E Rojas

University of Costa Rica, San José, Provincia de San Jose, Costa Rica

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Publications (19)41.14 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacokinetics of antivenoms has been mainly studied in normal animals, whereas very little is known on pharmacokinetics in envenomed animals. The aim of this study was to compare pharmacokinetic parameters of whole IgG equine antivenom in normal rabbits and in rabbits suffering a moderate envenoming by intramuscular injection of the venom of the viperid snake Bothriechis lateralis, which induces drastic microvascular alterations. Anti-Micrurus nigrocinctus antivenom was used, instead of polyvalent (Crotalinae) antivenom, to avoid the formation of toxin-antibody complexes which may alter antivenom pharmacokinetics. It was thus possible to study the effect of vascular alterations, i.e., edema and hemorrhage, induced by the venom on IgG antivenom distribution and elimination. An ELISA was utilized to quantify equine IgG antivenom concentration in rabbit serum. In addition, the amount of IgG antivenom extravasated in injected muscles was also determined. Results indicate that there were no significant differences, between control and envenomed rabbits, in any of the pharmacokinetic parameters investigated, thus suggesting that a moderate envenoming by this viperid species does not alter the pharmacokinetics of IgG antivenom. A significantly higher amount of antivenom IgG was observed in muscle from envenomed rabbits than in muscle from control animals. However, this corresponds to a low percentage of the administered antivenom and, therefore, this increased local extravasation does not have a significant impact in the overall antivenom pharmacokinetics.
    Toxicon 10/2006; 48(3):255-63. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A polyspecific Pan-African antivenom has been produced from the plasma of horses immunized with a mixture of the venoms of Echis ocellatus, Bitis arietans and Naja nigricollis, the three most medically important snakes in sub-Saharan Africa. The antivenom is a whole IgG preparation, obtained by caprylic acid precipitation of non-IgG plasma proteins. The antivenom effectively neutralizes the most important toxic activities of the three venoms used in the immunization in standard assays involving preincubation of venom and antivenom before testing. This antivenom compares favourably with other antivenoms designed for use in Africa with respect to neutralization of the toxins present in the venom of E. ocellatus. Caprylic acid fractionation of horse hyperimmune plasma is a simple, convenient and cheap protocol for the manufacture of high quality whole IgG antivenoms. It constitutes a potentially valuable technology for the alleviation of the critical shortage of antivenom in Africa.
    Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 07/2005; 99(6):468-75. · 1.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Envenomations after bites inflicted by snakes of the genus Bothrops constitute a public health hazard in Perú, and the intravenous administration of equine-derived antivenoms represents the only scientifically validated treatment. This study presents a preclinical assessment of the efficacy of two whole IgG antivenoms, prepared in Perú and Costa Rica, to neutralize the most relevant toxic effects induced by the venoms of Bothrops atrox, B. brazili, B. barnetti and B. pictus from Perú. Peruvian antivenom is produced by immunizing horses with Bothrops sp. venoms from this country, whereas the production of Costa Rican antivenom involves immunization with venoms from Central American snakes. The neutralization of lethal, hemorrhagic, edema-forming, myotoxic, coagulant and defibrinating activities was evaluated in assays involving incubation of venom and antivenom prior to testing. Both antivenoms were effective in the neutralization of these effects, with quantitative variations in the values of effective dose 50% depending on the effects being studied. Peruvian antivenom was more effective in the neutralization of lethality induced by B. atrox and B. barnetti venoms. However, Peruvian antivenom failed to neutralize coagulant activity of B. barnetti venom and edema-forming activity of B. brazili venom, whereas neutralization was achieved by Costa Rican antivenom. It is concluded that an extensive immunological cross-reactivity exists between Bothrops sp. venoms from Perú and Costa Rica, and that both antivenoms are effective in the neutralization of these four venoms in a rodent model of envenoming.
