Snake Venom Essay

Snakes are elongated, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder serpents that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. It is commonly believed that all snakes are venomous but that is an erroneous believes. Of all the 2700 known species of snakes only 300 are venomous. Most species are non venomous and those that have venom use it primarily to kill and subdue prey rather than for self defense. Some posses venom potent enough to cause painful injury or death to humans. Non venomous snakes either swallow prey alive or kill by constriction.

Joseph 1991) Snake venom is a highly modified saliva produced by snake’s special salivary gland. Snake venom is of a very pronounces nature with protein constituting 90 percent or more of the venom’s dry weight. The nature of this venom was first established by Bonaparte Lucien in 1843. Upon closer inspection it becomes clear that snake venom is no way a simple substance, it is a complex mixture of numbers of proteins, peptide, enzymes, toxins and non protein inclusions (Leon et al. , 2011). The makeup of the toxins varies widely from one snake species to another, this allows for the great variety of different snake bite effects.

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The enzyme present in snake venom often aid in the digestion of prey animal which receives the snake bite, but some of these enzymes enhance or contribute to the toxic effect of the venom. Approximately 20 of these enzymes are known to be toxic. One of them cholinesterase is used to paralyze the snake’s prey by relaxing the victim muscles to the point where they can no longer be controlled properly. Another enzyme phosphorescent leads to a negative cardiac reaction in victims, most notably a rapid drop in blood pressure. Hollandaise is one of the most dangerous enzymes absorbed more rapidly by victim.

Others include phosphoresce, postmistresses, phosphorescence’s, L-amino acid oxides, specific antipodeans and non specific antipodeans e. T. C. (Wang and Suzuki 1979). These enzymes all co-operate in order to make the snake’s venom as effective as possible, though it should also be noted that no snake possess every single of these enzymes. On the average snake employ six to twelve of these enzymes in their venom. The dangerous mixtures present in snake venom intricate as they allow the snake to bring down their usual prey (and in some cases much larger creatures) with a single quick strike. EVOLUTION

OF VENOMOUS SNAKES Venomous snakes are a polytechnic group of collaborate that includes all the family members of aliped, paradise and stereotypical. Aliped include cobras, karats and coral snakes, the family paradise has two subfamilies Reseller’s vipers such as saw snake vipers and coralline (pit vipers) and family stereotypical. This lineage are believed to have originated in the Miocene but remains sparsely represented in the fossil record (Nilsson and Andrea 1997) (Rage 1997). Like their fossil record, scientific discussion concerning the evolutionary and selective forces responsible for shaping heir venom are scant.

Several studies have shown that the composition of snake venom is genetically controlled and thus subject to evolution via natural selection like any nerd table t Minimize-operas 1 CLASSIFICATION OF SNAKE VENOM Snake venom are subdivided into three categories namely: 1 Neurotics 2 Honeymoons 3 Coordination The neurotics is designed to attack the recipient’s neuron or nerve cells by interfering with membrane proteins and ion channels. They have the ability to inhibit ion movement across the cell membrane or communication between neurons across synapse.

The typical effects of this toxin include the loss of motor skills, mental ability and even consciousness, sometimes depending on the dosage of the toxin, breathing difficulties or heart failure can result. (Bradbury and Deane, 1993). Examples of common neurotic snakes are: cobras, mambas, sea snakes, karats and corals. (all in the family of Elapsed) Hometowns are often much more violent in nature as the venom attacks the circulatory system and muscle tissues causing excessive scarring, gangrene, permanent disuse of motor skills and occasionally even leads to the amputation of affected areas.

Examples of common homoerotic snakes include rattle snakes, copper heads, cotton mouth ( all in the family of paradise). Coordination are those compounds which are toxic specifically to the heart. It binds to particular sites of muscles cells of the heart preventing muscle contraction. (yang et al.. , 2005). MOST VENOMOUS SNAKES RATTLESNAKES The rattle snake is easily identifiable by the tale rattle on the end of it’s tail. They are actually a part of the pit viper family, and are capable of striking at up to 2/3rd their body length. The eastern diamondback is considered the most venomous species of tattletales.

Juveniles are considered more dangerous than adults due to their inability to control the amount of venom injected. Most species of rattle snakes have homoerotic venom destroying tissue, degenerating organs and congratulation’s (disrupted blood clotting). Some degree of permanent scarring is very likely in the event of a venomous bite, even with prompt effective treatment and can lead to the loss of limb or death. Difficulty breathing, paralysis, drooling and massive hemorrhaging are also common symptoms. Thus a rattle snake bite is always a potential fatal injury.

