble bees ( Bombus sp.) is largely unknown. The Thoracobombus subgenus of Bombus sp. is a diverse subgenus represented by 14 members across Turkey. In this study, we sought out to proteomically characterize the venom of five Thoracobombus species by using bottom-up proteomic techniques. We have obtained two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel (2D-PAGE) images of each species' venom sample. We have subsequently identified the protein spots by using matrix assisted laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS). We have identified 47 proteins for Bombus humilis , 32 for B. pascuorum , 60 for B. ruderarius , 39 for B. sylvarum , and 35 for B. zonatus . Moreover, we illustrated that intensities of 2DE protein spots corresponding to putative venom toxins vary in a species-specific manner. Our analyses provide the primary proteomic characterization of five bumble bee species' venom composition.

  8. 21 CFR 864.8950 - Russell viper venom reagent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Russell viper venom reagent. 864.8950 Section 864.8950 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES HEMATOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY DEVICES Hematology Reagents § 864.8950 Russell viper venom...

  9. Activity and pharmacology of the venom of Proxylocopa rufa, a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The heart muscle appeared paralysed by the venom, but the lungs remained primarily unaffected. ... After the desired number of reservoirs are collected into the final droplet, all are gently torn with forceps, the venom ... peritoneal muscles in what appeared to be an attempt to move air in and out of the lungs. When these ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kankonkar, S.R.; Kankonkar, R.C.; Gaitonde, B.B.

    1975-01-01

    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)

  11. Diversity of peptidic and proteinaceous toxins from social Hymenoptera venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dos Santos-Pinto, José Roberto Aparecido; Perez-Riverol, Amilcar; Lasa, Alexis Musacchio; Palma, Mario Sergio

    2018-06-15

    Among venomous animals, Hymenoptera have been suggested as a rich source of natural toxins. Due to their broad ecological diversity, venom from Hymenoptera insects (bees, wasps and ants) have evolved differentially thus widening the types and biological functions of their components. To date, insect toxinology analysis have scarcely uncovered the complex composition of bee, wasp and ant venoms which include low molecular weight compounds, highly abundant peptides and proteins, including several allergens. In Hymenoptera, these complex mixtures of toxins represent a potent arsenal of biological weapons that are used for self-defense, to repel intruders and to capture prey. Consequently, Hymenoptera venom components have a broad range of pharmacological targets and have been extensively studied, as promising sources of new drugs and biopesticides. In addition, the identification and molecular characterization of Hymenoptera venom allergens have allowed for the rational design of component-resolved diagnosis of allergy, finally improving the outcome of venom immunotherapy (VIT). Until recently, a limited number of Hymenoptera venoms had been unveiled due to the technical limitations of the approaches used to date. Nevertheless, the application of novel techniques with high dynamic range has significantly increased the number of identified peptidic and proteinaceous toxins. Considering this, the present review summarizes the current knowledge about the most representative Hymenoptera venom peptides and proteins which are under study for a better understanding of the insect-caused envenoming process and the development of new drugs and biopesticides. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Queiroz, Rodrigo Guimaraes

    2012-01-01

    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)

  13. Molecular characterization of reptile pathogens currently known as members of the chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii complex and relationship with some human-associated isolates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigler, Lynne; Hambleton, Sarah; Paré, Jean A

    2013-10-01

    In recent years, the Chrysosporium anamorph of Nannizziopsis vriesii (CANV), Chrysosporium guarroi, Chrysosporium ophiodiicola, and Chrysosporium species have been reported as the causes of dermal or deep lesions in reptiles. These infections are contagious and often fatal and affect both captive and wild animals. Forty-nine CANV isolates from reptiles and six isolates from human sources were compared with N. vriesii based on their cultural characteristics and DNA sequence data. Analyses of the sequences of the internal transcribed spacer and small subunit of the nuclear ribosomal gene revealed that the reptile pathogens and human isolates belong in well-supported clades corresponding to three lineages that are distinct from all other taxa within the family Onygenaceae of the order Onygenales. One lineage represents the genus Nannizziopsis and comprises N. vriesii, N. guarroi, and six additional species encompassing isolates from chameleons and geckos, crocodiles, agamid and iguanid lizards, and humans. Two other lineages comprise the genus Ophidiomyces, with the species Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola occurring only in snakes, and Paranannizziopsis gen. nov., with three new species infecting squamates and tuataras. The newly described species are Nannizziopsis dermatitidis, Nannizziopsis crocodili, Nannizziopsis barbata, Nannizziopsis infrequens, Nannizziopsis hominis, Nannizziopsis obscura, Paranannizziopsis australasiensis, Paranannizziopsis californiensis, and Paranannizziopsis crustacea. Chrysosporium longisporum has been reclassified as Paranannizziopsis longispora. N. guarroi causes yellow fungus disease, a common infection in bearded dragons and green iguanas, and O. ophiodiicola is an emerging pathogen of captive and wild snakes. Human-associated species were not recovered from reptiles, and reptile-associated species were recovered only from reptiles, thereby mitigating concerns related to zoonosis.

  14. Wasp venom proteins: phospholipase A1 and B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, T P; Kochoumian, L; Joslyn, A

    1984-04-01

    Three major venom proteins from different species of wasps have been isolated and characterized. They are hyaluronidase, phospholipase, and antigen 5 of as yet unknown biochemical function. These three proteins are allergens in wasp venom-sensitive persons. The species of wasps studied, of the genus Polistes, were annularis, carolina, exclamans, fuscatus, and instabilis. Antigen 5 and phospholipase from wasp venoms were shown to be antigenically distinct from homologous proteins of yellowjacket venoms. The venom phospholipase from wasp, as well as that from yellowjacket (Vespula germanica), appears to have dual enzymatic specificities of the A1 and B types. That is, hydrolysis takes place at the 1-acyl residue of phosphatidylcholine and at the 1- or 2-acyl residue of lysophosphatidylcholine.

  15. Therapeutic potential of snake venom in cancer therapy: current perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vyas, Vivek Kumar; Brahmbhatt, Keyur; Bhatt, Hardik; Parmar, Utsav

    2013-01-01

    Many active secretions produced by animals have been employed in the development of new drugs to treat diseases such as hypertension and cancer. Snake venom toxins contributed significantly to the treatment of many medical conditions. There are many published studies describing and elucidating the anti-cancer potential of snake venom. Cancer therapy is one of the main areas for the use of protein peptides and enzymes originating from animals of different species. Some of these proteins or peptides and enzymes from snake venom when isolated and evaluated may bind specifically to cancer cell membranes, affecting the migration and proliferation of these cells. Some of substances found in the snake venom present a great potential as anti-tumor agent. In this review, we presented the main results of recent years of research involving the active compounds of snake venom that have anticancer activity. PMID:23593597

  16. Guillain-Barré syndrome following bee venom acupuncture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyun Jo; Park, In Seok; Lee, Jon-In; Kim, Joong-Seok

    2015-01-01

    Bee venom acupuncture has been widely used in Oriental medicine with limited evidence of effectiveness. Most of the complications due to bee venom acupuncture are local or systemic allergic reactions. However, serious medical and neurological complications have also been reported. We herein describe the treatment of a 68-year-old woman who developed progressive quadriplegia 10 days after receiving multiple honeybee venom sting acupuncture treatments. The electrophysiological findings were consistent with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). The temporal relationship between the development of GBS and honeybee venom sting acupuncture is suggestive of a cause-and-effect relationship, although the precise pathophysiology and causative components in honeybee venom need to be verified.

  17. Characterization of the gila monster (Heloderma suspectum suspectum) venom proteome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sanggaard, Kristian Wejse; Dyrlund, Thomas Franck; Thomsen, Line Rold

    2015-01-01

    of venom. Of these proteins, 19 have not previously been identified in helodermatid venom. The data showed that helodermatid venom is complex and that this complexity is caused by genetic isoforms and post-translational modifications including proteolytic processing. In addition, the venom proteome...... analysis revealed that the major constituents of the gila monster venom are kallikrein-like serine proteinases (EC 3.4.21) and phospholipase A2 (type III) enzymes (EC 3.1.1.4). A neuroendocrine convertase 1 homolog that most likely converts the proforms of the previously identified bioactive exendins...... into the mature and active forms was identified suggesting that these peptide toxins are secreted as proforms that are activated by proteolytic cleavage following secretion as opposed to being activated intracellularly. The presented global protein identification-analysis provides the first overview...

  18. A Venom Gland Extracellular Chitin-Binding-Like Protein from Pupal Endoparasitoid Wasps, Pteromalus Puparum, Selectively Binds Chitin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Zhu

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Chitin-binding proteins (CBPs are present in many species and they act in a variety of biological processes. We analyzed a Pteromalus puparum venom apparatus proteome and transcriptome and identified a partial gene encoding a possible CBP. Here, we report cloning a full-length cDNA of a sequence encoding a chitin-binding-like protein (PpCBP from P. puparum, a pupal endoparasitoid of Pieris rapae. The cDNA encoded a 96-amino-acid protein, including a secretory signal peptide and a chitin-binding peritrophin-A domain. Phylogenetic analysis of chitin binding domains (CBDs of cuticle proteins and peritrophic matrix proteins in selected insects revealed that the CBD of PpCBP clustered with the CBD of Nasonia vitripennis. The PpCBP is specifically expressed in the venom apparatus of P. puparum, mostly in the venom gland. PpCBP expression was highest at day one after adult eclosion and much lower for the following five days. We produced a recombinant PpCBP and binding assays showed the recombinant protein selectively binds chitin but not cellulose in vitro. We infer that PpCBP serves a structural role in the venom reservoir, or may be injected into the host to help wound healing of the host exoskeleton.

