Panfoli, Isabella,Daniela Calzia, Silvia Ravera, Alessandro Morelli.2010. “Inhibition of Hemorragic Snake Venom Components: Old and New Approaches”. Accessed April 12, 2013.



Snake venoms are mixtures of biologically active proteins, metal ions, peptides and organic compounds. There are over 600 species of venomous snakes which can be classified into several groups. Most of the world’s envenomation’s are due to crotalidae and viperidae venoms. Venoms which affect the cardio-vascular system are classified hemotoxic whereas those that affect the nervous system are classified as neurotoxic.

Hemotoxic venoms contain various enzymes, isoenzymes and non-enzymatic proteins that either activate or inhibit factors that affect hemostasis. Many of the toxins in the venom affect platelet function by inhibiting or inducing platelet aggregation. Phospholipase A2 (Pla2) isoenzymes are responsible for inflammation and can be found in large numbers in both hemotoxic and neurotoxic venoms. Hemorrhages are caused by enzymes degrading proteins and components of the hemostatic system. This can be lethal as the hemostatic system is responsible for stopping bleeding and wound healing, which is the opposite of hemorrhage.

The extract of protein from horses and sheep are used as antivenins as they neutralize the toxins in humans. The administration of these toxins may be risky. Neutralization of toxins using inhibitors in plant extract may be used. Inhibitors of PLA2’s form soluble complexes with PLA2 enzymes, inhibiting their effects. Electric currents can also be used as a neutralizer at low voltages against metalloproteases and PLA2. There are many approaches to inhibit hemorrhagic venom which present advantages as well as disadvantages.

Most people, if not aware of how, know that some snakes possess poisonous venoms which can be lethal. It is known that poison affects the body in a negative way, but I have never known how or why. From this paper I have learnt that venoms are composed of proteins which are responsible for attacks on specific system which, if not treated, will bring down the body from within. I also learnt that inhibitors play a positive role in preventing these damaging proteins and so are the major components in antivenins. This paper may be difficult for someone without a biochemistry, biology or chemistry background to follow. It is also too wordy.

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