Untreated rattle snake bites, especially from larger species are very often fatal. However, antivenin when applied on time reduces the death rate to less than 4%. DEATH ADDER The appropriately named death adder is found in Australia and new Guiana. They actually hunt and kill other snakes, including some on this list usually via ambush. Death adders look quite similar to vipers, in that they have triangular shaped heads and short squat bodies. An untreated Death Adder bite is one of the most dangerous in the world. The venom is a neurotic. A bite causes paralysis and can cause death thin six hours due to respiratory failure.

Symptoms generally peak within 24-48 hours. Antivenin is very stressful in treating a bite trot a death adder, particularly due to the relatively slow progression of symptoms, but before its development a death adder bite had a fatality rate of 50%. With the quickest strike in the world, a death adder can go from strike position to striking back again with 0. 13 of a second VIPERS Vipers are found throughout most of the world, but arguably the most venomous is the saw scaled viper and chain viper found primarily in the middle east and central

Asia, particularly in India, China and South East Asia. Vipers are quick tempered and generally nocturnal, often active after rain. They are also very fast. Most of these species have venom that cause symptoms that begin with pain at the site of the bite immediately followed by swelling of the affected area. Bleeding is a common symptom, especially from the gums. There is a drop in blood pressure and the heart rate falls. Blistering occurs at the site of the bite, developing along the affected limb in severe cases.

Necrosis is usually superficial and limited to the muscles near the bite , but may be severe in extreme cases. Vomiting and facial swelling occur in about one third of all cases. Severe pain may last for 2-4 weeks. Often local swelling peaks with 48-72 hours involving the affected limb. Declaration may occur throughout the swollen area as red blood cell and plasma leak into muscle tissue. Dealt film, respiratory muscles or cardiac failure may occur 1-14 days post bite or even later. PHILIPPINE COBRA Most species of cobra would not make this list however, the Philippine cobra is the exception.

It’s venom is the most deadly of all the cobra species, they are capable of spitting it up to three meters. The venom is a neurotic which affects cardiac and respiratory function, and can cause neurotically respiratory paralysis and death in thirty minutes. The bite causes only minimal tissue damage, the neuron -muscular junctions near the muscles. The symptoms might include headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, collapse and convulsion. GEIGER SNAKES Tiger snake is found in Australia, it has a very potent neurotic venom.

Death from a bite can occur within 30 minutes but usually takes 6-24 hour prior to the development of antivenin. The fatality rate from tiger snakes was 60-70 percent . Homonyms can include localized pain in the foot and neck region , tingling, numbness and sweating follow by a fairly rapid onset of breathing difficulties and paralysis. The tiger snake will generally flee if encountered, but can become aggressive when cornered. It strikes with unerring accuracy. BLACK MAMBA The feared black mamba is found throughout many parts of the African continent.

They are known to be highly aggressive, and strike with deadly precision. They are also the fastest land snake in the world, capable of reaching speed of up to km/her. These fearsome snake can strike up to times in a row. A single bite is capable of killing anywhere from 10-25 adults. The venom is a fast acting neurotic. It’s bite delivers about 100-MGM of venom, 0. MGM/keg is sufficient to kill a human in 50% of cases. The initial symptom of the bite is local pain in the bite area, although not as severe as snakes with honeymoons.

The victim then experiences a tingling sensation in the mouth and extremities, double vision, tunnel vision, severe confusion, fever, excessive salivation (including foaming of the mouth and nose) and pronounced ataxia (lack to muscle control). It the victim does not receive medical attention, Homonyms rapidly progress to severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, shock, nonprescription, cardiologist and paralysis. Eventually, the victim experiences convulsion. The mortality rate is nearly 100% among the highest of venomous snakes.

Depending on the nature of the bite death can occur at any time between 15 minutes and 3 hours. TAIPEI The venom in Taipei is strong enough to kill up to 12,000 Guiana pigs. The venom clots the victim’s food, blocking arteries or veins. It is also highly neurotic. Before the advent of antivenin, there are no known survival off Taipei bite, and death typically occurs within an hour. Even with successful administration of antivenin, most victims will have an extensive stay in intensive care. It has been likened to the African Black mamba in morphology, ecology and behavior.

BLUE KARAT OR MALAY Karats hunts and kill other snakes, even cannibalizing other karats. They are a nocturnal breed, and are more aggressive under the cover of darkness. However, overall they are quite timid and will often attempt to hide rather than fight. The venom is a neurotic, 16 times more potent than that of a cobra. It quickly induces muscles paralysis by preventing the ability of nerve ending to properly release the Heimlich that sends the message to the next nerve. This is followed by a period of massive over excitation(cramps, tremors spam) which finally tails off to paralysis.

