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RE: Thrasops jacksoni bite analysis

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Posted by: BGF at Fri Apr 18 18:42:59 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by BGF ]  
   

Very interesting and confirms what I suspected would happen, based on watching live mice die quick and bloody deaths; blood streaming from their nostrils and mouth, with blood drops on the floor still completely liquid a half hour longer.

The main culprit in the venom is not the three finger toxins, they are indeed there just not clinically important to a human. The main toxin of concern are the same type of svMMP (snake venom matrix metalloprotease) that they share with the boomslang. This particular 'flavour' of svMMP activates prothrombin. What that means in simple terms is that it kick-starts the blood coagulation cascade, which then runs out of control. Ironically, this same sort of toxin is also present in high amounts in some viper venoms (e.g. Echis); it is an ancient mutated form in snake venom (not that Echis antivenom would be helpful but boomslang antivenom probably would be).

The swelling would have been due to a combination of two toxin types: other forms of svMMP that are voracious little monsters on tissues (same type that rattlesnake venom is absolutely packed full of) and also kallikrein toxins, a type of serine protease that can cause capillaries to become 'leaky'.

The thing in your favour with Thrasops however is that the dentition is not enlarged like boomslang's. So, effective protection is as simple as a long sleeved shirt and very light gardening gloves. This of course wouldn't help too much with a boomslang!

Here is a link to a paper I just published that has Thrasops in it along with 109 other species.

Cheers
Bryan
Evolution of an Arsenal

-----
Dr. Bryan Grieg Fry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Venomics Research Laboratory,
Department of Biochemistry,
Bio21 Institute,
University of Melbourne
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://www.venomdoc.com


   

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