Proof of concept: could snake venoms be a potential source of bioactive compounds for control of mould growth and mycotoxin production

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2020 Nov;71(5):459-465. doi: 10.1111/lam.13338. Epub 2020 Jun 29.


The objective was to screen 10 snake venoms for their efficacy to control growth and mycotoxin production by important mycotoxigenic fungi including Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus westerdijkiae, Penicillium verrucosum, Fusarium graminearum and F. langsethiae. The Bioscreen C rapid assay system was used. The venoms from the Viperidae snake family delayed growth of some of the test fungi, especially F. graminearum and F. langsethiae and sometimes A. flavus. Some were also able to reduce mycotoxin production. The two most potent crude snake venoms (Naja nigricollis and N. siamensis; 41 and 43 fractions, respectively) were further fractionated and 83/84 of these fractions were able to reduce mycotoxin production by >90% in two of the mycotoxigenic fungi examined. This study suggests that there may be significant potential for the identification of novel fungistatic/fungicidal bioactive compounds as preservatives of raw and processed food commodities post-harvest from such snake venoms.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Aspergillus / metabolism*
  • Aspergillus flavus / metabolism*
  • Fusarium / metabolism*
  • Mycotoxins / biosynthesis*
  • Penicillium / metabolism*
  • Proof of Concept Study
  • Viper Venoms / pharmacology*
  • Viperidae / metabolism


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Mycotoxins
  • Viper Venoms

Supplementary concepts

  • Aspergillus westerdijkiae
  • Fusarium graminearum
  • Penicillium verrucosum