  19. Ontogenesis, gender, and molting influence the venom yield in the spider Coremiocnemis tropix (Araneae, Theraphosidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Herzig, Volker

    2010-01-01

    The demand for spider venom increases along with the growing popularity of venoms-based research. A deeper understanding of factors that influence the venom yield in spiders would therefore be of interest to both commercial venom suppliers and research facilities. The present study addresses the influence of several factors on the venom yield by systematically analyzing the data obtained from 1773 electrical milkings of the Australian theraphosid spider Coremiocnemis tropix. Gender and ontoge...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. PATERNAL GENOTYPE INFLUENCES INCUBATION PERIOD, OFFSPRING SIZE, AND OFFSPRING SHAPE IN AN OVIPAROUS REPTILE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Mats; Gullberg, Annica; Shine, Richard; Madsen, Thomas; Tegelström, Håkan

    1996-06-01

    Theoretical models for the evolution of life-history traits assume a genetic basis for a significant proportion of the phenotypic variance observed in characteristics such as hatching date and offspring size. However, recent experimental work has shown that much of the phenotypic variance in hatchling reptiles is induced by nongenetic factors, such as maternal nutrition and thermoregulation, and the physical conditions experienced during embryogenesis. Thus, there is no unambiguous evidence for strictly genetic (intraspecific) influences on the phenotypes of hatchling reptiles. We report results from a technique that uses a genetic marker trait and DNA fingerprinting to determine paternity of offspring from multiply sired clutches of European sand lizards, Lacerta agilis. By focusing on paternal rather than maternal effects, we show that hatchling genotypes exert a direct influence on the duration of incubation, the size (mass, snout-vent length) and shape (relative tail length) of the hatchling, and subsequent growth rates of the lizard during the first 3 mo of life. Embryos with genes that code for a few days' delay in hatching are thereby larger when they hatch, having undergone further differentiation (and hence, have changed in bodily proportions), and are able to grow faster after hatching. Our data thus provide empirical support for a crucial but rarely tested assumption of life-history theory, and illuminate some of the proximate mechanisms that produce intraspecific variation in offspring phenotypes. © 1996 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. Genetic diversity of Cryptosporidium spp. in captive reptiles

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Xiao, L.; Ryan, U. M.; Graczyk, T. K.; Limor, J.; Li, L.; Kombert, M.; Junge, R.; Sulaiman, I. M.; Zhou, L.; Arrowood, M. J.; Koudela, Břetislav; Modrý, David; Lal, A. A.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 70, č. 2 (2004), s. 891-899 ISSN 0099-2240 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA524/00/P015 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6022909 Keywords : Cryptosporidium * reptiles * genetic diversity Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.810, year: 2004

  5. The development of complex tooth shape in reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahradnicek, Oldrich; Buchtova, Marcela; Dosedelova, Hana; Tucker, Abigail S.

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles have a diverse array of tooth shapes, from simple unicuspid to complex multicuspid teeth, reflecting functional adaptation to a variety of diets and eating styles. In addition to cusps, often complex longitudinal labial and lingual enamel crests are widespread and contribute to the final shape of reptile teeth. The simplest shaped unicuspid teeth have been found in piscivorous or carnivorous ancestors of recent diapsid reptiles and they are also present in some extant carnivores such as crocodiles and snakes. However, the ancestral tooth shape for squamate reptiles is thought to be bicuspid, indicating an insectivorous diet. The development of bicuspid teeth in lizards has recently been published, indicating that the mechanisms used to create cusps and crests are very distinct from those that shape cusps in mammals. Here, we introduce the large variety of tooth shapes found in lizards and compare the morphology and development of bicuspid, tricuspid, and pentacuspid teeth, with the aim of understanding how such tooth shapes are generated. Next, we discuss whether the processes used to form such morphologies are conserved between divergent lizards and whether the underlying mechanisms share similarities with those of mammals. In particular, we will focus on the complex teeth of the chameleon, gecko, varanus, and anole lizards using SEM and histology to compare the tooth crown morphology and embryonic development. PMID:24611053

  6. The development of complex tooth shape in reptiles

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Zahradníček, Oldřich; Buchtová, Marcela; Dosedělová, Hana; Tucker, A. S.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 5, FEB 25 (2014), UNSP 74 ISSN 1664-042X Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GCP302/12/J059 Program:GC Institutional support: RVO:68378041 ; RVO:67985904 Keywords : odontogenesis * reptile * cusp Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 3.534, year: 2014

  7. Streamside zone width and amphibian and reptile abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Craig Rudolph; James G. Dickson

    1990-01-01

    Many natural pine-hardwood stands in the southeastern United States are being converted to pine plantations with short rotations. This forest conversion alters vertebrate communities, particularly amphibians and reptiles (Bennett et al., 1980; Rakowitz, 1983). One practice in stand conversion to accommodate vertebrate species is the retention of strips of unharvested,...

  8. Use of artificial wildlife ponds by reptiles in eastern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cory K. Adams; Dan Saenz

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles and amphibians can make up a significant part of the biomass in some ecosystems in southeastern North America. Habitat alterations occur on most of the land in the United States and can have both negative and positive effects on the herpetofauna. However, some modifications are intended primarily as wildlife habitat improvement, such as the creation of...

  9. 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…

  10. Occurrence and abundance of ants, reptiles, and mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven E. Hanser; Matthias Leu; Cameron L. Aldridge; Scott E. Neilsen; Mary M. Rowland; Steven T. Knick

    2011-01-01

    Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) associated wildlife are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation and by impacts associated with anthropogenic disturbances, including energy development. Understanding how species of concern as well as other wildlife including insects, reptiles, and mammals respond to type and spatial scale of disturbance is critical...

  11. Risk factors for invasive reptile-associated salmonellosis in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer Sauteur, Patrick M; Relly, Christa; Hug, Martina; Wittenbrink, Max M; Berger, Christoph

    2013-06-01

    Reptile-associated salmonellosis (RAS) in children has been reported primarily due to direct contact with turtles, but recently also due to indirect contact with more exotic reptiles, causing disease in infants. To evaluate risk factors for RAS, we reviewed the RAS cases published in the literature since 1965. A case was defined as a child ≤18 years of age with an epidemiological link by identification of Salmonella enterica in cultures from both the affected child and the exposed reptile. We identified a total of 177 otherwise healthy children (median age 1.0 years, range 2 days to 17.0 years). RAS manifested mainly with gastrointestinal disease, but 15% presented with invasive RAS, including septicemia, meningitis, and bone and joint infection. The children with invasive RAS were significantly younger than children with noninvasive disease (median age 0.17 and 2.0 years, preptiles other than turtles, including iguanas, bearded dragons, snakes, chameleons, and geckos. Children exposed to those latter reptiles usually kept indoors were younger than children exposed to turtles mostly kept outdoors (preptiles, other than turtles, kept indoors is associated with RAS at younger age and more invasive disease. This finding is helpful for recognizing or even preventing invasive RAS in young infants that are at highest risk.

  12. Diversity, biogeography and global flows of alien amphibians and reptiles

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Capinha, C.; Seebens, H.; Cassey, P.; García-Díaz, P.; Lenzner, B.; Mang, T.; Moser, D.; Pyšek, Petr; Rödder, D.; Scalera, R.; Winter, M.; Dullinger, S.; Essl, F.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 11 (2017), s. 1313-1322 ISSN 1366-9516 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) AP1002 Program:Akademická prémie - Praemium Academiae Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : amphibians and reptiles * invasions * global distribution Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Biodiversity conservation Impact factor: 4.391, year: 2016

  13. The development of complex tooth shape in reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oldrich eZahradnicek

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Reptiles have a diverse array of tooth shapes, from simple unicuspid to complex multicuspid teeth, reflecting functional adaptation to a variety of diets and eating styles. In addition to cusps, often complex longitudinal labial and lingual enamel crests are widespread and contribute to the final shape of reptile teeth. The simplest shaped unicuspid teeth have been found in piscivorous or carnivorous ancestors of recent diapsid reptiles and they are also present in some extant carnivores such as crocodiles and snakes. However, the ancestral tooth shape for squamate reptiles is thought to be bicuspid, indicating an insectivorous diet. The development of bicuspid teeth in lizards has recently been published, indicating that the mechanisms used to create cusps and crests are very distinct from those that shape cusps in mammals. Here, we introduce the large variety of tooth shapes found in lizards and compare the morphology and development of bicuspid, tricuspid and pentacuspid teeth, with the aim of understanding how such tooth shapes are generated. Next, we discuss whether the processes used to form such morphologies are conserved between divergent lizards and whether the underlying mechanisms share similarities with those of mammals. In particular, we will focus on the complex teeth of the chameleon, gecko, varanus and anole lizards using SEM and histology to compare the tooth crown morphology and embryonic development.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Salmonella serotypes in reptiles and humans, French Guiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gay, Noellie; Le Hello, Simon; Weill, François-Xavier; de Thoisy, Benoit; Berger, Franck

    2014-05-14

    In French Guiana, a French overseas territory located in the South American northern coast, nearly 50% of Salmonella serotypes isolated from human infections belong to serotypes rarely encountered in metropolitan France. A reptilian source of contamination has been investigated. Between April and June 2011, in the area around Cayenne, 151 reptiles were collected: 38 lizards, 37 snakes, 32 turtles, 23 green iguanas and 21 caimans. Cloacal swab samples were collected and cultured. Isolated Salmonella strains were identified biochemically and serotyped. The overall carriage frequency of carriage was 23.2% (95% confidence interval: 16.7-30.4) with 23 serotyped strains. The frequency of Salmonella carriage was significantly higher for wild reptiles. Near two-thirds of the Salmonella serotypes isolated from reptiles were also isolated from patients in French Guiana. Our results highlight the risk associated with the handling and consumption of reptiles and their role in the spread of Salmonella in the environment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Le commerce des reptiles au Benin | Toudonou | Journal de la ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In the European, Asian and American countries, they are rather required at ends zoophiles, terrariophiles and leather workings. The demand for these animals is thus very keen. To satisfy this double (local and international) and keen demand of reptiles species, two important networks of marketing are developed and ...

  18. The Use of Ultrasonography in Diagnostic Imaging of Reptiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Urbanová D.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to obtain new knowledge and show the possibility of the use of ultrasonographic (USG examinations in reptilian medicine. As reptiles are patients brought to veterinary clinic in smaller numbers, we focused on the indications and limits of this type of examination in individual groups of reptiles. In the period of 2014—2015 we examined by ultrasound, 28 reptiles with the aim to diagnose gravidity, reproductive problems and to determine their gender. At the same time we examined the internal organs and their availability for potential USG examinations. We also investigated: the issues related to fixation and positioning of the patients; selection of suitable examination probes; and the ways of their application to a suitable body area. The experimental part of our study was focused on the examination of the reproductive apparatus of reptiles. We monitored: individual phases of gravidity in selected reptilian species; evaluated development of follicles in ovaries; and the development of eggs after successful mating up to their laying. We described the pathological states of reproductive organs and the suitability of this examination for the determination of gender.

  19. 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.

