Specific heterologous F(ab')2 antibodies revert blood incoagulability resulting from envenoming by Lonomia obliqua caterpillars.

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  • 1 Divisão de Produção de Soros, Imunopatologia, Instituto Butantan, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. rocha_campos@hotmail.com

Contact with Lonomia obliqua caterpillars results in a bleeding syndrome characterized by hemorrhage and blood coagulation disturbances. Conventional therapy using antifibrinolytics or cryoprecipitates has been unable to treat pathophysiologic alterations. As antivenoms are effective therapy for treatment of victims of venomous animals, a process of manufacturing a specific antilonomic serum by immunizing horses with Lonomia caterpillar bristle extracts (LBE) was developed. Lonomia caterpillar bristle extracts exhibited several protein bands on SDS-PAGE, induced blood coagulation abnormalities and lethality in mice, and stimulated specific antibody production in horses. Sera obtained from immunized horses were rich in anti-LBE specific antibodies distributed among the horse IgG isotypes. These antibodies had the ability to recognize various LBE antigens as well as to neutralize their coagulopathy-inducing activity. The antivenom manufactured by the developed process was composed of purified and sterilized F(ab')2 with ED50 = 38.61 microl, potency = 0.29 mg/ml, and 95% confidence limit of potency 0.20-1.36.