    Acta Tropica 02/2005; 93(1):85-95. · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polyvalent (Crotalinae) and anticoral (Elapidae) antivenoms produced by Instituto Clodomiro Picado, Costa Rica, were assessed for their ability to neutralize various toxic activities of the venoms of North American snakes of the genera Crotalus, Agkistrodon and Micrurus, in assays involving preincubation of venom and antivenom. When the intraperitoneal route of injection was utilized, polyvalent (Crotalinae) antivenom was effective in the neutralization of the venoms of Crotalus atrox, Crotalus adamanteus, Crotalus viridis viridis, Crotalus horridus atricaudatus, Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix and Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus, whereas the venom of Crotalus scutulatus was not neutralized. When the intravenous route was used, results differed depending on the "challenge dose" of venom employed. Polyvalent antivenom neutralized all venoms when mice were challenged with 2 LD(50)s of venom. When 5 LD(50)s were used, antivenom neutralized the venoms of C. atrox, C. adamanteus, C. v. viridis and C. h. atricaudatus, being ineffective in the neutralization of C. scutulatus, A. c. contortrix and A. p. piscivorus. Polyvalent antivenom was effective in the neutralization of hemorrhagic and myotoxic activities of all venoms studied. It also neutralized coagulant activity of C. adamanteus venom, whereas most of the venoms were devoid of clotting activity on plasma in vitro. Moreover, it neutralized defibrinating activity of the only three venoms that induced this effect (i.e. C. adamanteus, A. c. contortrix and A. p. piscivorus). Anticoral (Elapidae) antivenom neutralized lethality induced by the venom of Micrurus fulvius, using either the intravenous or the intraperitoneal routes of injection. Moreover, it neutralized myotoxic effect of this venom as well. It is concluded that polyvalent antivenom neutralizes lethality and other activities of most of the crotaline venoms tested. However, since it is ineffective in neutralizing the lethal effect of C. scutulatus venom, it is suggested that a venom containing presynaptically-active neurotoxic phospholipases A(2) related to "mojave toxin" needs to be introduced in the immunizing mixture in order to increase the neutralizing scope of this product in North America. Anticoral antivenom is highly effective in the neutralization of the venom of M. fulvius.
    Toxicon 07/2003; 41(7):851-60. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A comparative study was performed on the venoms of adult specimens of the neotropical rattlesnake, Crotalus durissus, from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Brazil, together with the venom of newborn specimens of C. d. durissus from Costa Rica. Venoms from Brazil (C. d. terrificus) and from newborn specimens of C. d. durissus presented an electrophoretic pattern characterized by the predominance of bands with molecular mass of 36 and 15 kDa, whereas those of adult specimens of C. d. durissus from Guatemala and Costa Rica, and C. d. cumanensis from Venezuela, showed a conspicuous band of 62 kDa, and additional bands of 36, 29 and 15 kDa. Moreover, venoms from C. d. terrificus and C. d. cumanensis showed a prominent band of < 10 kDa that probably corresponds to crotamine, since a 'crotamine-like' activity was detected in these venoms upon intraperitoneal injection in mice. Venoms of C. d. terrificus, C. d cumanensis and newborn C. d. durissus induced higher lethal and myotoxic effects than those of adult C. d. durissus. In contrast, adult C. d. durissus and C. d. cumanensis venoms induced hemorrhage, whereas venoms of C. d. terrificus and newborn C. d. durissus lacked this effect. All venoms showed coagulant effect in plasma, the highest activity being observed in the venom of newborn C. d. durissus. An anti-crotalic antivenom produced by Instituto Butantan (Brazil), using C. d. terrificus venom as antigen, was effective in the neutralization of lethal, myotoxic and coagulant effects of all venoms studied, being ineffective in the neutralization of hemorrhagic activity of the venoms of C. d. cumanensis and C. d. durissus. On the other hand, a polyvalent antivenom produced by Instituto Clodomiro Picado (Costa Rica), using the venoms of C. d. durissus. Bothrops asper and Lachesis stenophrys as antigens, was able to neutralize lethal, myotoxic, coagulant and hemorrhagic effects of C. d. durissus venom, but was ineffective in the neutralization of lethality and myotoxicity of C. d. terrificus, C. d. cumanensis and newborn C. d. durissus venom. The high toxicity of South American and newborn C. d. durissus venoms is related to the presence of high concentrations of the neurotoxic phospholipase A2 complex 'crotoxin'. Accordingly, antivenom from Instituto Butantan has a much higher titer of anti-crotoxin antibodies than antivenom from Instituto Clodomiro Picado. Crotalus durissus represents an example of intraspecies variation in venom composition and pharmacology that has relevant pathophysiologic and therapeutic implications.