  20. Salmonella infections associated with reptiles: the current situation in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertrand, S; Rimhanen-Finne, R; Weill, F X; Rabsch, W; Thornton, L; Perevoscikovs, J; van Pelt, W; Heck, M

    2008-06-12

    Salmonella infections are caused by consumption of contaminated food, person-to-person transmission, waterborne transmission and numerous environmental and animal exposures. Specifically, reptiles and other cold blooded animals (often referred to as "exotic pets") can act as reservoirs of Salmonella, and cases of infection have been associated with direct or indirect contact with these animals. Approximately 1.4 million human cases of Salmonella infection occur each year in the United States and it has been estimated that 74,000 are a result of exposure to reptiles and amphibians. Regular case reports of reptile-associated salmonellosis in the US are available for the period 1994-2002. Cases of Salmonella infection attributed to direct or indirect contact with reptiles or other exotic pets have been described in a number of European countries, too but a more comprehensive overview of the magnitude of this problem in Europe is lacking. In total, 160,649 human cases of salmonellosis were reported in 2006 in the then 25 European Union Member States, Bulgaria, Romania, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

  1. Reptiles of Sardinia: updating the knowledge on their distribution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniele Salvi

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Sardinia shows a clear lack of herpetological data due to an evident paucity of herpetological surveys. This gap of knowledge is worthy of attention, since Sardinia hosts a rich herpetofauna with a large proportion of endemic species, and distribution data are crucial for targeting conservation efforts. In this paper we provide new distribution data for Sardinian reptiles, with the aim of updating our knowledge on their specific distribution. Data were opportunistically recorded during ten years of field research in Sardinia, carried out in more than twenty campaigns from April 1999 to June 2009. All the eighteen reptile species belonging to the Sardinian fauna were recorded. A total amount of 293 faunistic data were collected from 178 different localities covering the entire study area. Within this dataset, 137 faunistic data fall outside known species’ ranges as reported in the Atlas of Italian amphibians and reptiles. In conclusion, data presented here produced a remarkable increase of knowledge on Sardinian reptiles distribution compare to that reported in the last available syntheses. Nevertheless, it should be evidenced that, notwithstanding the present updating, the knowledge of Sardinian reptiles’ distribution is probably still far from being exhaustive. Thus, further investigations are strongly required for obtaining a complete picture and identifying conservation priorities in terms of isolated species/populations and areas of high diversity and endemicity.

  2. 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

    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

  3. Mastocytosis and insect venom allergy : diagnosis, safety and efficacy of venom immunotherapy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niedoszytko, M.; de Monchy, J.; van Doormaal, J. J.; Jassem, E.; Oude Elberink, J. N. G.

    The most important causative factor for anaphylaxis in mastocytosis are insect stings. The purpose of this review is to analyse the available data concerning prevalence, diagnosis, safety and effectiveness of venom immunotherapy (VIT) in mastocytosis patients. If data were unclear, authors were

  4. Northward shifts of the distributions of Spanish reptiles in association with climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio; Pleguezuelos, Juan M; Pizarro, Manuel; Montori, Albert

    2012-04-01

    It is predicted that climate change will drive extinctions of some reptiles and that the number of these extinctions will depend on whether reptiles are able to change their distribution. Whether the latitudinal distribution of reptiles may change in response to increases in temperature is unknown. We used data on reptile distributions collected during the 20th century to analyze whether changes in the distributions of reptiles in Spain are associated with increases in temperature. We controlled for biases in sampling effort and found a mean, statistically significant, northward shift of the northern extent of reptile distributions of about 15.2 km from 1940-1975 to 1991-2005. The southern extent of the distributions did not change significantly. Thus, our results suggest that the latitudinal distributions of reptiles may be changing in response to climate change. ©2011 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Ecological risk of anthropogenic pollutants to reptiles: Evaluating assumptions of sensitivity and exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, Scott M; Suski, Jamie G; Salice, Christopher J

    2010-12-01

    A large data gap for reptile ecotoxicology still persists; therefore, ecological risk assessments of reptiles usually incorporate the use of surrogate species. This necessitates that (1) the surrogate is at least as sensitive as the target taxon and/or (2) exposures to the surrogate are greater than that of the target taxon. We evaluated these assumptions for the use of birds as surrogates for reptiles. Based on a survey of the literature, birds were more sensitive than reptiles in less than 1/4 of the chemicals investigated. Dietary and dermal exposure modeling indicated that exposure to reptiles was relatively high, particularly when the dermal route was considered. We conclude that caution is warranted in the use of avian receptors as surrogates for reptiles in ecological risk assessment and emphasize the need to better understand the magnitude and mechanism of contaminant exposure in reptiles to improve exposure and risk estimation. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Mitigating Reptile Road Mortality: Fence Failures Compromise Ecopassage Effectiveness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baxter-Gilbert, James H.; Riley, Julia L.; Lesbarrères, David; Litzgus, Jacqueline D.

    2015-01-01

    Roadways pose serious threats to animal populations. The installation of roadway mitigation measures is becoming increasingly common, yet studies that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of these conservation tools remain rare. A highway expansion project in Ontario, Canada included exclusion fencing and ecopassages as mitigation measures designed to offset detrimental effects to one of the most imperial groups of vertebrates, reptiles. Taking a multispecies approach, we used a Before-After-Control-Impact study design to compare reptile abundance on the highway before and after mitigation at an Impact site and a Control site from 1 May to 31 August in 2012 and 2013. During this time, radio telemetry, wildlife cameras, and an automated PIT-tag reading system were used to monitor reptile movements and use of ecopassages. Additionally, a willingness to utilize experiment was conducted to quantify turtle behavioral responses to ecopassages. We found no difference in abundance of turtles on the road between the un-mitigated and mitigated highways, and an increase in the percentage of both snakes and turtles detected dead on the road post-mitigation, suggesting that the fencing was not effective. Although ecopassages were used by reptiles, the number of crossings through ecopassages was lower than road-surface crossings. Furthermore, turtle willingness to use ecopassages was lower than that reported in previous arena studies, suggesting that effectiveness of ecopassages may be compromised when alternative crossing options are available (e.g., through holes in exclusion structures). Our rigorous evaluation of reptile roadway mitigation demonstrated that when exclusion structures fail, the effectiveness of population connectivity structures is compromised. Our project emphasizes the need to design mitigation measures with the biology and behavior of the target species in mind, to implement mitigation designs in a rigorous fashion, and quantitatively evaluate road

  7. Surface structure and tribology of legless squamate reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Aal, Hisham A

    2018-03-01

    Squamate reptiles (around 10,000 species of snakes and lizards) comprise a myriad of distinct terrestrial vertebrates. The diversity within this biological group offers a great opportunity for customized bio-inspired solutions that address a variety of current technological problems especially within the realm of surface engineering and tribology. One subgroup within squamata is of interest in that context, namely the legless reptiles (mainly snakes and few lizards). The promise of that group lies within their functional adaptation as manifested in optimized surface designs and locomotion that is distinguished by economy of effort even when functioning within hostile tribological environments. Legless reptiles are spread over a wide range in the planet, this geographical diversity demands customized response to local habitats. Customization, in turn, is facilitated through specialized surface design features. In legless reptiles, micro elements of texture, their geometry and topological layout advance mitigation of frictional effects both in locomotion and in general function. Lately, the synergy between functional traits and intrinsic surface features has emerged as focus of research across disciplines. Many investigations have sought to characterize the structural as well as the tribological response of legless species from an engineering point of view. Despite the sizable amount of data that have accumulated in the literature over the past two decades or so, no effort to review the available information, whence this review. This manuscript, therefore, endeavors to assess available data on surface metrology and tribological behavior of legless reptiles and to define aspects of that performance necessary to formulate an advanced paradigm for bio-inspired surface engineering. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Mitigating reptile road mortality: fence failures compromise ecopassage effectiveness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James H Baxter-Gilbert

    Full Text Available Roadways pose serious threats to animal populations. The installation of roadway mitigation measures is becoming increasingly common, yet studies that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of these conservation tools remain rare. A highway expansion project in Ontario, Canada included exclusion fencing and ecopassages as mitigation measures designed to offset detrimental effects to one of the most imperial groups of vertebrates, reptiles. Taking a multispecies approach, we used a Before-After-Control-Impact study design to compare reptile abundance on the highway before and after mitigation at an Impact site and a Control site from 1 May to 31 August in 2012 and 2013. During this time, radio telemetry, wildlife cameras, and an automated PIT-tag reading system were used to monitor reptile movements and use of ecopassages. Additionally, a willingness to utilize experiment was conducted to quantify turtle behavioral responses to ecopassages. We found no difference in abundance of turtles on the road between the un-mitigated and mitigated highways, and an increase in the percentage of both snakes and turtles detected dead on the road post-mitigation, suggesting that the fencing was not effective. Although ecopassages were used by reptiles, the number of crossings through ecopassages was lower than road-surface crossings. Furthermore, turtle willingness to use ecopassages was lower than that reported in previous arena studies, suggesting that effectiveness of ecopassages may be compromised when alternative crossing options are available (e.g., through holes in exclusion structures. Our rigorous evaluation of reptile roadway mitigation demonstrated that when exclusion structures fail, the effectiveness of population connectivity structures is compromised. Our project emphasizes the need to design mitigation measures with the biology and behavior of the target species in mind, to implement mitigation designs in a rigorous fashion, and quantitatively

  9. Venomics, lethality and neutralization of Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) venoms from three different geographical regions of Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Kae Yi; Tan, Choo Hock; Fung, Shin Yee; Tan, Nget Hong

