Studies on the Snake Venoms of the near East: Walterinnesia Aegyptia and Pseudocerastes Fieldii

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  • The Rogoff Medical Research Institute of the Labour Sick Fund, the Department of Pathology, Beilinson Hospital, Department of Preventive Medicine, The Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Petah Tikva, Israel
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Toxicological, biochemical, pathological and immunological studies were performed on the venoms of Walterinnesia aegyptia and Pseudocerastes fieldii and their chromatographic fractions. Both venoms are predominantly neurotoxic, but possess also hemorrhagic and hepatotoxic activity.

In vitro activities common to the venoms of both snakes are protease, phosphatidase A and hyaluronidase. Walterinnesia in addition has 1-amino acid oxidase, weak anticoagulant and fibrinolytic activity. Pseudocerastes possesses a direct hemolysin, demonstrable only in a chromatographically separated fraction.

Evidence was brought forward proving that the neurotoxic activity of W. aegyptia venom was not related to its phosphatidase A content. W. aegyptia venom was found to contain a hemorrhagin, the action of which is not due to proteolytic enzymes.