    Revista de biologia tropical 03/2002; 50(1):337-46. · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Whole IgG and F(ab')(2) equine-derived polyvalent (Crotalinae) antivenoms, prepared from the same batch of hyperimmune plasma, were compared in terms of neutralization of the lethal and defibrinating activities induced by Bothrops asper venom, their ability to reach the muscle tissue compartment in envenomated mice, and their potential for the induction of adverse reactions. Both preparations were adjusted to the same potency against the lethal effect of B. asper venom in experiments involving preincubation of venom and antivenom. Then, "rescue" experiments were performed, i.e. antivenom was administered either intravenously or intramuscularly at various times after envenomation. IgG and F(ab')(2) antivenoms were equally effective in the neutralization of lethality, both being more effective when administered i.v. than after i.m. injection. Neutralization decreased as the time lapse between envenomation and treatment increased. No significant differences were observed in the ability of antivenoms to neutralize defibrinating activity of B. asper venom in experiments involving independent injection of venom and antivenoms. There was a much higher accumulation of equine antibodies in muscle tissue that had been injected with B. asper venom than in non-envenomated tissue, indicating that venom-induced microvessel damage probably favors a prominent and similar extravasation of both IgG and F(ab')(2) antibodies. This may explain the similar effectiveness of both types of antivenom in previously reported studies on the neutralization of venom-induced local tissue damage. Both IgG and F(ab')(2) antivenoms activate human complement in vitro and induce an anti-equine immunoglobulin response in mice, indicating that Fc removal per se does not eliminate the potential for inducing adverse reactions. However, IgG antivenom had higher anticomplementary activity and induced a stronger anti-immunoglobulin response than F(ab')(2) antivenom.
    Toxicon 07/2001; 39(6):793-801. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A comparative study was performed on the venoms of the crotaline snake Atropoides nummifer from Guatemala and Honduras. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, under reducing conditions, revealed a highly similar pattern of these venoms, and between them and the venom of the same species from Costa Rica. Similar patterns were also observed in ion-exchange chromatography on CM-Shephadex C-25, in which a highly basic myotoxic fraction was present. This fraction was devoid of phospholipase A(2) activity and strongly reacted, by enzyme-immunoassay, with an antiserum against Bothrops asper myotoxin II, a Lys-49 phospholipase A(2) homologue. A basic myotoxin of 16 kDa was isolated to homogeneity from the venom of A. nummifer from Honduras, showing amino acid composition and N-terminal sequence similar to those of Lys-49 phospholipase A(2) variants previously isolated from other crotaline snake venoms. Guatemalan and Honduran A. nummifer venoms have a qualitatively similar toxicological profile, characterized by: lethal; hemorrhagic; myotoxic; edema-forming; coagulant; and defibrinating activities, although there were significant quantitative variations in some of these activities between the two venoms. Neutralization of toxic activities by two commercially-available antivenoms in the region was studied. Polyvalent antivenom produced by Instituto Clodomiro Picado was effective in the neutralization of: lethal; hemorrhagic; myotoxic; coagulant; defibrinating; and phospholipase A(2) activities, but ineffective against edema-forming activity. On the other hand, MYN polyvalent antivenom neutralized: hemorrhagic; myotoxic; coagulant; defibrinating; and phospholipase A(2) activities, albeit with a lower potency than Instituto Clodomiro Picado antivenom. MYN antivenom failed to neutralize lethal and edema-forming activities of A. nummifer venoms.