    2015-04-29

    Previous studies showed that venoms of the monocled cobra, Naja kaouthia from Thailand and Malaysia are substantially different in their median lethal doses. The intraspecific venom variations of N. kaouthia, however, have not been fully elucidated. Here we investigated the venom proteomes of N. kaouthia from Malaysia (NK-M), Thailand (NK-T) and Vietnam (NK-V) through reverse-phase HPLC, SDS-PAGE and tandem mass spectrometry. The venom proteins comprise 13 toxin families, with three-finger toxins being the most abundant (63-77%) and the most varied (11-18 isoforms) among the three populations. NK-T has the highest content of neurotoxins (50%, predominantly long neurotoxins), followed by NK-V (29%, predominantly weak neurotoxins and some short neurotoxins), while NK-M has the least (18%, some weak neurotoxins but less short and long neurotoxins). On the other hand, cytotoxins constitute the main bulk of toxins in NK-M and NK-V venoms (up to 45% each), but less in NK-T venom (27%). The three venoms show different lethal potencies that generally reflect the proteomic findings. Despite the proteomic variations, the use of Thai monovalent and Neuro polyvalent antivenoms for N. kaouthia envenomation in the three regions is appropriate as the different venoms were neutralized by the antivenoms albeit at different degrees of effectiveness. Biogeographical variations were observed in the venom proteome of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) from Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Thai N. kaouthia venom is particularly rich in long neurotoxins, while the Malaysian and Vietnamese specimens were predominated with cytotoxins. The differentially expressed toxin profile accounts for the discrepancy in the lethal dose of the venom from different populations. Commercially available Thai antivenoms (monovalent and polyvalent) were able to neutralize the three venoms at different effective doses, hence supporting their uses in the three regions. While dose adjustment according to

  10. Minor snake venom proteins: Structure, function and potential applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boldrini-França, Johara; Cologna, Camila Takeno; Pucca, Manuela Berto; Bordon, Karla de Castro Figueiredo; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi; Anjolette, Fernando Antonio Pino; Cordeiro, Francielle Almeida; Wiezel, Gisele Adriano; Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Pinheiro-Junior, Ernesto Lopes; Shibao, Priscila Yumi Tanaka; Ferreira, Isabela Gobbo; de Oliveira, Isadora Sousa; Cardoso, Iara Aimê; Arantes, Eliane Candiani

    2017-04-01

    Snake venoms present a great diversity of pharmacologically active compounds that may be applied as research and biotechnological tools, as well as in drug development and diagnostic tests for certain diseases. The most abundant toxins have been extensively studied in the last decades and some of them have already been used for different purposes. Nevertheless, most of the minor snake venom protein classes remain poorly explored, even presenting potential application in diverse areas. The main difficulty in studying these proteins lies on the impossibility of obtaining sufficient amounts of them for a comprehensive investigation. The advent of more sensitive techniques in the last few years allowed the discovery of new venom components and the in-depth study of some already known minor proteins. This review summarizes information regarding some structural and functional aspects of low abundant snake venom proteins classes, such as growth factors, hyaluronidases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, nucleases and nucleotidases, cobra venom factors, vespryns, protease inhibitors, antimicrobial peptides, among others. Some potential applications of these molecules are discussed herein in order to encourage researchers to explore the full venom repertoire and to discover new molecules or applications for the already known venom components. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. A Study on the Stability of Diluted Bee Venom Solution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mi-Suk Kang

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective : The purpose of this study was to investigate the stability of bee venom according to the keeping method and period. Method : The author observed microbial contamination of bee venom in nutrient agar, broth, YPD agar and YPD media and antibacterial activity for S. aureus, E. coli manufactured 12, 6 and 3 months ago as the two type of room temperature and 4℃ cold storage. Result : 1. 1:3,000 and 1:4,000 diluted bee venom solution did not show microbial contamination both room temperature and cold storage within twelve months. 2. There was antibacterial activity of diluted bee venom for S. aureus in cold storage within twelve months and there was no antibacterial activity of diluted bee venom for S. aureus in twelve months, room temperature storage. 3. We could not observe the zone of inhibition around paper disc of all for E.coli. in 1:3,000, 1:30,000 and 1:3,000,000 diluted bee venom solution, respectively. According to results, we expect that diluted bee venom solution is stable both cold and room temperature storage within twelve months.

  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. Bee venom treatment for refractory postherpetic neuralgia: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seung Min; Lim, Jinwoong; Lee, Jae-Dong; Choi, Do-Young; Lee, Sanghoon

    2014-03-01

    Bee venom has been reported to have antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects in experimental studies. However, questions still remain regarding the clinical use of bee venom. This report describes the successful outcome of bee venom treatment for refractory postherpetic neuralgia. A 72-year-old Korean man had severe pain and hypersensitivity in the region where he had developed a herpes zoster rash 2 years earlier. He was treated with antivirals, painkillers, steroids, and analgesic patches, all to no effect. The patient visited the East-West Pain Clinic, Kyung Hee University Medical Center, to receive collaborative treatment. After being evaluated for bee venom compatibility, he was treated with bee venom injections. A 1:30,000 diluted solution of bee venom was injected subcutaneously along the margins of the rash once per week for 4 weeks. Pain levels were evaluated before every treatment, and by his fifth visit, his pain had decreased from 8 to 2 on a 10-point numerical rating scale. He experienced no adverse effects, and this improvement was maintained at the 3-month, 6-month, and 1-year phone follow-up evaluations. Bee venom treatment demonstrates the potential to become an effective treatment for postherpetic neuralgia. Further large-sample clinical trials should be conducted to evaluate the overall safety and efficacy of this treatment.

  14. Role of the inflammasome in defense against venoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palm, Noah W.; Medzhitov, Ruslan

    2013-01-01

    Venoms consist of a complex mixture of toxic components that are used by a variety of animal species for defense and predation. Envenomation of mammalian species leads to an acute inflammatory response and can lead to the development of IgE-dependent venom allergy. However, the mechanisms by which the innate immune system detects envenomation and initiates inflammatory and allergic responses to venoms remain largely unknown. Here we show that bee venom is detected by the NOD-like receptor family, pyrin domain-containing 3 inflammasome and can trigger activation of caspase-1 and the subsequent processing and unconventional secretion of the leaderless proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β in macrophages. Whereas activation of the inflammasome by bee venom induces a caspase-1–dependent inflammatory response, characterized by recruitment of neutrophils to the site or envenomation, the inflammasome is dispensable for the allergic response to bee venom. Finally, we find that caspase-1–deficient mice are more susceptible to the noxious effects of bee and snake venoms, suggesting that a caspase-1–dependent immune response can protect against the damaging effects of envenomation. PMID:23297192

  15. 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

  16. Secreted Phospholipases A₂ from Animal Venoms in Pain and Analgesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zambelli, Vanessa O; Picolo, Gisele; Fernandes, Carlos A H; Fontes, Marcos R M; Cury, Yara

    2017-12-19

    Animal venoms comprise a complex mixture of components that affect several biological systems. Based on the high selectivity for their molecular targets, these components are also a rich source of potential therapeutic agents. Among the main components of animal venoms are the secreted phospholipases A₂ (sPLA₂s). These PLA₂ belong to distinct PLA₂s groups. For example, snake venom sPLA₂s from Elapidae and Viperidae families, the most important families when considering envenomation, belong, respectively, to the IA and IIA/IIB groups, whereas bee venom PLA₂ belongs to group III of sPLA₂s. It is well known that PLA₂, due to its hydrolytic activity on phospholipids, takes part in many pathophysiological processes, including inflammation and pain. Therefore, secreted PLA₂s obtained from animal venoms have been widely used as tools to (a) modulate inflammation and pain, uncovering molecular targets that are implicated in the control of inflammatory (including painful) and neurodegenerative diseases; (b) shed light on the pathophysiology of inflammation and pain observed in human envenomation by poisonous animals; and, (c) characterize molecular mechanisms involved in inflammatory diseases. The present review summarizes the knowledge on the nociceptive and antinociceptive actions of sPLA₂s from animal venoms, particularly snake venoms.

  17. Snake population venomics and antivenomics of Bothrops atrox: Paedomorphism along its transamazonian dispersal and implications of geographic venom variability on snakebite management

    OpenAIRE

    Calvete, Juan J.; Sanz, Libia; Pérez, Alicia; Borges, Adolfo; Vargas, Alba M.; Lomonte, Bruno; Angulo, Yamileth; Gutiérrez, José María; Chalkidis, Hipócrates M.; Mourão, Rosa H.V.; Furtado, María de Fátima; Moura Da Silva, Ana M.

    2011-01-01

    We describe two geographically differentiated venom phenotypes across the wide distribution range of Bothrops atrox, from the Colombian Magdalena Medio Valley through Puerto Ayacucho and El Paují, in the Venezuelan States of Amazonas and Orinoquia, respectively, and São Bento in the Brazilian State of Maranhão. Colombian and Venezuelan venoms show an ontogenetic toxin profile phenotype whereas Brazilian venoms exhibit paedomorphic phenotypes. Venoms from each of the 16 localities sampled cont...

  18. Anti-snake venom activities of ethanolic extract of fruits of Piper longum L. (Piperaceae) against Russell's viper venom: characterization of piperine as active principle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shenoy, P A; Nipate, S S; Sonpetkar, J M; Salvi, N C; Waghmare, A B; Chaudhari, P D

    2013-05-20

    Piper longum L. fruits have been traditionally used against snakebites in north-eastern and southern region of India. To examine the ability of ethanolic extract of fruits of Piper longum L., Piperaceae (PLE) and piperine, one of the main active principles of Piper longum, to inhibit the Russell's viper (Doboia russelii, Viperidae) snake venom activities. Anti-snake venom activities of ethanolic extract of fruits of Piper longum L. (Piperaceae) and piperine against Russell's viper venom was studied in embryonated fertile chicken eggs, mice and rats by using various models as follows: inhibition of venom lethal action, inhibition of venom haemorrhagic action (in vitro), inhibition of venom haemorrhagic action (in vivo), inhibition of venom necrotizing action, inhibition of venom defibrinogenating action, inhibition of venom induced paw edema, inhibition of venom induced mast cell degranulation, creatine kinase assay and assay for catalase activity. PLE was found to inhibit the venom induced haemorrhage in embryonated fertile chicken eggs. Administration of PLE and piperine significantly (p<0.01) inhibited venom induced lethality, haemorrhage, necrosis, defibrinogenation and inflammatory paw edema in mice in a dose dependent manner. PLE and piperine also significantly (p<0.01) reduced venom induced mast cell degranulation in rats. Venom induced decrease in catalase enzyme levels in mice kidney tissue and increase in creatine kinase enzyme levels in mice serum were significantly (p<0.01) reversed by administration of both PLE and piperine. PLE possesses good anti-snake venom properties and piperine is one of the compounds responsible for the effective venom neutralizing ability of the plant. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Neutralization of Apis mellifera bee venom activities by suramin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Kik, Camila Z; Fernandes, Fabrício F A; Tomaz, Marcelo Amorim; Gaban, Glauco A; Fonseca, Tatiane F; Calil-Elias, Sabrina; Oliveira, Suellen D S; Silva, Claudia L M; Martinez, Ana Maria Blanco; Melo, Paulo A