Fortunately bites from karats are rare due to their nocturnal nature. Before the development of antivenin, the fatality was a whopping 85 percent. Even if antivenin is administered in time you are far from assured survival. Death usually occur within 6-12 hours of karat bite. Even if patients make it to a hospital, permanent coma and even brain death from hypoxia may occur, given potentially long transport time to get medical care. Despite the existence of these separate categories, most snakes actually posses both varieties of toxicity in their venom.

PURPOSE OF SNAKE VENOM The primary purpose of snake venom is to aid in the capture of prey. However, snakes do not possess a wide variety of defense mechanisms. Due to their lack of limbs, they are unable to outrun their attackers and cannot attain the proper leverage for whipping enemies with their tails. Though some snakes have the ability to secrete foul substances to deter their predators and others can feign death, most snakes must rely on their sharps teeth in order to defend themselves. Yet for a ominous snake, biting a predator meaner wasting valuable venom.

Not only does this venom require energy to create, it can also take a fair amount of time to refill. The venom is worth saving for capturing prey and so some venomous snake will tolerate a suspiring amount of stress before finally striking at their enemy. It is precisely due to this need for venom conservation that many snakes have been designed with so many warning strategies, such as warning colors, hoods and rattles. These special traits allows these snakes to intimidate any potential predator before having to resort to the use of their venom when they bite their targets.

This act is known as “dry bite”. It works much like a bluff allowing the snake to scare off the threat while saving it’s precious venom for it’s next hunt. It goes to show that even these intimidating reptiles are not as willing to kill anything that crosses their way as people thinks Despite these need tort venom storage, the elapses and vipers families are known for using up a massive amount of venom when attacking prey. The western rattlesnake (Corollas virus), for instance injects it’s prey with 300 times more venom than necessary.

Another venomous snake, the inland Taipei (Surnames corticosteroids) injects enough of its powerful venom in it’s bite to kill 200,000 mice. However other snakes in these families are able to meter out how much venom they intend to release into their prey. HOW VENOM IS PRODUCED IN VENOMOUS SNAKES. The venom is not produced inside the reptiles fangs, they are merely method of transfer. The venom is synthesized in special salivary glands that are often located in the head of the snake. At the base of a functioning gland is special duct that leads from a large gland behind the snake’s eye.

The venom gland is usually differentiated into true and false venom gland. FALSE VENOM GLAND The false venom gland (less dormant) are composed of mucus secreting superficial glands that run on either side of the head extending as a continuous stripe from near the snout to below and well behind the eye. These then lead to several ducts that leads to the bases of many maxillary teeth. Latitudinarians are known to have this type of arrangement. Most salubrious have different arrangement, rather than use those modified salivary glands they use larger gland known as the develops gland.

This gland is situated right under the skin, above and near the angle of the jaw. The gland open from a duct at the base of one or more posterior usually enlarged fangs that may not be grooved. These snakes must give a continuous stream of venom into their prey which meaner that they must continue to hold on to the animals to ensure investigation. TRUE VENOM GLAND True venom gland are made up of thick connective tissue, they contain a lumen, a separate compressor muscle and a duct connecting them to a single fang on each side of the Jaw.

This compressor muscle when contracted forces venom along the venom ducts and right into the snake fangs. Near the ended the fangs, the venom is hen squirted out much like hypodermic syringes. The true gland are found in all vipers and elapses and are also present in some psittacosis’s. COMPOSITION OF SNAKE VENOM As earlier said venom is not composed of a single substance but it’s cocktail of hundreds or even thousands of different peptides, proteins, enzymes and chemicals.

There are approximately 20 different type of toxic enzymes known to us till now found to be present in snake venom in varying combination and concentrations. Most common snake venom enzymes include: 1 Psychotherapist’s 2 L-amino acid oxides 3 Serine proteases 4 Interpretations Phosphoresce A(2) CHOLINESTERASE Cholinesterase attacks the nervous system, relaxing the muscle to the point where the victim has very little or no control. It plays a lead role in choleric system where it donations in the rapid termination to nerve impulses transmission. Activity toward archbishoprics compound suggests that exogenous cholinesterase can serve as effective therapeutic agent in the treatment of prophylaxis and archbishoprics poisoning. (Cohen et al. , 2001). L -AMINO ACID OXIDES (LOLA) L- amino acid oxides (LOLA) is a demerit Florentine which contain a non covalently nod FAD as a cofactor. It constitutes 1-9% of the total venom protein and it’s responsible for the light yellowish color of venom and catalysts the stereoscopic De-nomination of an amino acid substrate to an alpha -skeet acid along with the production of ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.

