Green pit vipers, fomprise a large group of venomous snakes found across the humid areas of tropical and sub-tropical Asia, including in the northern and north-eastern hilly region of India.They are medically important snakes. Researchers from India and UK , including network members Surajit Giri and Vishal Santra used crude venom of representative species of green pit vipers present in the north and north-eastern hilly region of India (Trimeresurus erythrurus, T. septentrionalis, Viridovipera medoensis, and Popiea popieorum) to characterise and elucidate venom composition and venom variation.The resarchers also studied the immunoreactivity of Indian polyvalent antivenom and Thai green pit viper antivenom on crude venoms by western blotting and inhibition of biochemical activities. They found that poor efficacy of Indian polyvalent antivenom in neutralizing the venom toxins of crude venoms; however, Thai green pit viper antivenin (raised against the venom of Trimeresurus allbolabris, not present in India) showed higher immunoreactivity towards congeneric venoms tested. Analysis of data of green pit viper bite from a community health centre in Assam, India, further revealed that the Indian polyvalent antivenom failed to reverse the extended coagulopathy in green pit viper bites.
The study was published recently in Toxicon and is available online here