Intraspecies variability in Vipera ammodytes ammodytes venom related to its toxicity and immunogenic potential

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2011 Mar;153(2):223-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2010.10.007. Epub 2010 Oct 21.


Vipera ammodytes is the most venomous European snake, whose venom has been used as antigen for immunization of antivenom-producing animals. Same as venom of any other snake, it is a complex mixture of proteins, peptides and other compounds which biochemical and pharmacological variability has been demonstrated at interspecies and intraspecies level. In this work we demonstrated intraspecific variability between 8 venom production batches using both the conventional and the new methodology. Moreover, in contrast to the literature on different venoms' variability, for the first time we were able to select those biochemical differences that are related to and give information on the venom's toxicity and immunogenicity. We have shown that methods quantifying ammodytoxin (the most toxic compound identified so far in the Vipera ammodytes ammodytes venom) content of the venom clearly distinguish between high and low immunogenic venoms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antivenins / immunology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Mice
  • Phospholipases / analysis
  • Phospholipases / immunology*
  • Phospholipases / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Snakes / immunology
  • Species Specificity
  • Viper Venoms / immunology*
  • Viper Venoms / toxicity*
  • Viperidae / immunology*


  • Antivenins
  • Viper Venoms
  • Phospholipases