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An examination of the activity of expired and mistreated commercial Australian antivenoms

O’Leary, MA, Kornhauser, RS, Hodgson, WC and Isbister, GK (2009). An examination of the activity of expired and mistreated commercial Australian antivenoms. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,103(9):937-942.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title An examination of the activity of expired and mistreated commercial Australian antivenoms
Author O’Leary, MA
Kornhauser, RS
Hodgson, WC
Isbister, GK
Journal Name Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Publication Date 2009
Volume Number 103
Issue Number 9
ISSN 0035-9203   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 937
End Page 942
Total Pages 6
Place of Publication UK
Publisher Elsevier Ltd
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Expired antivenoms may be useful in countries where snake envenoming is common and supplies are limited. This study examined the activity of expired Australasian antivenoms. Expired CSL snake antivenoms, including taipan, brown snake and polyvalent antivenoms, were used. The most current antivenom was used as the reference to compare expired antivenoms. Binding activity was assessed by enzyme immunoassay. Neutralisation of venom clotting effects was assessed by a modified clotting test using changes in optical density. Neutralisation of the in vitro neurotoxic effects of taipan venom was determined using a chick biventer cervicis nerve–muscle preparation. All antivenom batches remained active, with gradual deterioration in activity and binding over time. All batches of taipan antivenom at concentrations equivalent to the administration of one vial (including one 15 years expired) prevented clotting by taipan venom. Brown snake antivenoms also prevented clotting, except two that were 10 years old. All expired taipan/polyvalent antivenom prevented in vitro neurotoxicity at concentrations consistent with antivenom treatment. Freeze–thawing the antivenom or leaving it at room temperature for 3 days caused only small decreases in activity. CSL antivenoms are more robust than indicated on their label and maintain useful activity long past their nominated expiry dates.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.trstmh.2008.11.011   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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