    2013-06-01

    In this work we evaluated the ability of suramin, a polysulfonated naphthylurea derivative, to antagonize the cytotoxic and enzymatic effects of the crude venom of Apis mellifera. Suramin was efficient to decrease the lethality in a dose-dependent way. The hemoconcentration caused by lethal dose injection of bee venom was abolished by suramin (30 μg/g). The edematogenic activity of the venom (0.3 μg/g) was antagonized by suramin (10 μg/g) in all treatment protocols. The changes in the vascular permeability caused by A. mellifera (1 μg/g) venom were inhibited by suramin (30 μg/g) in the pre- and posttreatment as well as when the venom was preincubated with suramin. In addition, suramin also inhibited cultured endothelial cell lesion, as well as in vitro myotoxicity, evaluated in mouse extensor digitorum longus muscle, which was inhibited by suramin (10 and 25 μM), decreasing the rate of CK release, showing that suramin protected the sarcolemma against damage induced by components of bee venom (2.5 μg/mL). Moreover, suramin inhibited the in vivo myotoxicity induced by i.m. injection of A. mellifera venom in mice (0.5 μg/g). The analysis of the area under the plasma CK vs. time curve showed that preincubation, pre- and posttreatment with suramin (30 μg/g) inhibited bee venom myotoxic activity in mice by about 89%, 45% and 40%, respectively. Suramin markedly inhibited the PLA2 activity in a concentration-dependent way (1-30 μM). Being suramin a polyanion molecule, the effects observed may be due to the interaction of its charges with the polycation components present in A. mellifera bee venom. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spencer, P.J.; Nascimento, N. do; Paula, R.A. de; Cardi, B.A.; Rogero, J.R.

    1995-01-01

    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. A 2 , 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 A 2 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

  1. Label-Free (XIC) Quantification of Venom Procoagulant and Neurotoxin Expression in Related Australian Elapid Snakes Gives Insight into Venom Toxicity Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skejic, Jure; Steer, David L; Dunstan, Nathan; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2015-11-06

    This study demonstrates a direct role of venom protein expression alteration in the evolution of snake venom toxicity. Avian skeletal muscle contractile response to exogenously administered acetylcholine is completely inhibited upon exposure to South Australian and largely preserved following exposure to Queensland eastern brown snake Pseudonaja textilis venom, indicating potent postsynaptic neurotoxicity of the former and lack thereof of the latter venom. Label-free quantitative proteomics reveals extremely large differences in the expression of postsynaptic three-finger α-neurotoxins in these venoms, explaining the difference in the muscle contractile response and suggesting that the type of toxicity induced by venom can be modified by altered expression of venom proteins. Furthermore, the onset of neuromuscular paralysis in the rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation occurs sooner upon exposure to the venom (10 μg/mL) with high expression of α-neurotoxins than the venoms containing predominately presynaptic β-neurotoxins. The study also finds that the onset of rat plasma coagulation is faster following exposure to the venoms with higher expression of venom prothrombin activator subunits. This is the first quantitative proteomic study that uses extracted ion chromatogram peak areas (MS1 XIC) of distinct homologous tryptic peptides to directly show the differences in the expression of venom proteins.

  2. Evolutionary rates of mitochondrial genomes correspond to diversification rates and to contemporary species richness in birds and reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eo, Soo Hyung; DeWoody, J. Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Rates of biological diversification should ultimately correspond to rates of genome evolution. Recent studies have compared diversification rates with phylogenetic branch lengths, but incomplete phylogenies hamper such analyses for many taxa. Herein, we use pairwise comparisons of confamilial sauropsid (bird and reptile) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome sequences to estimate substitution rates. These molecular evolutionary rates are considered in light of the age and species richness of each taxonomic family, using a random-walk speciation–extinction process to estimate rates of diversification. We find the molecular clock ticks at disparate rates in different families and at different genes. For example, evolutionary rates are relatively fast in snakes and lizards, intermediate in crocodilians and slow in turtles and birds. There was also rate variation across genes, where non-synonymous substitution rates were fastest at ATP8 and slowest at CO3. Family-by-gene interactions were significant, indicating that local clocks vary substantially among sauropsids. Most importantly, we find evidence that mitochondrial genome evolutionary rates are positively correlated with speciation rates and with contemporary species richness. Nuclear sequences are poorly represented among reptiles, but the correlation between rates of molecular evolution and species diversification also extends to 18 avian nuclear genes we tested. Thus, the nuclear data buttress our mtDNA findings. PMID:20610427

  3. [New drug developments of snake venom polypeptides and progress].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Sihai; Feng, Mei; Xiong, Yan

    2017-11-28

    The value of snake venom polypeptides in clinical application has drawn extensive attention, and the development of snake polypeptides into new drugs with anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic, analgesic or antihypertensive properties has become the recent research hotspot. With the rapid development of molecular biology and biotechnology, the mechanisms of snake venom polypeptides are also gradually clarified. Numerous studies have demonstrated that snake venom polypeptides exert their pharmacological effects by regulating ion channels, cell proliferation, apoptosis, intracellular signaling pathway, and expression of cytokine as well as binding to relevant active sites or receptors.

  4. Antioxidant activity and irritation property of venoms from Apis species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somwongin, Suvimol; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Chaiyana, Wantida

    2018-04-01

    Pharmacological effects of bee venom has been reported, however, it has been restricted to the bee venom collected from European honey bee (Apis mellifera). The aim of the present study was to compare the antioxidant activities and irritation properties of venoms collected from four different Apis species in Thailand, which includes Apis cerena (Asian cavity nesting honeybee), Apis florea (dwarf honeybee), Apis dorsata (giant honeybee), and A. mellifera. Melittin content of each bee venom extracts was investigated by using high-performance liquid chromatography. Ferric reducing antioxidant power, 2, 2'-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), and 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl assay were used to determine the antioxidant activity, whereas, hen's egg test chorioallantoic membrane assay was used to determine the irritation property of each bee venom extracts. Melittin was the major constituent in all bee venom extracts. The melittin content in A. dorsata, A. mellifera, A. florea, and A. cerena were 95.8 ± 3.2%, 76.5 ± 1.9%, 66.3 ± 8.6%, and 56.8 ± 1.8%, respectively. Bee venom extract from A. dorsata possessed the highest antioxidant activity with the inhibition of 41.1 ± 2.2% against DPPH, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity of 10.21 ± 0.74 mM Trolox/mg and equivalent concentration (EC 1 ) of 0.35 ± 0.02 mM FeSO 4 /mg. Bee venom extract from A. mellifera exhibited the highest irritation, followed by A. cerena, A. dorsata, and A. florea, respectively. Melittin was the compound responsible for the irritation property of bee venom extracts since it could induce severe irritation (irritation score was 13.7 ± 0.5, at the concentration of 2 mg/ml). The extract from A. dorsata which possessed the highest antioxidant activity showed no irritation up to the concentration of 0.1 mg/ml. Therefore, bee venom extract from A. dorsata at the concentration not more than 0.1 mg/ml would be suggested for using

  5. 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.

  6. Effects of venom immunotherapy on serum level of CCL5/RANTES in patients with Hymenoptera venom allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gawlik, Radoslaw; Glück, Joanna; Jawor, Barbara; Rogala, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    Hymenoptera venoms are known to cause life-threatening IgE-mediated anaphylactic reactions in allergic individuals. Venom immunotherapy is a recommended treatment of insect allergy with still the mechanism not being completely understood. We decided to assess the serum CCL5/RANTES level in patients who experienced severe anaphylactic reaction to Hymenoptera venom and to find out changes in the course of immunotherapy. Twenty patients (9 men, 11 women, mean age: 31.91 ± 7.63 years) with history of anaphylactic reaction after insect sting were included into the study. Diagnosis was made according to sIgE and skin tests. All of them were enrolled into rush venom immunotherapy with bee or wasp venom extracts (Pharmalgen, ALK-Abello, Horsholm, Denmark). Serum levels of CCL5/RANTES were measured using a commercially available ELISA kit (R&D Systems, Minneapolis, MN). CCL5/RANTES serum concentration are higher in insect venom allergic patients than in healthy controls (887.5 ± 322.77 versus 387.27 ± 85.11 pg/ml). Serum concentration of CCL5/RANTES in insect venom allergic patient was significantly reduced in the course of allergen immunotherapy already after 6 days of vaccination (887.5 ± 322.77 versus 567.32 ± 92.16 pg/ml). CCL5/RANTES serum doesn't correlate with specific IgE. Chemokine CCL5/RANTES participates in allergic inflammation induced by Hymenoptera venom allergens. Specific immunotherapy reduces chemokine CCL5/RANTES serum level already after initial days of venom immunotherapy.

  7. The Comparison of Effectiveness between Bee Venom and Sweet Bee Venom Therapy on Low back pain with Radiating pain

    OpenAIRE

    Lee Tae-ho; Hwang Hee-sang; Chang So-young; Cha Jung-ho; Jung Ki-hoon; Lee Eun-young; Roh Jeongdu

    2007-01-01

    Objective : The aim of this study is to investigate if Sweet Bee Venom therapy has the equal effect in comparison with Bee Venom Therapy on Low back pain with Radiation pain. Methods : Clinical studies were done 24 patients who were treated low back pain with radiation pain to Dept. of Acupuncture & Moxibusition, of Oriental Medicine Se-Myung University from April 1, 2007 to September 30, 2007. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups ; Bee Venom treated group(Group A, n=10), Sweet B...

  8. Molecular barcoding, DNA from snake venom, and toxinological research: Considerations and concerns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Randy L; Reyes, Steven R; Lannutti, Dominic I

    2006-12-15

    The problem of species identification in toxinological research and solutions such as molecular barcoding and DNA extraction from venom samples are addressed. Molecular barcoding is controversial with both perceived advantages and inherent problems. A method of species identification utilizing mitochondrial DNA from venom has been identified. This method could result in deemphasizing the importance of obtaining detailed information on the venom source prior to analysis. Additional concerns include; a cost prohibitive factor, intraspecific venom variation, and venom processing issues. As researchers demand more stringent records and verification, venom suppliers may be prompted to implement improved methods and controls.

