Factors That Affect Toxicity of Snake Venoms
Snake venom is one of nature’s most efficient poisons. It can kill a man or animal quickly and leave nothing more than a scar. Its composition is unique to each snake, but most common components found in snake venoms include protein fragments (proteins and polysaccharides) in glycoside chains of varying lengths and sequences, as well as nucleic acid residues and enzymes. This venem is ingested by snakes when they bite a target, inject it into their body, then the body breaks down the protein pieces. The protein fragments then travel through the bloodstream, causing symptoms similar to a bee sting, including swelling, redness, pain, and itchiness.
Snake venom has been studied extensively in snakes, with much less research regarding bites from Atractaspididae or other venomous snakes. However, there are similarities in the composition of venom injected by venomous snakes and those from other animals. Snakes do not, as many people think, secrete venom, but they do use their fangs to inject their prey with it. Their long, narrow mouths allow them to inject their venomous snakebite with such force that the venom travels through the animal’s entire body until it reaches the heart.
There are two types of venomous snake bites. Direct bites are caused by injections of venom through the bite site. Lacerations, or puncture wounds, are often present along the wound. Pain and swelling sometimes occur later. Ingestion may cause secondary infections of unknown bacteria and viruses if the venom is injected into the digestive tract; these, however, are easily treated.
There are five recognized types of snake venom. The first, P-I is produced by a sting in the mouth. The other four types are P-II, V-I, I-VI, and V-IV. P-I and V-I each affects one to three of the body’s organs, while I-VI and V-IV affect all of them.
The most commonly known is envenomation caused by epiphanies, New World rattlesnakes, eastern rattles, black snakes, tiger snakes, copperheads, garter snakes, king snakes, pit vipers, and sugar gliders. Snakes that frequently inhabit areas where humans reside or work have been known to carry envenom and neurotoxic (poison) viruses, such as the West Nile Virus. Although some snakes, such as mouse chills, house snakes, and boas, don’t generally carry envenom or neurotoxic viruses, they can still produce symptoms of envenomation and neurotoxicity. In these cases, the symptoms are typically similar to those caused by eating a poisonous insect.
Neurotoxins, which are toxic in their pure forms but not necessarily poisonous in their diluted form, are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Common examples are plague-bearers, mites, and protozoa. Neutrogena products that contain compounds that deplete the antioxidant status of the cell are sometimes used to treat snake venoms. When the cells are healthy, the toxins have little effect on the cell’s structure function, but when the cell is unhealthy – sick – the toxins deplete the antioxidant stores of the cell, disrupting cellular functioning. Neutrogena products like Power Cleanse, Vitalzym, and Infusion are effective at removing toxins from the cell, preventing oxidative stress from producing free radicals. Because they are capable of maintaining good antioxidant levels, the products can be used even when the body is healthy.
Envenom and neurotoxic substances that enter the body through food or water are toxic. In general, the more toxic it is the more difficult it will be to remove. Some examples of toxic snake venom are hemotoxic venom (chemically inactive hemoglobin that is pumped around the red blood cells), envenom neurotoxicity (proteinaceous fluids that are injected into the blood), and bacterial or viral envenom toxicity (venoms that enter through broken skin). In the past, there was no way to reliably test the toxicity of snake venoms. Fortunately, recent advances in medical research and toxicology have resulted in effective tests for determining toxicity of snake venoms.
There are many factors that affect the toxicity of snake venom. One of them is the factor associated with the viperidae, or the rattlesnake family. The most toxic vipers belong to the viperidae or rattlesnake family. Among the known vipers are Serinea serrata, Rana cambogia, Rana caespitosa, Rana catespitosa, Rana Cayenne, Rana cassinea, Rana corylensis, Rana citrifolia, and Rana echidna. These snakes may also have other names in various parts of the world, but they are all part of the viperidae family.