    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C Toxicology & Pharmacology 07/2001; 129(2):151-62. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A comparative study was performed on the venoms of the crotaline snake Atropoides nummifer from Guatemala and Honduras. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, under reducing conditions, revealed a highly similar pattern of these venoms, and between them and the venom of the same species from Costa Rica. Similar patterns were also observed in ion-exchange chromatography on CM-Shephadex C-25, in which a highly basic myotoxic fraction was present. This fraction was devoid of phospholipase A2 activity and strongly reacted, by enzyme-immunoassay, with an antiserum against Bothrops asper myotoxin II, a Lys-49 phospholipase A2 homologue. A basic myotoxin of 16 kDa was isolated to homogeneity from the venom of A. nummifer from Honduras, showing amino acid composition and N-terminal sequence similar to those of Lys-49 phospholipase A2 variants previously isolated from other crotaline snake venoms. Guatemalan and Honduran A. nummifer venoms have a qualitatively similar toxicological profile, characterized by: lethal; hemorrhagic; myotoxic; edema-forming; coagulant; and defibrinating activities, although there were significant quantitative variations in some of these activities between the two venoms. Neutralization of toxic activities by two commercially-available antivenoms in the region was studied. Polyvalent antivenom produced by Instituto Clodomiro Picado was effective in the neutralization of: lethal; hemorrhagic; myotoxic; coagulant; defibrinating; and phospholipase A2 activities, but ineffective against edema-forming activity. On the other hand, MYN polyvalent antivenom neutralized: hemorrhagic; myotoxic; coagulant; defibrinating; and phospholipase A2 activities, albeit with a lower potency than Instituto Clodomiro Picado antivenom. MYN antivenom failed to neutralize lethal and edema-forming activities of A. nummifer venoms.
    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology. 06/2001;
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    ABSTRACT: Bothrops asper is responsible for approximately half of the snakebite envenomations in Central America. Despite its medical relevance, only the venom of Costa Rican populations of this species has been studied to some detail, and there is very little information on intraspecies variability in venom composition and toxicity. Venom of B. asper from Guatemala was analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and its basic pharmacological activities were investigated with standard laboratory assays. Venom has lethal, hemorrhagic, myotoxic, edema-forming, coagulant, defibrinating and phospholipase A(2) activities, showing a similar toxicological profile to the one previously described for B. asper from Costa Rica. In addition, polyvalent antivenoms produced in Mexico and Costa Rica, and currently used in Guatemala, were tested for their ability to neutralize venom's toxic activities. Both antivenoms were effective against all effects studied, although the Costa Rican product showed higher potency against most activities tested and higher antibody titer against venom components, as determined by enzyme immunoassay. It is suggested that different dosage regimes should be considered when using these antivenoms in B. asper envenomations in Guatemala.
    Toxicon 01/2001; 39(2-3):401-5. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bothrops asper is responsible for approximately half of the snakebite envenomations in Central America. Despite its medical relevance, only the venom of Costa Rican populations of this species has been studied to some detail, and there is very little information on intraspecies variability in venom composition and toxicity. Venom of B. asper from Guatemala was analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulphate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and its basic pharmacological activities were investigated with standard laboratory assays. Venom has lethal, hemorrhagic, myotoxic, edema-forming, coagulant, defibrinating and phospholipase A2 activities, showing a similar toxicological profile to the one previously described for B. asper from Costa Rica. In addition, polyvalent antivenoms produced in Mexico and Costa Rica, and currently used in Guatemala, were tested for their ability to neutralize venom’s toxic activities. Both antivenoms were effective against all effects studied, although the Costa Rican product showed higher potency against most activities tested and higher antibody titer against venom components, as determined by enzyme immunoassay. It is suggested that different dosage regimes should be considered when using these antivenoms in B. asper envenomations in Guatemala.
    Toxicon 01/2001; 39:401-405. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Blood components were studied in six horses immunized with snake venoms for the production of polyvalent antivenom in Costa Rica. No significant changes in hemoglobin or hematocrit throughout the immunization period were observed, whereas a significant increment in total serum proteins occurred in the second half of the immunization process, probably due to an increased synthesis of immunoglobulins. There were no significant changes in creatine kinase, but a slight increment was detected in both transaminases, although they did not exceed normal limits. These findings suggest the absence of relevant tissue damage in skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle and liver. In agreement with these results, horses did not develop signs of systemic poisoning, presenting only minor alterations at the site of venom injection, such as oedema, abscesses and fistulas. The development of anti-phospholipase A2 antibody response showed a prominent individual variability, as previously described.