  9. Phylogenetic relationships among amphisbaenian reptiles based on complete mitochondrial genomic sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macey, J Robert; Papenfuss, Theodore J; Kuehl, Jennifer V; Fourcade, H Mathew; Boore, Jeffrey L

    2004-10-01

    Complete mitochondrial genomic sequences are reported from 12 members in the four families of the reptile group Amphisbaenia. Analysis of 11,946 aligned nucleotide positions (5797 informative) produces a robust phylogenetic hypothesis. The family Rhineuridae is basal and Bipedidae is the sister taxon to the Amphisbaenidae plus Trogonophidae. Amphisbaenian reptiles are surprisingly old, predating the breakup of Pangaea 200 million years before present, because successive basal taxa (Rhineuridae and Bipedidae) are situated in tectonic regions of Laurasia and nested taxa (Amphisbaenidae and Trogonophidae) are found in Gondwanan regions. Thorough sampling within the Bipedidae shows that it is not tectonic movement of Baja California away from the Mexican mainland that is primary in isolating Bipes species, but rather that primary vicariance occurred between northern and southern groups. Amphisbaenian families show parallel reduction in number of limbs and Bipes species exhibit parallel reduction in number of digits. A measure is developed for comparing the phylogenetic information content of various genes. A synapomorphic trait defining the Bipedidae is a shift from the typical vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement to the derived state of trnE and nad6. In addition, a tandem duplication of trnT and trnP is observed in Bipes biporus with a pattern of pseudogene formation that varies among populations. The first case of convergent rearrangement of the mitochondrial genome among animals demonstrated by complete genomic sequences is reported. Relative to most vertebrates, the Rhineuridae has the block nad6, trnE switched in order with the block cob, trnT, trnP, as they are in birds.

  10. Phylogenetic relationships among amphisbaenian reptiles based on complete mitochondrial genomic sequences

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macey, J. Robert; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Kuehl, Jennifer V.; Fourcade, H. Matthew; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-05-19

    Complete mitochondrial genomic sequences are reported from 12 members in the four families of the reptile group Amphisbaenia. Analysis of 11,946 aligned nucleotide positions (5,797 informative) produces a robust phylogenetic hypothesis. The family Rhineuridae is basal and Bipedidae is the sister taxon to the Amphisbaenidae plus Trogonophidae. Amphisbaenian reptiles are surprisingly old, predating the breakup of Pangaea 200 million years before present, because successive basal taxa (Rhineuridae and Bipedidae) are situated in tectonic regions of Laurasia and nested taxa (Amphisbaenidae and Trogonophidae) are found in Gondwanan regions. Thorough sampling within the Bipedidae shows that it is not tectonic movement of Baja California away from the Mexican mainland that is primary in isolating Bipes species, but rather that primary vicariance occurred between northern and southern groups. Amphisbaenian families show parallel reduction in number of limbs and Bipes species exhibit parallel reduction in number of digits. A measure is developed for comparing the phylogenetic information content of various genes. A synapomorphic trait defining the Bipedidae is a shift from the typical vertebrate mitochondrial gene arrangement to the derived state of trnE and nad6. In addition, a tandem duplication of trnT and trnP is observed in B. biporus with a pattern of pseudogene formation that varies among populations. The first case of convergent rearrangement of the mitochondrial genome among animals demonstrated by complete genomic sequences is reported. Relative to most vertebrates, the Rhineuridae has the block nad6, trnE switched in order with cob, trnT, trnP, as they are in birds.

  11. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Li; Rieppel, Olivier; Long, Cheng; Fraser, Nicholas C

    2016-05-01

    Newly discovered fossils of the Middle Triassic reptile Atopodentatus unicus call for a radical reassessment of its feeding behavior. The skull displays a pronounced hammerhead shape that was hitherto unknown. The long, straight anterior edges of both upper and lower jaws were lined with batteries of chisel-shaped teeth, whereas the remaining parts of the jaw rami supported densely packed needle-shaped teeth forming a mesh. The evidence indicates a novel feeding mechanism wherein the chisel-shaped teeth were used to scrape algae off the substrate, and the plant matter that was loosened was filtered from the water column through the more posteriorly positioned tooth mesh. This is the oldest record of herbivory within marine reptiles.

  12. Reptiles de zonas bajas de Yacopí (Cundinamarca, Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Ángel Moreno Arias

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Se efectuó un inventario de reptiles que ocurren por debajo de 1.000 m en el municipio de Yacopí, Cundinamarca, Colombia. Se registraron 47 especies (26 Sauria, 19 Serpentes, un Amphisbaenia y un Testudinata, la familia y género más ricos fueron Colubridae y Anolis. La riqueza entre Sauria y  Serpentes fue diferente a la que se encuentra en el país. La fauna se agrupó según su distribución en dos tipos:  Trasandino (al oeste de la cordillera Oriental y Amplio (tanto al este como al oeste de la misma cordillera, los Saurios fueron más numerosos en el primero y las Serpentes en el segundo. Se encontró que la mayoría de reptiles se distribuye entre 0 y 2.000 m.

  13. Regulation of body temperature by some Mesozoic marine reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Aurélien; Lécuyer, Christophe; Vincent, Peggy; Amiot, Romain; Bardet, Nathalie; Buffetaut, Eric; Cuny, Gilles; Fourel, François; Martineau, François; Mazin, Jean-Michel; Prieur, Abel

    2010-06-11

    What the body temperature and thermoregulation processes of extinct vertebrates were are central questions for understanding their ecology and evolution. The thermophysiologic status of the great marine reptiles is still unknown, even though some studies have suggested that thermoregulation may have contributed to their exceptional evolutionary success as apex predators of Mesozoic aquatic ecosystems. We tested the thermal status of ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs by comparing the oxygen isotope compositions of their tooth phosphate to those of coexisting fish. Data distribution reveals that these large marine reptiles were able to maintain a constant and high body temperature in oceanic environments ranging from tropical to cold temperate. Their estimated body temperatures, in the range from 35 degrees +/- 2 degrees C to 39 degrees +/- 2 degrees C, suggest high metabolic rates required for predation and fast swimming over large distances offshore.

  14. Evolution of viviparous reproduction in Paleozoic and Mesozoic reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburn, Daniel G; Sidor, Christian A

    2014-01-01

    Although viviparity (live-bearing reproduction) is widely distributed among lizards and snakes, it is entirely absent from other extant Reptilia and many extinct forms. However, paleontological evidence reveals that viviparity was present in at least nine nominal groups of pre-Cenozoic reptiles, representing a minimum of six separate evolutionary origins of this reproductive mode. Two viviparous clades (sauropterygians and ichthyopterygians) lasted more than 155 million years, a figure that rivals the duration of mammalian viviparity. Circumstantial evidence indicates that extinct viviparous reptiles had internal fertilization, amniotic fetal membranes, and placentas that sustained developing embryos via provision of respiratory gases, water, calcium, and possibly organic nutrients. Production of offspring via viviparity facilitated the invasion of marine habitats in at least five reptilian lineages. Thus, this pattern of embryonic development and reproduction was central to the ecology and evolution of these ancient animals, much as it is to numerous extant species of vertebrates.

  15. Reptiles and amphibians of the Savannah River Plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  16. Response of Reptiles and Amphibians to Repeated Fuel Reduction Treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlotte E. Matthews; Christopher E. Moorman; Cathryn H. Greenberg; Thomas A. Waldrop

    2010-01-01

    Recent use of prescribed fire and fire surrogates to reduce fuel hazards has spurred interest in their effects on wildlife. Studies of fire in the southern Appalachian Mountains (USA) have documented few effects on reptiles and amphibians. However, these studies were conducted after only one fire and for only a short time (1–3 yr) after the fire. From mid-May to mid-...

  17. Squamate reptiles of the Atlantic Forest of northern Bahia, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    de Freitas, Marco

    2014-01-01

    We present a list of squamate reptiles of the northern Atlantic forest of Bahia, Brazil, comprising a total of 29 municipalities. The study area was sampled opportunistically over more than 20 years resulting in a total of 482 specimens deposited in various herpetological collections. Of these, 314 were snakes belonging to 62 species and seven families, 42 were amphisbaenas belonging to five species in a single family and 125 specimens were lizards, grouped in 36 species and 12 families.

  18. A survey of reptiles and amphibians on Kinmen Island, Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel Saenz; Heather V. Podlipny; Pei-Yu Tasi; D. Brent Burt; Hsiao-Wei Yuan

    2009-01-01

    Little is known about the reptiles and amphibians of Kinmen Island, Taiwan. Until recently, Kinmen had been off-limits to outsiders. It wasn’t until the mid 1990’s that civilian travel was allowed to and from the island. We surveyed 8 sites from 19 May through 18 July 2005, using 15 m drift fences with collapsible funnel traps on the ends. We documented encounters with...

  19. Biochemical and pharmacological characterization of Trimersurus malabaricus snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowda, Raghavendra; Rajaiah, Rajesh; Angaswamy, Nataraj; Krishna, Sharath; Bannikuppe Sannanayak, Vishwanath

    2018-03-12

    Trimeresurus malabaricus is a venomous pit viper species endemic to southwestern part of India. In earlier reports, we have shown that envenomation by T. malabaricus venom leading to strong local tissue damage but the mechanism of action is not clearly revealed. Local tissue damage affected by T. malabaricus venom is of great importance since the poison has serious systemic effects including death in the case of multiple attacks. The present study details the major manifestations of T. malabaricus venom and the induction of local tissue damage, which suggests that most toxins are present in the form of hydrolytic enzymes. Hydrolytic activity of the enzymes was measured and the data indicated that protease and phospholipase A 2 activity was high which is responsible for local tissue damage. Furthermore, the role of hydrolytic enzymes in the induction of pathological events such as hemorrhage, edema, myotoxicity, and blood coagulation examination were assessed through animal models. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. 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.