It has been found that LOLA from snake venom can induce optimism in mammalian endothelial cells possible due to the production of high concentration of hydrogen peroxide (Pallet et al. ,2000). HOLLANDAISE Hollandaise is actually an undiscovered as it degrades the beta -N-exactly – sociologically linkages in HA polymer. Lukewarm and Seller, 2008). It is virtually present in all snake venom and has been known as a spreading factor. It damages the extracurricular matrix at the site of the bite leading to the severe morbidity. It helps in rapid spreading of other toxins by destroying the integrity of the extracurricular matrix of the tissue.

Inspire of its role a spreading agent, it is required to explore its function as a therapeutic agent for inhibiting the systematic distribution of venom and also for minimizing local tissue destruction at the site of bite. (Exemplary and Garish 2006). PHOSPHORESCE AAA (PLAN(2)) Phosphoresce AAA plays an important role in many biological events such as cell signaling and cell growth, generation of pro- inflammatory lipid mediators such as prostaglandin and electrons (Rodriguez et al 2009). These are the enzymes that hydrology the sin-2 call ester bond of various phosphoric to produce free fatty acids and electrophoresis.

Mammalian PLAN(2) plays important role in various biological processes such as phosphoric metabolism and remodeling homeostasis of cellular membrane host defense and mediator production as well as signal transduction (Gao et al. , 2005). Whereas snake venom are chemically complex mixture of various active proteins or peptide belonging to ca+ dependent secretors. PLAN(2) which serves not only as digestive enzyme but also plays important role as a defense weapon by monopolizing the prey (Wee et al. , 2009). It has other pharmacological properties as anti- platelet, anti-coagulant, hemolytic, neurotic, mitotic.

Phosphoresce AAA has been classified into two groups 1. PILL(2) found mainly in the venom of cobras, karats, sea snake 2. PAL(2) found in venom of vipers and pit Vipers (Armada et al 2009). METAMORPHOSES This enzyme belongs to the family of zinc indisputable that degrade protein of extra cellular matrix components of hemostat system. It has ability to disrupt microgrooves which is then responsible for provoking local and systematic hemorrhagic and also contribute to other pathways that lead to local tissues damage. It might also prove zygotic to endothelial cells. (Escalate et al 2011).

OTHER ENZYMES Other enzymes include: proteins, adenosine troposphere, postmistresses e. T. C. Propitiates are important in digestion and they break down victims tissues at an accelerated rate. Adenosine troposphere when enters into victims blood, it results in deep shock and postmistresses are responsible tort negative cardiac reaction in victim and also a rapid drop in blood pressure. MECHANISM OF INJECTING VENOM ON PREY Specifically there are different styles of delivery of venom among snakes, depending on the serpent’s dentition. There are four types of snake dentition namely; 1 .

Galapagos or grovels 2. Physiologists or reared grooved 3. Porterhouses or front groove 4. Selenographers or pipe grooved Galapagos or grovels lack grooves on their teeth for venom to run down through. For these snakes venom drips down the teeth from any available opening. This result in their maxillae becoming saturated with venom when these snakes attack their targets. In other to ensure a successful venom delivery these snakes must chew on their prey repeatedly. Though time consuming and somewhat risky. This method of investigation often gets the Job done.

Snakes with this group of dentition include; blind snakes and some collieries. Physiologists (reared grooved) snakes have elongate fangs located on the top of the back of their mouths. These fangs have grooved running on the lateral side of the fang which helps direct venom into the ere since the fangs are located posterior. The snake must make a point taking a big bite into it’s prey in order to assure investigation. Physiologists snakes typically possess rather weak venom which is simply meant anesthetize their prey in order for the snake to subdue it more easily.

All North American species of these snake are not considers to man though their venomous bites can nonetheless cause considerable pain for days. Some species found outside of north America can be more dangerous. Two renowned herpetologist, Dry. Robert Martens and Dry. Karl Schmidt were killed by physiologists snakes. A twig snake and a boomerang respectively) after they underestimated the potency of the snake’s venom and refuse medical observation. As such caution must be practiced with these snakes even though they do not possess the same lethality as other snakes.

Many salubrious make up this group, such as the previously mentioned twig snake (of the genus Theologians and boomerang Dispossess types) Proteolysis or front groove snakes are the third group of venomous snakes. This group consists almost entirely of elapses, such as cobras and mambas. In these snakes, the grooves run so deep that tooth sides of the grooves overlaps each other forming a channel for venom to flow through. A lumen is located at the base of the snake’s tooth where venom awaits ejection while a discharge orifice lays on one side near the tip of the fang.

