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    India has recorded the maximum snakebite deaths in the world. Intravenous administration of polyvalent antivenom (PAV) raised against the 'Big Four' venomous snakes of India (Naja naja, Daboia russelli, Echis carinatus, and Bungarus caeraleus) is the only choice of treatment. The WHO has recommended the evaluation of quality and safety of commercial antivenom by in vitro laboratory tests prior to their pre-clinical evaluation in animal model and therapeutic use. Therefore, in this study an attempt has been made to evaluate the quality of commercial polyvalent antivenom produced in India by simple, and affordable laboratory tests. Proteomic analysis revealed that PAVs contained 78.7-94.8% IgG/F(ab')2 and small quantities of plasma proteins. The PAVs showed batch-to-batch variations with varying amounts of undigested IgG and its aggregates, and moderate complement activation. However, absence of IgE, negligible endotoxin contamination, and recommended limit of preservative (cresol) in PAVs were observed. The PAVs contain varying proportions and least amount of venom-specific antibodies against venoms of the 'Big Four' snakes from different locales of India, and against eastern India N. kaouthia venom, respectively. The importance of independent in vitro laboratory tests for the quality control and safety assessment for improving the quality of Indian commercial PAV is reinforced. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Aparup Patra, Dipanjan Banerjee, Suman Dasgupta, Ashis K Mukherjee. The in vitro laboratory tests and mass spectrometry-assisted quality assessment of commercial polyvalent antivenom raised against the 'Big Four' venomous snakes of India. Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology. 2021 Mar;192:15-31

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    PMID: 33417947

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