  1. Symbiotic polydnavirus and venom reveal parasitoid to its hyperparasitoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Feng; Cusumano, Antonino; Bloem, Janneke; Weldegergis, Berhane T; Villela, Alexandre; Fatouros, Nina E; van Loon, Joop J A; Dicke, Marcel; Harvey, Jeffrey A; Vogel, Heiko; Poelman, Erik H

    2018-05-15

    Symbiotic relationships may provide organisms with key innovations that aid in the establishment of new niches. For example, during oviposition, some species of parasitoid wasps, whose larvae develop inside the bodies of other insects, inject polydnaviruses into their hosts. These symbiotic viruses disrupt host immune responses, allowing the parasitoid's progeny to survive. Here we show that symbiotic polydnaviruses also have a downside to the parasitoid's progeny by initiating a multitrophic chain of interactions that reveals the parasitoid larvae to their enemies. These enemies are hyperparasitoids that use the parasitoid progeny as host for their own offspring. We found that the virus and venom injected by the parasitoid during oviposition, but not the parasitoid progeny itself, affected hyperparasitoid attraction toward plant volatiles induced by feeding of parasitized caterpillars. We identified activity of virus-related genes in the caterpillar salivary gland. Moreover, the virus affected the activity of elicitors of salivary origin that induce plant responses to caterpillar feeding. The changes in caterpillar saliva were critical in inducing plant volatiles that are used by hyperparasitoids to locate parasitized caterpillars. Our results show that symbiotic organisms may be key drivers of multitrophic ecological interactions. We anticipate that this phenomenon is widespread in nature, because of the abundance of symbiotic microorganisms across trophic levels in ecological communities. Their role should be more prominently integrated in community ecology to understand organization of natural and managed ecosystems, as well as adaptations of individual organisms that are part of these communities.

  2. Characterization of the cDNA encoding a BPI/LBP homologue in venom gland of the hundred-pace snake Deinagkistrodon acutus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianrao HU, Mingfu CAO, Jiong Chen

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI and LPS-binding protein (LBP play an important role in host defence. Current evidence shows that BPI/LBP may be widely existed in different cells and tissue types of animals. A full-length cDNA clone encoding a BPI/LBP homologue (dBPI, 1757bp in size, was characterized in venom gland of the hundred-pace snake Deinagkistrodon acutus. Its deduced amino acid sequence of 417 residues had 13.8%–21.5% identity to BPI like 1(BPIL1 and BPI like 3(BPIL3 of other animals. Conserved cysteine residues which are involved in disulfide bond formation between the final strand of the N-terminal beta sheet and the long alpha helix of BPI are identified as Cys146-Cys183 of dBPI. Phylogenetic tree analysis showed that the BPI/LBP homologues formed five large clusters and dBPI was in a large cluster including BPIL1 and BPIL3. dBPI mRNA shows a tissue specific expression in venom gland. This is the first study to identify the cDNA encoding BPI/LBP homologues from reptiles [Current Zoology 55 (5: –2009].

  3. Cretaceous choristoderan reptiles gave birth to live young

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Qiang; Wu, Xiao-Chun; Cheng, Yen-Nien

    2010-04-01

    Viviparity (giving birth to live young) in fossil reptiles has been known only in a few marine groups: ichthyosaurs, pachypleurosaurs, and mosasaurs. Here, we report a pregnant specimen of the Early Cretaceous Hyphalosaurus baitaigouensis, a species of Choristodera, a diapsid group known from unequivocal fossil remains from the Middle Jurassic to the early Miocene (about 165 to 20 million years ago). This specimen provides the first evidence of viviparity in choristoderan reptiles and is also the sole record of viviparity in fossil reptiles which lived in freshwater ecosystems. This exquisitely preserved specimen contains up to 18 embryos arranged in pairs. Size comparison with small free-living individuals and the straight posture of the posterior-most pair suggest that those embryos were at term and had probably reached parturition. The posterior-most embryo on the left side has the head positioned toward the rear, contrary to normal position, suggesting a complication that may have contributed to the mother’s death. Viviparity would certainly have freed species of Hyphalosaurus from the need to return to land to deposit eggs; taking this advantage, they would have avoided intense competition with contemporaneous terrestrial carnivores such as dinosaurs.

  4. Salmonella diversity associated with wild reptiles and amphibians in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briones, Víctor; Téllez, Sonia; Goyache, Joaquín; Ballesteros, Cristina; del Pilar Lanzarot, María; Domínguez, Lucas; Fernández-Garayzábal, José F

    2004-08-01

    During the spring and summer of 2001, faeces from 166 wild reptiles (94 individuals) and amphibians (72 individuals) from 21 different species found in central Spain were examined for the presence of Salmonella. Thirty-nine reptiles (41.5%) yielded 48 Salmonella isolates, whereas all the amphibians examined were negative. Subspecies Salmonella enterica enterica (I) accounted for up to 50% of isolates. Fourteen isolates (29.2%) belonged to subspecies diarizonae (IIIb), six isolates (12.5%) to subspecies salamae (II), and four isolates (8.3%) to subspecies arizonae (IIIa). Twenty-seven different serotypes were identified. Serotypes Anatum (12.5%), Herzliya (8.3%), Abony, 18:l,v:z, 9,12:z29:1,5 and 38:z10:z53 (6.2%/each) were the most frequently isolated. A high percentage (39.6%) of isolates belonged to serotypes previously associated with environmental sources. Also, 37.5% of isolates belonged to serotypes which had been related to human cases of salmonellosis. From these data, it is concluded that wild reptiles, but apparently not amphibians, may represent an important reservoir of Salmonella in nature and have potential implications for public health.

  5. Peptidomic and transcriptomic profiling of four distinct spider venoms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Oldrati

    Full Text Available Venom based research is exploited to find novel candidates for the development of innovative pharmacological tools, drug candidates and new ingredients for cosmetic and agrochemical industries. Moreover, venomics, as a well-established approach in systems biology, helps to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of the production of such a great molecular biodiversity. Today the advances made in the proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics fields, favor venomics, allowing the in depth study of complex matrices and the elucidation even of minor compounds present in minute biological samples. The present study illustrates a rapid and efficient method developed for the elucidation of venom composition based on NextGen mRNA sequencing of venom glands and LC-MS/MS venom proteome profiling. The analysis of the comprehensive data obtained was focused on cysteine rich peptide toxins from four spider species originating from phylogenetically distant families for comparison purposes. The studied species were Heteropoda davidbowie (Sparassidae, Poecilotheria formosa (Theraphosidae, Viridasius fasciatus (Viridasiidae and Latrodectus mactans (Theridiidae. This led to a high resolution profiling of 284 characterized cysteine rich peptides, 111 of which belong to the Inhibitor Cysteine Knot (ICK structural motif. The analysis of H. davidbowie venom revealed a high richness in term of venom diversity: 95 peptide sequences were identified; out of these, 32 peptides presented the ICK structural motif and could be classified in six distinct families. The profiling of P. formosa venom highlighted the presence of 126 peptide sequences, with 52 ICK toxins belonging to three structural distinct families. V. fasciatus venom was shown to contain 49 peptide sequences, out of which 22 presented the ICK structural motif and were attributed to five families. The venom of L. mactans, until now studied for its large neurotoxins (Latrotoxins, revealed the presence of 14

  6. Structures and Functions of Snake Venom Metalloproteinases (SVMP) from Protobothrops venom Collected in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyama, Etsuko; Takahashi, Hidenobu

    2017-08-04

    Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMP) are widely distributed among the venoms of Crotalinae and Viperidae, and are organized into three classes (P-I, P-II and P-III) according to their size and domain structure. P-I SVMP are the smallest SVMP, as they only have a metalloproteinase (M) domain. P-II SVMP contain a disintegrin-like (D) domain, which is connected by a short spacer region to the carboxyl terminus of the M domain. P-III SVMP contain a cysteine-rich (C) domain, which is attached to the carboxyl terminus of the D domain. Some SVMP exhibit hemorrhagic activity, whereas others do not. In addition, SVMP display fibrinolytic/fibrinogenolytic (FL) activity, and the physiological functions of SVMP are controlled by their structures. Furthermore, these proteinases also demonstrate fibrinogenolytic and proteolytic activity against synthetic substrates for matrix metalloproteinases and ADAM (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase). This article describes the structures and FL, hemorrhagic, and platelet aggregation-inhibiting activity of SVMP derived from Protobothrops snake venom that was collected in Japan.

  7. Neuromuscular activity of Bothrops fonsecai snake venom in vertebrate preparations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Carla T; Giaretta, Vânia MA; Prudêncio, Luiz S; Toledo, Edvana O; da Silva, Igor RF; Collaço, Rita CO; Barbosa, Ana M; Hyslop, Stephen; Rodrigues-Simioni, Léa; Cogo, José C

    2014-01-01

    The neuromuscular activity of venom from Bothrops fonsecai, a lancehead endemic to southeastern Brazil, was investigated. Chick biventer cervicis (CBC) and mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm (PND) preparations were used for myographic recordings and mouse diaphragm muscle was used for membrane resting potential (RP) and miniature end-plate potential (MEPP) recordings. Creatine kinase release and muscle damage were also assessed. In CBC, venom (40, 80 and 160μg/ml) produced concentration- and time-dependent neuromuscular blockade (50% blockade in 85±9 min and 73±8 min with 80 and 160μg/ml, respectively) and attenuated the contractures to 110μM ACh (78–100% inhibition) and 40mM KCl (45–90% inhibition). The venom-induced decrease in twitch-tension in curarized, directly-stimulated preparations was similar to that in indirectly stimulated preparations. Venom (100 and 200μg/ml) also caused blockade in PND preparations (50% blockade in 94±13 min and 49±8 min with 100 and 200μg/ml, respectively) but did not alter the RP or MEPP amplitude. In CBC, venom caused creatine kinase release and myonecrosis. The venom-induced decrease in twitch-tension and in the contractures to ACh and K+ were abolished by preincubating venom with commercial antivenom. These findings indicate that Bothrops fonsecai venom interferes with neuromuscular transmission essentially through postsynaptic muscle damage that affects responses to ACh and KCl. These actions are effectively prevented by commercial antivenom. PMID:25028603

  8. Importance of basophil activation testing in insect venom allergy

    OpenAIRE

    Kosnik Mitja; Korosec Peter

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Venom immunotherapy (VIT) is the only effective treatment for prevention of serious allergic reactions to bee and wasp stings in sensitized individuals. However, there are still many questions and controversies regarding immunotherapy, like selection of the appropriate allergen, safety and long term efficacy. Methods Literature review was performed to address the role of basophil activation test (BAT) in diagnosis of venom allergy. Results In patients with positive skin te...

