Venomous Snake Vaccionology Articles
VENOM, ANTIVENOM and IMMUNITY
With an illustrated program in the deliberate induction of an Immune response against the venom of the Eastern Coral Snake
By Norman Benoit
This is a presentation of a program to make a man immune to the venom of the Eastern Coral snake. It is one of the first fully documented cases of its kind, complete with step by step account for the purpose of clarity and completeness. It is the intention that this information be included in the body of available materials regarding this subject, and a basis for further discovery. We may be at the beginning of modern investigation into venoms and their usefulness to mankind. Besides the obvious research into more effective antivenom and the production of a snake bite vaccine, there remains much to be learned in how venoms can be used in man’s quest to cure or mitigate some common human degenerative conditions.
William Haast is the much celebrated founder of Miami Serpentarium Labs. He was the American pioneer in immunizing himself to the deadly venomous snakes he worked with in the course of performing daily venom extractions. He has been quoted as saying that since he began injecting himself with venoms he has never been sick a day in his life, “Never even had a common cold.” At the time of this writing he has survived 174 venomous snake bites and is ninety eight years old. The fact that transfusions of his immunized blood have been used to save the lives of snake bite victims, he is the true inspiration for this work, and the author’s life-long interest in venomous reptiles.
Exploring Self Immunization With a Bush Viper Venom
By Derek Morgan
Self immunization to snake venoms has been proven to work by several individuals who historically have worked with neurotoxic venoms. One example is Tim Friede, who has immunized himself to several species of mamba and cobra venom and he currently has very minor reactions to bites that would kill the average person. Some of the cobra venoms he works with also have necrotic properties to their venom and immunizing with these venoms is much more complicated than immunizing with strictly neurotoxic venom. Not only does his body have to build up antibodies to the neurotoxic properties of the venom, it also has to build antibodies to the necrotic fractions, as well. Some people believe that snakes with hemotoxic venom cannot be used for immunization because the volume of tissue-damaging venom is too great for the immune system to respond quickly enough to eliminate the necrotic fractions prior to damage being done. This is not entirely true and several species of snakes with hemotoxic venoms have been used for self immunization, including some species of rattlesnakes. While large species with large yields of very toxic venom may be difficult for full immunization, small species with smaller venom yields are ideal. One species of hemotoxic snake that is of interest for immunization is the Variable Bush Viper, Atheris squamigera, because no
antivenom exists for its genus and they are quite popular in the snake trade business. This species is responsible for at least one death, and other symptoms of its bite may include: vomiting, diarrhea, severe pain, blood clotting problems including bleeding from orifices, local swelling and bruising, nausea, impaired breathing, and eventually kidney damage or failure. (Also see comparison photos within journal notes.) By repeatedly exposing the body to minute amounts of bush viper venom and raising those amounts slowly over time, the body should become very resistant to the venom, or even "immune", as some would say.
A Proposed Pilot Study of Ophidian DNA Vaccinology
By Tim Friede
Every year over 5 million people are affected from snakebites worldwide : of them,
125,000 die - 100,000 in Asia, 20,000 in Africa, and 5,000 in the Americas (4, 5). And
among survivors, many are disabled because of venoms that damage fingers, hands, arms,
and legs. Because of location, lack of medical support, or no refrigeration, it’s very
difficult to develop a vaccine that suits the needs of these situations. Currently the only
form of a cure is antivenom. The focus of my project is to cut antivenom out of the
picture by actively immunizing tribal and agricultural people around the world with an
ophidian DNA-based vaccine. This approach will save many lives; many fingers, arms,
and legs; and time to get to antivenom if needed.
Self Immunization - A Dangerous Road To Travel
By Joel La Rocque
Since childhood, I have had an uncontrollable drive to learn everything possible concerning snakes. The species or sub-species made no difference at all, I was completely captivated by any snake that crossed my path both in real life or on paper. There are between 2.800 and 3.000 species of snakes living today and new species are being discovered yearly from around the world. As I grew up and finally left home, I was able to seek out different species and spend time actually handling them and adding to my notes. I became interested in venomous species after receiving a bite on my left hip while crossing a beaver dam one evening in Georgia. My right leg had went through the top layer of dried sticks and as I went down, I managed to drag a Southern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon p. piscivorus) down with me and when I hit the bottom it turned and one fang hit my wallet and the other hit my on the hip.
Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
By Tim Friede
Fatalities from poisonous snakebites occur primarily in tropical nations. A snake handler presented to our clinic requesting that we study him for anti-toxins to the poisonous venoms he had been injecting into himself. His goal was to tolerate snakebites from the black mamba, western green mamba, eastern green angusticeps, Naja siamensis (Thai spitting cobra), Jameson's mamba, and the monocled cobra. After surviving anaphylaxis from his first six self-injections using freshly milked cobra venom, he survived a cobra bite. Mamba venom self-injections followed and he is now also able to tolerate the bite of the green mamba.
|© 2007-2009 Tim Friede