    Revista de biologia tropical 05/1992; 40(1):95-9. · 0.55 Impact Factor
  • Toxicon 02/1990; 28(10):1127-9; author reply 1129-32. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A monovalent antivenom was produced by immunizing two horses with venom of the pit viper Bothrops asper (Ophidia: Viperidae). Although development of the immune response against four toxic and enzymatic activities of the venom was similar in both horses during the first two thirds of the immunization schedule, antibody response in one of the horses reached much higher levels in the last part of the immunization. Immunoelectrophoretic analysis indicates that there were precipitating antibodies in the sera of these horses during all the stages of immunization. However, immunoprecipitation did not correlate with the ability of sera to neutralize toxic activities of B. asper venom. Monovalent antivenom was more effective than the commercially available polyvalent antivenom in the neutralization of Bothrops asper venom. On the other hand, despite the fact that it neutralizes lethal and hemorrhagic activities of the venoms of Lachesia muta and Crotalus durissus durissus, it was less effective than polyvalent antivenom in these neutralizations. Moreover, it does not neutralize defibrinating activity induced by these two venoms, whereas it neutralizes this effect in the case of B. asper venom. It is proposed that monovalent antivenom may be highly effective in the case of envenomations induced by Bothrops asper venom; its use in treating accidents by L. muta and C. durissus would be indicated only if polyvalent antivenom is not available. Results also demonstrate that it is important to monitor antibody response individually in horses being immunized for antivenom production, due to the conspicuous variability in the response of different animals.
    Revista de biologia tropical 12/1988; 36(2B):511-7. · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of several batches of polyvalent antivenom to neutralize indirect hemolytic activity of Bothrops asper venom was studied using a sensitive plate test. All samples of antivenom tested effectively neutralized this activity. A highly significant correlation was observed between neutralization of indirect hemolysis and neutralization of lethal activity. This simple and sensitive in vitro test could be used to monitor antibody levels in horses immunized to produce polyvalent antivenom.
    Toxicon 02/1988; 26(4):411-3. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The local effects induced by intramuscular inoculations of venoms from six species of coral snakes were studied in mice. Venoms of Micrurus nigrocinctus nigrocinctus, M. n. mosquitensis, M. alleni, M. frontalis, M. carinicauda and M. surinamensis induced prominent myonecrosis which was observed histologically. From a morphological point of view all these venoms induced a similar pattern of myonecrosis, characterized by a conspicuous alteration of the intracellular structure. This myotoxic activity was corroborated by an increase in plasma creatine kinase levels 3 hr after i.m. injection of M. n. nigrocinctus, M. n. mosquitensis, M. frontalis and M. carinicauda venoms. M. mipartitus venom did not induce myonecrosis. None of the venoms induced edema or hemorrhage at the site of injection.
    Toxicon 02/1983; 21(6):777-83. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neutralization of lethality, myonecrosis, hemorrhage and edema induced by Bothrops asper venom in mice was studied using the polyvalent antivenom produced in the Instituto Clodomiro Picado. The neutralizing effect (ed50) on each of these toxic activities varied; the neutralization of lethal and hemorrhagic effects being more effective than the neutralization of myonecrosis and edema. With independent inoculation of venom and antivenom, antivenom was not effective in neutralizing edema-forming activity. The myonecrotic effect was only partially neutralized when serum was given i.v. immediately after envenomation; however, antivenin effectively neutralized the hemorrhagic activity. The ineffectiveness of antivenom in neutralizing edema and myonecrosis could be partially explained by the rapid development of these effects. Hence, the time interval between envenomation and antivenom administration and the route of serum administration both play an important role in the neutralization of local effects.
    Toxicon 01/1981; 19(4):493-500. · 2.92 Impact Factor
  • Toxicon 02/1980; 18(5-6):633-9. · 2.92 Impact Factor
  • Toxicon 01/1980; 18:633-639. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: J. M. Gutiérrez, C. Avila, E. Rojas and L. Cerdas. An alternative in vitro method for testing the potency of the polyvalent antivenom produced in Costa Rica. Toxicon26, 411 – 413, 1988. — The ability of several batches of polyvalent antivenom to neutralize indirect hemolytic activity of Bothrops asper venom was studied using a sensitive plate test. All samples of antivenom tested effectively neutralized this activity. A highly significant correlation was observed between neutralization of indirect hemolysis and neutralization of lethal activity. This simple and sensitive in vitro test could be used to monitor antibody levels in horses immunized to produce polyvalent antivenom.
    Toxicon.

Publication Stats

413 Citations
41.14 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1981–2006
    • University of Costa Rica
      • Facultad de Microbiología
      San José, Provincia de San Jose, Costa Rica
  • 2001–2002
    • University of San Carlos of Guatemala
      • Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacia
      Guatemala City, Departamento de Guatemala, Guatemala