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      A new approach of immunotherapy against Crotalus snakes envenoming: ostrich (Struthio camelus) egg yolk antibodies (IgY-technology). Translated title: Un nuevo enfoque de inmunoterapia contra el envenenamiento de serpientes Crotalus: anticuerpos de yema de huevo de avestruz (Struthio camelus) (tecnología IgY).


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          Abstract Crotalid envenomation is a neglected collective health problem involving many countries in America, which need secure and inexpensive snake anti-venom treatments. Here, high antibody titers (IgY) were raised in the Ostrich (Struthio camelus) egg yolk by immunizing with the venom of Venezuelan venomous Crotalus snakes. Ostriches were immunized with a pool of venoms from common rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus cumanensis), Uracoan rattlesnake (Crotalus vegrandis), Guayana rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus ruruima) and black rattlesnake (Crotalus pifanorum). The anti-snake venom antibodies were prepared from egg yolk by the water dilution method, enriched by the addition of caprylic acid (CA) and precipitation with ammonium sulfate at 30% (W/V). The purity and molecular mass of the final product was satisfactory, yielding a single ∼ 175 kDa band in SDS-PAGE gels ran under non-reducing conditions. In the immunoblot analysis, specific binding of the antivenom was observed with most venom proteins. The LD50 was 16.5 g/mouse (825 μg/kg body weight). High titers of IgY against Crot/pool venom were shown by ELISA. The median effective dose (ED50) was 19.66 mg/2LD50. IgY antibodies neutralized efficiently the Crot/pool venom lethality. As far as we know, this is the first anti-snake venom produced in ostriches, which could make this technology an affordable alternative for low-income countries, since it is likely to produce manteniabout 2-4 g of IgY per ostrich egg. Hence, almost 400 g of IgY can be purified from only one ostrich during a year. In addition, there are enormous differences in the cost of investment in the maintenance of horses, from the points of view of infrastructure, feeding and veterinary care, in which the cost can reach USD 100 per animal per day, compared to a maintenance cost of USD 146 per month per producing bird. These results are encouraging and could easily be extrapolated to the manufacturing of other antivenoms and antitoxins as well, as they could be applied to the manufacturing of potential diagnostic tools.

          Translated abstract

          Resumen El envenenamiento por crotálidos es un problema de salud colectiva desatendido, que involucra a muchos países del continente americano, los cuales necesitan tratamientos seguros y económicos. En este trabajo, se obtuvieron títulos altos de anticuerpos (IgY) producidos en yema de huevo de avestruz (Struthio camelus) mediante la inmunización con el veneno de serpientes venezolanas del genero Crotalus. Se inmunizaron avestruces con una colección de veneno de serpientes de cascabel común (Crotalus durissus cumanensis), cascabel de Uracoa (Crotalus vegrandis), cascabel de Guayana (Crotalus durissus ruruima) y cascabel negra (Crotalus pifanorum). Los anticuerpos anti-veneno de serpiente se prepararon a partir de yema de huevo por el método de dilución en agua, enriquecidos mediante la adición de ácido caprílico (CA), seguido de una precipitación con sulfato de amonio al 30% (P/V). La pureza y masa molecular de los anticuerpos (IgY) se definieron mediante ensayos de SDS-PAGE nativos y las masas moleculares se establecieron electroforéticamente, obteniéndose una única banda de IgY de ∼ 175 kDa. El análisis de inmunotransferencia mostró la unión específica del antiveneno con la mayoría de las proteínas del veneno. La DL50 fue de 16,5 μg/ratón (825 μg / kg de peso corporal); Se mostraron títulos altos de IgY contra el veneno de Crot / pool mediante ELISA. La dosis mediana efectiva (DE50) fue de 19,66 mg/2 LD50. Los anticuerpos IgY neutralizaron eficazmente la letalidad del veneno de Crot / pool. Hasta donde sabemos, se trata del primer antídoto de serpiente producido en avestruces, lo que podría abaratar la producción de este tratamiento en países del tercer mundo. Ya que es probable que se obtengan alrededor de 2-4 g de IgY por huevo de avestruz. Por lo tanto, se podrían purificar casi 400 g de IgY de un solo avestruz durante un año. Asimismo, debido a las enormes diferencias en el costo de inversión en el mantenimiento de los caballos desde el punto de vista de infraestructura, alimentación y atención veterinaria, en los que el costo puede llegar a los 100 USD por día, frente a los 146 USD por mes de mantenimiento de la producción de aves. Estos resultados abren un campo terapéutico, para la fabricación de otros antivenenos contra un amplio espectro de toxinas y también como probables herramientas de diagnóstico.