An adductor or Jaw closing, muscle is attached to the snake’s venom gland so that the glands squeeze out a stream of venom whenever the snake bites down. It should be noted that these snakes possessed fixed fangs which cannot be folded up when not in use. As a result, the fangs are short enough that the snake is not injured when closing its mouth. These snakes also possess the habit of holding unto their prey after the initial bite. Though this tactic could prove dangerous for many other snakes, the neurotic venom of proteolysis snakes works so quickly that the target is simply not allowed enough time to struggle for its freedom.

Some proteolysis snakes works so quickly that the target is simply not allowed enough time to struggle tort its torpedo. Some prototyping use this deadly venom in rather interesting ways. Cobras such as rankings (Hemostats hemostats) and several species of Afro-Asian cobras (Ninja SP. ) are able to spit venom at their aggressors. In reality the venom is powerfully ejected from theirs fangs which possess beveled circular aperture on the anterior surface Just above the tip were the venom is released.

African spitting cobras takes this curious ability a step further, as their fang possess spiral groove which forces a spin on the ejected venom allowing for much greater accuracy. Not only are these snakes dangerously accurate with their venom, the abidance of venom they possess these marksmen have no qualms with spitting repeatedly at more tenacious enemies, one black necked spitting cobra (Ninja necropolis) emptied its neon glands after spitting a shocking 57 times in only twenty minutes. Selenographers (pipe grooved) snakes make up the paradise and show some of the most specialized teeth for the Job. Hess snakes possess reduced maxillae and movable fangs nearly half as long as the snake’s head. When not in use, the fangs are folded back and upward, against the roof of the mouth. When the snake is about to strike at its target however, these intimidating are erected outward in a threatening display. This ability to fold up the fangs allows for greater fang length. In phosphorus Hannah they have about 3. Mm fang while in Bit’s Gabon (Gabon viper) they have fang measuring up to mom. Vipers have predominantly homoerotic venom as such their bites take longer to take effect.

Since the effect is longer , the snake can’t risk holding unto the struggling prey for it would surely get hurt, but with their potent venom, quick strikes and hyperventilated fangs, these snake are able to get in and out extremely fast. Not only can the fangs hypertext’s (up to 1800) but with the separately Jointed maxillae the fang can move individually as well. So a viper can decide whether or not to move one fang or two, inject one side r two. The amount of venom control in vipers is standing as well as their venom reservoirs.

The bulk of Bit’s cabana’s head is it’s venom gland. ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF SNAKE VENOM MEDICINAL PURPOSES Medicine derived from honeymoons are used to treat heart attack and blood disorders. The very first drug derived from snake venom was developed to treat high blood pressure. The venom taking from a pit viper contains a protein that prevents a compound called nonaggression converting enzyme (ACE) from functioning correctly. The human body uses this enzyme to maintain a stable blood pressure.

Medical researchers developed a synthetic version of the snake venom protein and used it in medicines that treat high blood pressure which are called ACE inhibitors. Use of these drugs also lead to decreasing incidence of stroke, kidney, heart failure and diabetes. Other drugs derived from honeymoons include affiliated which contain a modified rattle snake venom protein and tradition which contain a even protein from African saw scaled viper. Both of these medicines are used as treatment for minor heart attacks and several chest pain. These medicine works by helping to dissolve ND prevent the formation of blood clots.

Testing is currently underway for treatment of stroke with a venom protein taken from Malay pit viper, so far medical trials indicate small dosage of the venom help to dissolve stroke related blood clots and prevent new clots trot terming. Medicines derived trot neurotics are used to treat brain injuries, strokes and diseases such as Alchemists bind Parkinson. In addition to their effectiveness it is also used as a treatment for circulatory system disorder. Researchers are also studying the potential for snake venom proteins to be seed in the fight against cancer.

Researchers have also found that a compound in the venom of a certain type of snake can disrupt the function of endothelial cells that line the inner surface of blood vessels. This disruption causes the cells to separate from one another which leads to their death and thus disrupts blood vessel functioning. Scientists thinks that this property could be exploited meaning that the snake venom toxin could be used to disrupt the flow of blood to a tumor preventing its growth, because the venom also are studying snake venom a potential source of painkiller compounds.

Researchers have determined the two molecules isolated from black mamba venom. Derived drugs could be considered for human use, but early test result using lab mice are encouraging. Honeymoons target the circulatory system, they prevent clotting compounds from functioning correctly which causes uncontrollable bleeding. Neurotics target the central nervous system, they stop muscles from working which leads to suffocating venom’s that allow ions to flow across neuron membranes. When these communication channels are disrupted entire body system can crash leading to immediate death.