  9. Comparison of the venom immunogenicity of various species of yellow jackets (genus Vespula).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wicher, K; Reisman, R E; Wypych, J; Elliott, W; Steger, R; Mathews, R S; Arbesman, C E

    1980-09-01

    Venoms from various yellow jacket species were examined by two-dimensional thin-layer chromatography (TDTLC), double-diffusion gel precipitation (DDGP) using rabbit antisera, and the radioallergosorbent test (RAST). Comparison of representative venoms by the TDTLC showed that the venoms of V. vulgaris and V. maculifrons have a larger number of Ninhydrin (triketohydrindene hydrate)-positive substances than the venom of V. squamosa. The results of the DDGP confirmed the differences; venoms of V. vulgaris, V. maculifrons, V. flavopilosa, and V. germanica have one or more major components with immunogenic identity. The venom of V. squamosa has a species-specific major component and some minor components immunologically identical to the other venoms examined. Sera from 21 patients with a history of anaphylaxis following yellow jacket stings were examined by the RAST. Using the venoms of V. maculifrons, V. vulgaris, V. flavopilosa, and V. germanica as coupling antigens, most sera reacted similarly. The sera did not react with V. squamosa. These results suggest that the major component in venom obtained from the four yellow jacket species has immunogenic identity. Venom of V. squamosa differs from the remaining venoms. As a practical corollary, with the exception of venom from V. squamosa, common sensitivity appears to exist among the yellow jacket venoms examined.

  10. Ampulexins: A New Family of Peptides in Venom of the Emerald Jewel Wasp, Ampulex compressa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Eugene L; Arvidson, Ryan; Banks, Christopher; Urenda, Jean Paul; Duong, Elizabeth; Mohammed, Haroun; Adams, Michael E

    2018-03-27

    The parasitoid wasp Ampulex compressa injects venom directly into the brain and subesophageal ganglion of the cockroach Periplaneta americana, inducing a 7 to 10 day lethargy termed hypokinesia. Hypokinesia presents as a significant reduction in both escape response and spontaneous walking. We examined aminergic and peptidergic components of milked venom with HPLC and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. HPLC coupled with electrochemical detection confirmed the presence of dopamine in milked venom, while mass spectrometry revealed that the venom gland and venom sac have distinct peptide profiles, with milked venom predominantly composed of venom sac peptides. We isolated and characterized novel α-helical, amphipathic venom sac peptides that constitute a new family of venom toxins termed ampulexins. Injection of the most abundant venom peptide, ampulexin 1, into the subesophageal ganglion of cockroaches resulted in a short-term increase in escape threshold. Neither milked venom nor venom peptides interfered with growth of Escherichia coli or Bacillus thuringiensis on agar plates, and exposure to ampulexins or milked venom did not induce cell death in Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO-K1) or Hi5 cells ( Trichoplusia ni).

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abd Rabo, H.A.M.

    2012-01-01

    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 f ive-striped smooth-tail . Other species of the genus Leiurus are often referred to as d eathstalkers a s well (Werness, 2004; Minton, 2010).

  12. Venomic Analysis of the Poorly Studied Desert Coral Snake, Micrurus tschudii tschudii, Supports the 3FTx/PLA₂ Dichotomy across Micrurus Venoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanz, Libia; Pla, Davinia; Pérez, Alicia; Rodríguez, Yania; Zavaleta, Alfonso; Salas, Maria; Lomonte, Bruno; Calvete, Juan J

    2016-06-07

    The venom proteome of the poorly studied desert coral snake Micrurus tschudii tschudii was unveiled using a venomic approach, which identified ≥38 proteins belonging to only four snake venom protein families. The three-finger toxins (3FTxs) constitute, both in number of isoforms (~30) and total abundance (93.6% of the venom proteome), the major protein family of the desert coral snake venom. Phospholipases A₂ (PLA₂s; seven isoforms, 4.1% of the venom proteome), 1-3 Kunitz-type proteins (1.6%), and 1-2 l-amino acid oxidases (LAO, 0.7%) complete the toxin arsenal of M. t. tschudii. Our results add to the growing evidence that the occurrence of two divergent venom phenotypes, i.e., 3FTx- and PLA₂-predominant venom proteomes, may constitute a general trend across the cladogenesis of Micrurus. The occurrence of a similar pattern of venom phenotypic variability among true sea snake (Hydrophiinae) venoms suggests that the 3FTx/PLA₂ dichotomy may be widely distributed among Elapidae venoms.

  13. Amphibians and reptiles of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, México, with new records

    OpenAIRE

    Colston, Timothy; Barão-Nóbrega, José António; Manders, Ryan; Lett, Alice; Wilmott, Jamie; Cameron, Gavin; Hunter, Sidony; Radage, Adam; Littlefair, Etienne; Williams, Robert; Lopez Cen, Antonio; Slater, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    We provide a list of amphibians and reptiles of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in the southern half of the Mexican Yucatan, in the state of Campeche. The study area was sampled through opportunistic, transect and pitfall trap surveys conducted for three successive years. These surveys resulted in a total of 2,359 amphibian and reptile encounters, belonging to 20 amphibian and 69 reptile species from 24 total families. We present herein the records for one snake, one chelonian and two salamand...

  14. Anfibios y reptiles de la sierra de Cuatro Venados, Oaxaca, México

    OpenAIRE

    Martín-Regalado, N.; Lavariega, M. C.; Gómez-Ugalde, R. M.; Rodríguez-Pérez, C.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles of the Sierra de Cuatro Venados, Oaxaca, Mexico We surveyed amphibian and reptile communities in temperate forest in the Sierra de Cuatro Venados to increase knowledge of the Oaxacan herpetofauna. We obtained 193 visual and 106 voucher records during 38 days of fieldwork. During the study, we recorded 36 of the 40 species predicted to occur in this mountain range: nine amphibians and 27 reptiles, five of which represent new records at the regional scale. Pine-o...

  15. Terrestrial Origin of Viviparity in Mesozoic Marine Reptiles Indicated by Early Triassic Embryonic Fossils

    OpenAIRE

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-yong; Tintori, Andrea; Rieppel, Olivier; Chen, Guan-bao

    2014-01-01

    Viviparity in Mesozoic marine reptiles has traditionally been considered an aquatic adaptation. We report a new fossil specimen that strongly contradicts this traditional interpretation. The new specimen contains the oldest fossil embryos of Mesozoic marine reptile that are about 10 million years older than previous such records. The fossil belongs to Chaohusaurus (Reptilia, Ichthyopterygia), which is the oldest of Mesozoic marine reptiles (ca. 248 million years ago, Early Triassic). This exc...

  16. Snake Venom: From Deadly Toxins to Life-saving Therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waheed, Humera; Moin, Syed F; Choudhary, M I

    2017-01-01

    Snakes are fascinating creatures and have been residents of this planet well before ancient humans dwelled the earth. Venomous snakes have been a figure of fear, and cause notable mortality throughout the world. The venom constitutes families of proteins and peptides with various isoforms that make it a cocktail of diverse molecules. These biomolecules are responsible for the disturbance in fundamental physiological systems of the envenomed victim, leading to morbidity which can lead to death if left untreated. Researchers have turned these life-threatening toxins into life-saving therapeutics via technological advancements. Since the development of captopril, the first drug that was derived from bradykininpotentiating peptide of Bothrops jararaca, to the disintegrins that have potent activity against certain types of cancers, snake venom components have shown great potential for the development of lead compounds for new drugs. There is a continuous development of new drugs from snake venom for coagulopathy and hemostasis to anti-cancer agents. In this review, we have focused on different snake venom proteins / peptides derived drugs that are in clinical use or in developmental stages till to date. Also, some commonly used snake venom derived diagnostic tools along with the recent updates in this exciting field are discussed. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  17. Embryotoxicity following repetitive maternal exposure to scorpion venom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Safety and efficacy of venom immunotherapy: a real life study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kołaczek, Agnieszka; Skorupa, Dawid; Antczak-Marczak, Monika; Kuna, Piotr; Kupczyk, Maciej

    2017-04-01

    Venom immunotherapy (VIT) is recommended as the first-line treatment for patients allergic to Hymenoptera venom. To analyze the safety and efficacy of VIT in a real life setting. One hundred and eighty patients undergoing VIT were studied to evaluate the safety, efficacy, incidence and nature of symptoms after field stings and adverse reactions to VIT. Significantly more patients were allergic to wasp than bee venom (146 vs. 34, p bees, and were not associated with angiotensin convertase inhibitors (ACEi) or β-adrenergic antagonists use. Systemic reactions were observed in 4 individuals on wasp VIT (2.7%) and in 6 patients allergic to bees (17.65%). The VIT was efficacious as most patients reported no reactions (50%) or reported only mild local reactions (43.75%) to field stings. The decrease in sIgE at completion of VIT correlated with the dose of vaccine received ( r = 0.53, p = 0.004). Beekeeping (RR = 29.54, p venom allergy. Venom immunotherapy is highly efficacious and safe as most of the adverse events during the induction and maintenance phase are mild and local. Side effects of VIT are more common in subjects on bee VIT. Beekeeping and female sex are associated with a higher risk of allergy to Hymenoptera venom.

  19. 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

  20. A zoological catalogue of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nóbrega Alves, Rômulo Romeu; Pereira Filho, Gentil Alves; Silva Vieira, Kleber; Silva Souto, Wedson Medeiros; Mendonça, Lívia Emanuelle Tavares; Montenegro, Paulofernandoguedespereira; Almeida, Waltécio de Oliveira; Silva Vieira, Washington Luiz

    2012-07-30

    The variety of interactions between human cultures and herpetofauna is the subject matter of Ethnoherpetology, a subdivision of Ethnozoology. In the semi-arid region of Brazil, many reptiles interact with human communities because of their utility or because of the risks they represent. These interactions have obvious implications for the conservation of reptiles from this region. In this context, ethnoherpetology studies are crucial because they serve as subsidies for guiding strategies for the handling and conservation of reptiles. This paper presents ethnozoological and taxonomic informations of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil and analyse the implications on conservation that are related to the interactions between people and reptiles in this region. Taxonomic keys to identifying recorded reptiles are provided. Records of humans interacting with 38 reptile species that belong to 31 genuses and 16 families have been found. The groups with the largest numbers of recorded species were snakes (18 species), and this group was followed in number by lizards (13), chelonians (4), and crocodilians (3). The reptiles that were recorded may be used for the following purposes: medicinal purposes (24 species), food (13 species), ornamental or decorative purposes (11 species), in magical/religious practices (10 species), and as pets (10 species). Some species (n = 16) may have multiple uses. Furthermore, more than half of the species (n = 19) are commonly killed because they are considered potentially dangerous. Strategies for conserving the reptiles of the Brazilian semi-arid region must reconcile and integrate human and conservation needs.