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          Most cited references22

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          Chicken egg yolk antibodies (IgY-technology): a review of progress in production and use in research and human and veterinary medicine.

          The production of antibodies (Abs) in chickens and the extraction of specific Abs from egg yolk (IgY Abs) are increasingly attracting the interest of the scientific community, as demonstrated by the significant growth of the IgY literature. This review offers detailed and comprehensive information about IgY-technology, including: a) possibilities for hen keeping in accordance with the Three Rs principles; b) new insights into the IgY transfer mechanism from blood to yolk as a biological basis for the technology; c) the comparative characteristics of IgY Abs and IgG Abs; d) the high efficacy of the technique, in view of the extraordinary amount of IgY Ab produced by one hen in one year (between 20 g and 40 g IgY in total); e) comparisons between the efficacies of IgY Abs and IgG Abs (rabbit, sheep, mouse) in several immunological assays; f) immunisation protocols, as well as the most commonly used IgY-extraction procedures; g) new possibilities for application in human and veterinary medicine, including strategies for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection or fatal intestinal diseases in children, particularly in poor countries, for reducing the use of antibiotics, and, in Asia and South America, for producing Abs against snake, spider and scorpion venoms; and h) the use of IgY Abs in various fields of research, also taking into consideration recent developments in South America (particularly Argentina and Cuba) and in Asia.
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            Caprylic acid fractionation of hyperimmune horse plasma: description of a simple procedure for antivenom production.

            A simple methodology for hyperimmune horse plasma fractionation, based on caprylic acid precipitation, is described. Optimal conditions for fractionation were studied; the method gives best results when concentrated caprylic acid was added to plasma, whose pH had been adjusted to 5.8, until a final caprylic acid concentration of 5% was reached. The mixture was vigorously stirred during caprylic acid addition and then for 60 min; afterwards the mixture was filtered. Non-immunoglobulin proteins precipitated in these conditions, whereas a highly enriched immunoglobulin preparation was obtained in the filtrate, which was then dialysed to remove caprylic acid before the addition of NaCl and phenol. Thus, antivenom was produced after a single precipitation step followed by dialysis. In order to compare this methodology with that based on ammonium sulfate fractionation, a sample of hyperimmune plasma was divided into two aliquots which were fractionated in parallel by both methods. It was found that caprylic acid-fractionated antivenom was superior in terms of yield, production time, albumin/globulin ratio, turbidity, protein aggregates, electrophoretic pattern and neutralizing potency against several activities of Bothrops asper venom. Owing to its efficacy and simplicity, this method could be of great value in antivenom and antitoxin production laboratories.
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              Statistical method in biological assay


                Author and article information

                Investigación Clínica
                Invest. clín
                Instituto de Investigaciones Clínicas "Dr. Américo Negrette", Facultad de Medicina, Universidad del Zulia (Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela )
                March 2022
                : 63
                : 1
                : 57-69
                [3] Caracas Districto Capital orgnameUniversidad Central de Venezuela orgdiv1Instituto Anatómico orgdiv2Laboratorio de Inmunoquímica y Ultraestructura Venezuela
                [2] Caracas Districto Capital orgnameUniversidad Central de Venezuela orgdiv1Facultad de Medicina orgdiv2Instituto de Inmunología Venezuela
                [1] Caracas Districto Capital orgnameUniversidad Central de Venezuela orgdiv1Facultad de Farmacia orgdiv2Biotecfar C.A Venezuela
                S0535-51332022000100057 S0535-5133(22)06300100057

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

                : 03 August 2021
                : 04 November 2021
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 22, Pages: 13

                SciELO Venezuela

                venom,avestruz Crotalus,IgY,Struthio camelus,veneno,antivenom,Crotalus snakes,ostrich egg yolk,antiveneno


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